Gael Clichy: Arsenal Only Challenge, Man City Win
Former Arsenal defender Gael Clichy has hit out at the Gunners and said that he made the move to Manchester City because he was fed up of always challenging for trophies but never winning them. Only a few weeks into City’s pre-season tour of the United States and Canada, Clichy says that a great squad was the most important thing needed for a top club and City has that.
Speaking to The Daily Mail, Clichy said-
‘After spending eight years with Arsenal it would have been easy to sign a new contract to stay there because they’re a fantastic club that will always be challenging for trophies,’
‘But it got to a point for me where I didn’t just want to challenge for the titles only to be disappointed in the final weeks of the season. I wanted to play for a club that would win them.’
He wasn’t unduly critical of Arsenal or their manager Arsene Wenger but said that he envisioned more trophies at City in the near future and had made an informed decision based on the facts he saw. He cited the example of last season, where Arsenal collapsed towards the end but City carried on to third place and won the FA Cup. He said-
‘I joined City because I felt that this was a club ready to win important trophies over the next few years,’
‘Look at last season. At Arsenal we were challenging for all four trophies. But in the end we finished fourth and without a trophy. City came third and won the FA Cup. So I’m joining a club who are winning trophies.’
He admitted to being a sceptic when City first started on their money mission a few seasons ago. But he said that last season vindicated their expenditure and that a great squad was needed to challenge on all four fronts. He said-
‘When Sheik Mansour first took over here there was a lot of scepticism in the game, and I was one of the sceptics,’
‘The criticism was that it was all about the money. But, for me, last season proved that City are now one of the top clubs in the game.
‘I know from my own experience that when it comes to the most important part of the season you can’t just have a great team, you need a great squad.
‘It was so frustrating at Arsenal. At times last year we played some fantastic football and looked as good as any team in the league. But there were also times when we had injuries to our best players and we couldn’t cope. If we lost Cesc Fabregas or Robin van Persie then the team really suffered.
‘I’ve been at City only a week but I look around and see a squad that is strong. I see a group of players good enough to allow the manager to rotate – and that is what makes a successful club.’
It remains to be seen whether Clichy’s decision is justified at the end of the season, or if Arsenal finally break their trophy duck and prove him wrong. Stay tuned for more in this regard.