In a season of transition for Arsenal, the whole pre-season transfer saga of Ashley Cole & Chelsea, Cole probably thought the day he leaves, he would be irreplaceable...
Enter Gael Clichy, the young Frenchman, spotted and signed by Arsene Wenger, signed from French club, AS Cannes for a mere 250 000 Pounds (compensation fee paid to Cannes).
What has been exciting to watch of Clichy this season, is his electric burst of pace, switching from defending to attack and with the more games under his belt, he is improving in leaps and bounds. At the start of the season as well as certain parts of the latter season, his crossing was questionable but now he seems to be picking out his team mates who roam in the box.
A match that stands out, where it concerns his performances, (though I must add, most of his performances this season have been quite good) was the 2-1 win over United at the Emirates, apart from when he lost Rooney for the goal conceded. In the match he gave Cristiano Ronaldo no time at all do his tricks and was constantly at his heels, eventually the Portuguese winger had to switch flanks, which says alot about the job Clichy did that day.
Working himself up the ranks at Arsenal, since Ashley’s departure also has brought with other bonuses. All of a sudden he has caught the eye, of French national coach, Raymond Domenech and it seems it will only be a matter of time before he gets the call up to the French senior squad, after representing France at various youth levels.
In various interviews he has given on Arsenal TV, he seems like a guy who has both feet on the ground, a down to earth personality and someone who knows how to keep his ego in check even if he is in the spotlight. Unlike Ashley Cole, who became like a spoilt brat, huge ego, popstar girlfriend and of course greedy! Seeing that the rubles at Roman’s Plastic Revolution in West London, make most footballers quite weak, especially when having an expensive social life. Though, like they say, money doesn't always buy you class.
Clichy, along with Fabregas, Van Persie are amongst others, the new breed, that will see Arsenal Football Club into a, hopefully, very successful future as their age totally belies their football maturity. That can only be good for the club in the long run, don't you think?