Wednesday 3 November 2010

Clichy again, Shakhtar, homegrown and back in balance

There were some good things from tonight's game and some bad. The thing that stood out for me was another poor defensive error from Gael Clichy, they have become something of a habit over recent months. I do not enjoy criticising a player who always gives his all for the cause, but his recurrent errors are something that have been concerning a lot of us for quite a while now. How long can one do this before it becomes more than bad luck?

In my opinion Gael Clichy has gone over this line now. There are some terrific aspects to his game, his work rate, his athleticism, but solid defending is a fundamental part of being a good left back and this essential ingredient has been sadly lacking of late. If Kieran Gibbs could stay fit for any period I have no doubt that he would take over as our first choice left back. I used to sing the Clichy chant and strongly believe him to be as good as Ashley Cole, I can no longer do this. If Gibbs cannot get fit and stay so, then a new left back should be purchased in January. Arsene blamed a lack of maturity, Clichy is no youngster now, he simply should not be making these kinds of errors with the experience he has. It pains me to say this.

Clichy should not be scapegoated for the defeat though, there was more to this that one Gael Clichy error. Shakhtar pressed us efficiently and put us under far more pressure than they did at the Emirates. Our weakened side didn't quite have the ability to resist this pressure, we didn't hold onto the ball well enough for periods and we were slightly over run in the midfield at times. Eastmond did ok and was unlucky with his own goal, he didn't know much about it when he flicked in a dangerous free kick past the helpless Fabianski.

Still it wasn't that bad at all. Overall we were pretty unfortunate to come away with a defeat against a decent side in a hostile environment, they are also unbeaten at home for 2 years. Generally our weakened side performed pretty decently. Walcott's goal was outstanding, Wilshere had a very solid game, Fabianski played consistently, JET worked hard for his few minutes at the end. Bendtner was rusty as expected, there were a few rather heavy touches, it's to be expected when you've been out for a long period. I was encouraged by Johan Djourou's performance, some excellent defensive clearances and interceptions, he look strong too. Squillaci was steady again. Eboue didn't have his greatest game, but he was up against an extremely pacey and skillful Willian.

This result puts things back in the balance again. Realistically if we win at home to Partizan then we are through, still if we don't get a result in Braga things could be rather tense come that final home fixture. Interesting that while some people in the media go on about a certain Welshman being the best player in the world after a handful of good games, Arsenal go into yet another game with a couple of talented homegrown English players starting (Eastmond/Wilshere). Homegrown starters for Tottenham ZERO, for Chelsea ZERO and Man United two (both older players). Strange how the media don't point this little fact out. Not the end of the world true, but I do fear for Gael Clichy's future.


Danish Gooner said...

How come Wenger keeps saying they lack maturity,most of these players have played 100 or more games for Arsenal it cant be maturity it must be something else ???

Rhinogooner said...

What did you expect? It's November ;-)

In all seriousness though, in my opinion, Clichy has been this way for years, not months. And I love Clichy.

But his defensive lapses have been consistently occurring for 3 seasons now.

He should have learned by now. But then again, Mr. Wenger appears to be deficient in coaching defense. And no one on staff seems to be anymore adroit at it. I'll tell you this, if Mourinho had Clichy, he'd turn him into a world class defender.

Martin said...

I think Clichy's problem is that he over complicates things. I said the same thing in my blog about Gibbs: if he was fit, he'd bench Clichy.

1979gooner said...

I agree Rhino.

He has been given enough chances.

This is no flash in the pan. The errors have been going on for several years now, too many costly errors.

ozspurs said...

Regarding your comment - Tottenham has ZERO homegrown players.
You might do well to remember:
1. Jermaine Defoe
2. Tom Huddlestone
3. Peter Crouch

Nice try anyway!
PS it's taken Australians to do your homework for you!

ozspurs said...

..........and PS i forgot
4. Aaron Lennon!
Go Spurs!

Anonymous said...

Clichy has been poor for longer than he has been good at this stage. He vacates the left back position every game he plays, getting drawn to the ball and jumping in. He did it against West Ham three times. The fact is he is a poor defender, and has been for some years.

He offers not a lot going forward, a rare assist last weekend. Gibbs constant injury woes are extremely frustrating, because Clichy has been a chronic problem for far too long, moreso than the keeper issue.

1979gooner said...


you spuds never fail to ammuse me!

by homegrown I am referring to the traditional meaning of the word, ie came through the club's youth system

not a SINGLE of those spuds players came through the ranks at spurs, not ONE

they were all brought in for money

English yes, but that is not homegrown!

The point is that Arsenal's youth system has produced one hell of a lot more players than most of the big clubs in recent years, anyone can throw around money to buy in English players, but to genuinely improve the English game clubs need to develop their own homegrown talent, something spurs haven't done much of for a while

Anonymous said...

Clichy is the Arsenal player I despise the most. If you recount the goals against Arsenal that Clichy has created for our opponents, it's shocking. Then, to count the number of goals for Arsenal that he has actually created, it's just rare. So rare that except for the late goal that Song scored, I can't remember when Clichy last created anything for Arsenal.

Clichy has got pace and that's about it. His concentration is equivalent to a kid. As a width player, he can't cross. He has been like that season after season.

ozspurs said...

thanks for the clarification 1979 gooner.
Hate to bring this up but a youngster called Danny Rose who blew you guys away with the 2009 goal of the year was homegrown from our academy. He is on loan but we still have Peter Crouch....oh and the captain Ledley King who came through our academy.
Commiserations on your loss to Shakhtar.

arsenalandrew said...

Agree with the Clichy observations altho I certainly don't hate or despise ANY Arsenal player; my personal capacity of bile being reserved exclusively for those who have truly earned it (Ronaldo, Shame Looney, J Terry, Joey Bastard - the list continues).

I also honestly believe that whilst we are not that far off having a squad that can properly challenge for honours on all fronts, we are in the process of collecting too many players who have simply not "earned out" on their development investment (eg Clichy), or who are too injury prone to make a consistent contribution to the season (stand up RvP) or who look like they may well simply want away (Arshavin). There are some who do not fill me with masses of confidence when they play (Eboue, Denilson) and others who are simply not quite good enough for a side gunning for top honours (Almunia, Fabianski).

And what to do with a problem like Cesc? Aside from his increasing susceptibility to injury, my own view is this genius of a player would genuinely like to win trophies at club level; his desire to return to Spain is itself a side issue; it's ALL about trophies, stupid!

Whilst I'm sure most if not all the above named are loyal players, I'm sure Wenger will clear them out over the next 18 months; how quickly he does this will have a direct impact on our ability to retain the services of Fabregas. How much would those departing players fetch? Conservatively, at least £60 million +, surely? Worth £120 million in Wenger's hands?

No doubt some people will howl but if we are to take that last step, push on to the next level and start dominating our footballing environment, I don't think Wenger has much choice.

Anonymous said...

@Ozspurs, you bought Danny Rose from Leeds

1979gooner said...


thanks for providing the entertainment,

I didn't notice Danny Rose playing against Inter and I haven't seen him play much this season, seems another cracking spuds prospect there......

thanks for your sympathy, there's really no need, I'd save it for yourself

Anonymous said...

regarding your comment on people talking about bale as the best player in the world