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A game of two extremes

by on July 7, 2011

Remember the 07/08 season? Remember St. Andrews in February? Eduardo had his leg broken, Walcott scored a brace to win the match and then Birmingham were awarded a penalty in the last(ish) minute. That penalty was given away by Gael Clichy. It wasn’t a penalty. He got the slightest of touches on the ball. To be fair, it was hard to see at first, but it wasn’t a penalty. I wasn’t surprised, a Gael Clichy error back then was as rare as… a Bacary Sagna error now I suppose. It was no surprise then to see him in the PFA Team of the Year that season. He was ‘flying high’ as one might put it. Fast forward a few years and he’s clearly been unsettled. He pushed for a move to Spain last summer (Real Madrid) which didn’t quite go through. He just hasn’t looked the same. Was he really that bad though? I know he played David Villa onside at the Emirates and isn’t always the best against long-balls thanks to his positioning; but our pressing game will suffer without him. A lot. I saw somewhere that Gael Clichy had more tackles than any other Premier League full-back last season. Or succesful tackles. Or % of tackles that were successful. Some people would have you think he’s the worst left-back around. The point is, I reckon we’ll miss him more than we think. I for one will not jump on the Clichy bashing bandwagon, I would instead thank Gael for his eight years at the club and for giving 100% in every game. I won’t wish him luck though. You know why. Anyways, off he goes.

There’s been talk of who will replace him, with Leighton Baines and Emilio Izzigizzyguiheriuie mentioned, but the front-runner seems to be Newcastle’s Jose Enrique who would have the Premier League experience Izzy lacks without the Baines price-tag. Other incoming transfers look to be on the horizon as Gervinho was reported to have completed his medical yesterday and is set to sign for a fee of £10.7m. However, it seems that Ricky Alvarez has chosen Inter Milan over us. Meh. No biggy really. The Nasri saga is still rumbling on. We’re past the deadline so the club is trying to move him on, United are in for £20m. The club are allegedly waiting to get £25m. City are interested, Chelsea have been rumoured to be interested as well. There’s the potential for serious amounts of wonga to be made here. Whatever happens, I don’t really care.

As for the Fabregas saga, Barcelona are ‘willing to wait‘. Whatever the hell that means. If it means they’ll shut up until they’re done waiting then that’s magnificent. Worthy of the Nobel peace prize in fact. Paul Scholes said something as well. Can’t be assed to talk about that though, in all honesty I don’t think anyone actually cares. Apparently, if Fabregas goes then the money could go towards the signings of Karim Benzema and Juan Mata. No complaints there. Bolton have apparently told us to either hurry up and sign Cahill or to go away if we’re going to dither. At this stage in pre-season, I can see what Owen Coyle means, it can’t be easy to focus with Arsenal hovering around looking at one of your best players.

Young Guns has been around as well talking about the new youngsters coming in, the possibility of Benik Afobe staying with us for pre-season and also the part Arsene Wenger player in the move of Jeremie Aliadiere to Lorient. The clubs relationship with Lorient seems to be getting more serious now, maybe a new feeder club who can take our loanees? Francis Coquelin certainly impressed there last season.

I get the feeling I’m forgetting something, but I can’t remember what it is so never mind. If you haven’t already, be sure to read the latest Nick Palmer Column: ‘Farewell Clichy, Welcome Gervinho and Good Riddance Nasri?’

That’s all for today, SavageGooner

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