Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Breaking Down The Clichy To Barca Rumour

by Rachid

I'm not one to believe or even pay attention to most transfer rumours I see circling around the net but according to Goal.com Barcelona want to offer us Bojan Krkic plus cash for Gael Clichy. I'm not sure how true this rumour is but we all know that Barcelona have some unwritten code they have to abide by where they try to unsettle an Arsenal player every summer. Now they want Clichy. If this rumour is true however then is it that it's a bit too good to be true? There are some things we need to take into consideration though.

If we're gonna be frank, Gael Clichy's form has taken a decline over the last two seasons. It has been noticeable since that 2-2 draw away to Birmingham in 2008 where he was caught ball watching and gave up a stupid penalty to let the Brummies back into the game. He's been caught out of position a lot this season as well and many of the important goals we've conceded, especially against Man Utd and Chelsea were because of flaws in his positioning. Many would like to see Clichy sold this summer, with some even proposing that Wenger replace him with a center back and move Thomas Vermaelen out to the left back position. The problem with this though is that Gael is one of the players who actually loves being at the club and plays for more than just a pay cheque. His performances might not be up to par but the effort and heart are definitely there. Effort and heart are two characteristics every Arsenal fan wants to see exhibited by the players. If a player isn't playing his best but actually shows an effort to do the best he can and shows that he's passionate about the club then he deserves at least some credit for trying, even if he doesn't always excel at what he does. Clichy is reluctant to leave Arsenal anyway. He's spent a lot of time in England and he feels fully adapted there. He said so himself:
"It is great that these teams like Barcelona and Real Madrid are looking at me. 'They are great teams as everyone knows but all I want to say is that I am focused on the end of the season. I want to win something here.
"I have two years left on my contract so it is not a question to answer.
"I wouldn’t say I feel English because some people will be upset with this. But I feel really at home here."
"Whenever I go home and see my family for two weeks, even if I feel really good there, I have to come back to London."
What that says is that just because this rumour is circulating, it doesn't mean he'll actually go or that a deal will actually be made. Yes if Arsene Wenger has no plans for him he'll welcome the idea of selling him but if the player doesn't want to go then the deal can't be done unless he agrees a contract with Barcelona.

There's no doubt that Bojan Krkic is a good player. He's highly technical and a very good finisher. The question though is whether we actually need him. Arsenal clearly need another striker but there's word that Marouane Chamakh is on his way in. Not only that but Jay Simpson, who had a very good season out on loan at Queens Park Rangers, will be returning this summer and I believe he now deserves a fair chance to prove himself in the first team. I don't think we could bring both Chamakh and Krkic in with Simpson coming back as well. Don't forget we also have Carlos Vela who struggles to get into the first team. Would we then sell Vela in order to make room for him, with Eduardo leaving as well to make room for Chamakh?

Something which influences the way Arsenal plays is the strong team unity that usually exists in the dressing room. With too many players on board we risk disrupting that unity as players would start showing envy towards each other, especially those who are keeping them out of a starting role in the team. If we are interested in signing Krkic, as well as Chamakh, we'd definitely need to let a couple players go.

I believe the reason Carlos Vela can't get into the first team goes beyond the general consensus that he just isn't good enough. I think the climate in England has a lot to do with it - transitioning from such a warm climate as the Mexican climate to the very cold climate of England. If we signed Krkic wouldn't we be taking the same risk with him as well? The climate in Spain is very similar to the climate in Mexico.

Vela and Krkic are very similar players. They both like running with the ball and both like using their trickery to get beyond defenders. Would Krkic face the same difficulties adapting to the English game that Vela does? Jose Antonio Reyes is another player that came over from Spain years ago and struggled to adapt in England. Would we be taking the same gamble on a player like Krkic, who plays in the same position as Vela and Reyes do? What do you think? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

Before I end though, have a look at this really cool video montage of our matches in the month of March made by my friend donDeMoNius. Enjoy:

Well that's it for now. Until next time, Dust!

1 comment:

  1. I strongly doubt the legitimacy of this rumour but I guess that isn't really that sensational a thought.
    I agree with acclimatization as a problem with potentially Bojan and Vela right now. However I think the more important climate to look at is the footballing climate rather then the weather.
    I have no doubt that Carlos Vela is a very good footballer. However, the footballing climate of England is not one he is adapting to well. Pace and physicality and tactics that reflect these ideas abound in the English game and Vela has only been able to succeed against poorer exponents of these (Carling Cup games v the likes of Sheffield United) where his skill can shine brighter then the obstacles. I think it is clear he is going to struggle to make it week in and week out in the top flight. I could see Bojan following the same path. There are also SERIOUS issues with his temperament and character, he struggles to keep it together paying for Barcelona (basically a free ride for a technical player). The English game could crush him.

    As for Clichy leaving, it would be suicide. Gibbs may be capable of great things, but is still inexperienced while Traore has shown negative signs already. The thought of Vermaelen coming across is in my opinion not an option at all. Take our only first team centreback (assuming Gallas is going) and floating him off to left back? No good. I don't know how effective he would be there anyway.

    Clichy has not been in stellar form for the last season or two, but has a lot left in him, the capacity to play like a hero and fits our system perfectly.
    Selling him should really be a non-story.