How many times did you get sick of the sight of Gael Clichy making a run towards the byline and whipping in cross after cross?
With the needing physical presence of Arsenal’s front-line, most of those crosses often turned out to be useless too. It usually seemed that Gael Clich did not have too many ideas in attack during his Arsenal days. In fact, his goal scoring record was so poor that it took him until 2008 to score his first ever goal in his career as a footballer. Despite having an injury-ravaged campaign, Gibbs’ total of two goals this season is as many as Clichy netted during his entire career at Arsenal.
And his departure to Manchester City paved the way for the more effective Kierran Gibbs and Andre Santos – who don’t just whip in crosses but can also hit the target – to fill the void.
Clichy in truth was not exceptional at the back either and was sometimes a liability in defense, but he hardly atoned for that with any quality going forward.
Maybe the Frenchman will excel better with his routine crosses at City where there are the imposing likes of Yaya Toure, Balotelli and Dzeko to aim at, but it appears that Arsenal have gained far more from that left-back position ever since Clichy left – bar the period when both Gibbs and Santos were injured of course.
Just take a look at Gibbs’ vital strike yesterday which initially unlocked what could have been a stubborn Villa defense. He is definitely not scared to enter the penalty box.
Credit to Kierran!