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Ashley Who?

Ashley Who?

The title of this article suggests that I will spend the next 10 minutes extracting the urine out of a former Arsenal player, but that is not the case.

Ashley Cole was a born Gooner, a player who came through the ranks and moulded himself into THE best left back in the world. It's common knowledge how Cole's legendary status at Arsenal diminished with one secret meeting, but bitterness aside, Cole was one of the greatest left backs ever to play for Arsenal. His move to Chelsea seemed to suggest that it was this Arsenal team that made him look good, but he has proved himself to still be a class defender as his Chelsea performances have infinitely improved.

Whilst Cole plied his trade for the Gunners, a highly rated young Frenchman sat waiting in the wings for an opportunity to prove his worth. On the odd occasion that Cole was injured or suspended (Or in the Carling Cup) Clichy's performances did more than enough to have most Gooners reaching for the superlatives, and even comparing him to Ashley Cole.

When Ashley Cole finally left, most supporters were confident that Gael Clichy could adequately fill the void left by the England stopper. It was sad to lose such a talent player, but with the arrival of William Gallas the Gooners (Trademark pending) had their fears eased somewhat. The best we could hope for from Clichy was a good, solid & professional defender.

Clichy impressed in his first season as number one left back, but was often caught out positionally and he was over shadowed a little by a string of poor results from the Arsenal.

With the final whistle not long blown in a game in which a 10 man Arsenal side impressively beat Harry Redknapp's Portsmouth 3-1, my mind can not be pulled away from this mild mannered Frenchman.

This defender, who we prayed could be at least competent enough to play for our beloved Arsenal, has excelled beyond all expectation. Not only has he improved his defensive game, but he has put many of our wide players to shame with his quick feet, silky skills and electric pace.

One thing that stands out is Clichy's fitness. In the away leg against Sparta Prague, Gael ran himself into the ground, yet when the opportunity came to intercept a pass and engineer the Gunners first goal of the game late on, his pace seemed so great that he could still outpace the quickest player who hadn't run a step all evening.

So with the beer flowing freely this afternoon, I'd like to raise a can to a player who was asked to fill the shoes of the best left back in the world. A player so full of confidence and talent that he not only filled those shoes, but wore them out, and made a brand new pair of his own.

Gael Clichy - Best left back in the world.

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

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Date:Sunday September 2 2007
Time: 4:17PM

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his passing could be better. other than dat, he's our maldini!
02/09/2007 16:21:00
Cheers Rocky. The lad deserves a lot of praise for the way he has performed for Arsenal. The best left back in the world may be a bit premature, but I firmly believe that he will be regarded as the best left back in the Premiership by the end of this season.
02/09/2007 16:23:00
definitely better than most,but why he aint in the French National Team is another story.
02/09/2007 16:25:00
Prits - As with Ashley Cole, I can't see another left back with such qualities as Clichy. Cole himself is the only player who compares, and that is obviously a judgment call, and I'm calling it in Clichy's direction, because, while I'm obviously biased, I also believe it. How Abidal is ahead of Clichy in the French national team is beyond me, but then again, I'm happy for Clichy to stay as far away as possible from Domenesch.
02/09/2007 16:28:00
This is further evidence of Wenger genius. He knew well that when Cashley left he would have an even better player waiting in the wings (excuse the pun), not only did we get five mill for the little scroat, but Willy Gallas too! Glichy was brilliant today, his pace, determination and confort on the ball make him look twice the player Cole is. Opposing fans will say "of course you are going to say that", but this is not just the rose tinted view of a fanatic, did you see that match, he's quicker than Walcott!
02/09/2007 16:30:00
I was saying the same thing Rocky to the fellow gooners with me in the match. Frankly I haven't seen much of Ashley Cole's Arsenal Career matches, but I dont think he could have put a better performance than what Clichy did today. It was sensational. He deserved the man of the match award in my opinion. the guy at Pompy's right wing was completly in Clichy's pocket almost in the entire match and he was very instrumental in going forward too. Only regret I have is that Traore would get much of a look in into the team.
02/09/2007 16:34:00
Isn't he just GB, and the dude has the stamina to do that for more than 90 minutes. He has fast become one of my favorite players.....does anyone remember how much we paid for him?
02/09/2007 16:35:00
sorry the last sentance is "would = wouldn't"
02/09/2007 16:35:00
World class. Tommy Gun also was world class today!
02/09/2007 16:36:00
The scarey thing is Quest, is that I know a guy who works closely with the Arsenal team and he says Traore will be BETTER than Clichy when he get older. The best two LB's at Arsenal.....happy days.
02/09/2007 16:37:00
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