Arsenal News: Gael Clichy Questions Gunners Squad Depth
Former Arsenal left back Gael Clichy has taken a swipe at his prior employers and said that it was a lack of squad depth that caused the Gunners title challenge to derail last season. The French defender yesterday joined Manchester City for a reported fee of 7 million pounds and expressed his happiness at the deal being completed.
Speaking to the official site at Manchester City, Clichy said that he regretted last season’s late collapse by Arsenal immensely, and that the last minute loss on the Carling Cup final took a heavy toll on the players.
Speaking about the previous season at the Emirates, he said-
“It started well, just like the team, but then it just collapsed at the end of the season after the cup final”
Although he admitted that the simultaneous absence of Robin van Persie and Cesc Fabregas would hurt any team, he underlined the importance of squad depth and having multiple world class players for each position. He said-
“That’s why you can see the importance of having a big squad because we had a few players who were out. And of course it’s difficult for a team to cope without Robin van Persie and Cesc Fabregas at the same time.”
He acknowledged the difficulties players face while playing in big squads, citing fierce competition and occasional player unhappiness. But he said that the positives far outweighed the negatives, and that a big squad was a must if a team was to go all the way in the Premier League. He said-
“You know, sometimes it’s difficult to have a lot of players, because the competition is hard, but as a team you need a big squad to go all the way, and that’s why I joined City”
Clichy is now Manchester City’s fourth left back, along with teammates Alexander Kolarov, Wayne Bridge and Jerome Boateng. Although Bridge and Boateng have been linked with moves away from the club this summer, it still represents far stiffer competition for Clichy than he faced at Arsenal, where his subordinates were the injury prone Keiran Gibbs, the inconsistent Armand Traore and the awesomely named Tom Cruise (who has now been released by Arsenal).
Meanwhile, Arsenal are looking to fill the void left by Clichy’s departure by looking to procure the services of Newcastle marauder Jose Enrique. Enrique is reportedly unhappy at St. James Park and his contract negotiations with the club have broken down. It remains to be seen whether Clichy gels in well at City and whether Arsenal go into the season with a replacement or not.