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April Player of the Month

Though it has been a disappointing month, this month there is a concundrum surrounding the player of the month award. The oft criticised Adebayor has hit seven goals, including strikes at Anfield and Old Trafford. Cesc Fabregas continues to sparkle with three more assists and a pass completion rate unrivalled in the Premiership. He also deservedly picked up the PFA Young Player of the Year award this month. Of course, Theo Walcott has announced himself on the scene with some scinitiliating displays, underpinned by an eighty yard run and assist at Anfield.

Perhaps ironically, my selection has been in the running every month bar the last two. One of the Gunner quartet making the PFA Team of the Year, Gael Clichy has once again shown remarkable form this month. Gael has played in every single one of Arsenal's Premiership matches. Again, it is with some irony that the only minutes of the Premiership campaign Gael has not underseen arrived this month when he started the Liverpool league game as a substitute. The amount of energy he has summoned up in light of these statistics is simply remarkable. The guy simply plays like a locomotive, in perpetual motion at times. To start with he is quicker than 99% of Premiership footballers, but he does not seem to tire, which means that in the final stages of a game his pace becomes a real defensive and offensive weapon. Coupled with an instiable hunger, Clichy is integral to Arsenal's attack and defence.

He appears to have worked on his once weak delivery and his crossing has added a string to Arsenal's attacking bow with Adebayor and Bendtner in the middle. Arsene Wenger has been effusive in his praise of Clichy over the last week, saying, 'I am very positive with Gael because he loves the game and, every day after training, he's out there practising to improve,' Wenger said.

'There was a question mark about whether Gael would last the season - but he has played more games than anyone else.

'He had three operations on his metatarsal and he had already undergone hernia surgery, and we were concerned over whether he would be capable to absorb so many games with such a slight frame.'

Amazingly, and to Arsenal's benefit, 'Mystic' Raymond Domenech continues to eschew Clichy in favour of the dire Abidal for the French national team. This month has seen Gael basically continue to be himself, but in a tiring team low on morale, he has managed to look fresh and hungry- despite having put in more shifts than any other player. The defeat at Old Trafford springs to mind. United versus Arsenal is a high octane game swelling with world class talent, Gael looked the biggest talent on show. Arsene takes up the story, 'When you see the game he produced at Old Trafford, you think 'oh, there's more in the locker, because he takes more responsibility'.

'It was a top-class performance, not only football wise but character - he showed a non acceptance of the defeat when we were down 2-1. He was the one who really moved forward.' Picking up on the theme of character, Clichy made an horrednous error at St. Andrews back in February that was probably the catalyst for our alarming slump. But he has not allowed it to get him down and continued to shine. Clichy has still yetb to open his Arsenal account, but when he does, you can bet your life it will be the most popular goal of the season. So here's to Hurricane Clichy, Arsenal's best performer in April and someone who will certainly be on a lot of minds for the player of the season award- mine very much included.LD.






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The Journalist

Writer: Tim Stillman Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday April 30 2008

Time: 1:23PM

Your Comments

Best left back in the Prem.
Tiny T
Hurricane Clichy - thats an apt sobriquet. To get on with the game and not let past errors faze you is a sign of genuine class and mental strength. He's the player of the month for sure.
Amos.
oh how we've missed cashley!!!! seriously though this guy is top draw, and to be honest the longer that idiot domenech leaves him out the french team the better it will be for us. he could do with a break over the summer (not that you can tell that mind you)! my player of the year no question, and that's no mean feat when you consider the performances of cesc and ade over the season
Labwam
A great player of the month choice. As Amos pointed out, to not let errors get to you is a true mark of mental strength. He's been one of our best and most consistent players of the season, and I believe he is not far away from getting a well deserved place in the French team.It's also great to see his great efforts this season well rewarded with a spot in the PFA team of the year. A definite contender for player of the season. :)
Cheese.
I've been reading Rivoire's bioraphy of Wenger (highly recommended, btw, great stuff) and the section I read last night was coincidentally about how Arsene presuaded Clichy and his parents to choose Arsenal instead of all the French clubs bidding for him at the time. Clichy was so shocked to discover Arsene's interest in him, he was playing in a 3rd division French club after all. But Arsene had tracked him for a very long time and was determined to get him. Arsene flew to France to take Gael and his parents personally to dinner. Gael says that neither he nor his parents had planned for him to leave France because they wanted him to move up in the French leagues and there were several big French clubs bidding for him. They listened to all these offers but Gael couldn't get Arsene's talk at that dinner out of his head and finally decided on Arsenal. Great choice for player of the month. And Domenech should use Evra, let the mancs suffer. Leave Clichy alone.
jaelle
What's not to love in a player like this? Gael is visibly improving too! He's raised the bar so high that when he makes a solitary mistake we are shocked. His mistake at Birmingham was painful but totally forgiveable in light of what else he's given us day in day out.
Andy-bayor
To be fair, he made a couple of other mistakes too, but a fantastic season so far, and a terrific month. It was a heart warming to see Clichy with a lung busting run in the dying minues of the ManU game which epitomised him as a player.
prits
His mistake is totally forgiveable but at the same time was probably the mistake which cost us the title. I love him anyway
paul_ownz
Ashley Who? Nuff said....
Gael-Force
Surnames Tweedy ins't it?????
Tiny T
 

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