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Clichy changes his game

Left back Gael Clichy has come in for a fair amount of criticism for some sub-standard performances earlier in the season. In recent games he has shown much greater control and command and without wishing to tempt providence looks to be back to something like his best form.

In a web interview he attributes part of his early difficulties to the change of playing formation adopted this season. The difference between the 4-4-2 formation that he had become familiar with and the 4-3-3 we currently employ means that for the full backs the wide player is much further forward. This means, according to Gael, that it is harder to overlap him.

"You have to run maybe 40 metres without the ball to get anywhere near to him and by then he may have passed the ball or gone inside already" he explains "With 4-3-3 it`s all about choosing when to go and when to stay, rather than just going for the sake of it."

The first few games with this system Clichy admits to finding difficult as he tells us "I`m the kind of player who always tries to give 100 per cent, even if I know I`m not going to get the ball I go because I can take a player with me and that will open space for the midfield."

Overall the new system has benefits though as the left back now feels that as a unit they are stronger and more solid than when playing 4-4-2. He feels it has given him more to think about as now he has to take more care and is forced to focus on his defending to a greater extent than under the previous playing style.

Both he and Sagna won the PFA`s acknowledgement as the PL`s best full backs the season before last. The change in system since then has called for them to adapt their play somewhat but the greater experience will benefit them both. "Your qualities are pace, anticipation and left foot" he was told by Wenger "Improving those qualities will make you a better player"

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The Journalist

Writer: Amos Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday March 17 2010

Time: 12:02PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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He should change his name too, Gay El Clichy is a description, not a name. The same could be said for Fabric-ass, Ars-havin, and Ars-ene. All you need now is to sign Butt and you'll have all the bums in the PL!! Seriously though, I loathe and respect Wenger, his system is almost perfection, "Your qualities are pace, anticipation and left foot"... beautifully simple! I can't wait until he leaves!!
Arsson Finga
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17/03/2010 12:34:00

You had to register a new user name just to make poor butt jokes? I can understand your embarrasment though.
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17/03/2010 12:47:00

His form loss was worrying - probably because we've become too impatient to wait for someone to recover but hopefully he'll now start heading back in the right direction. He's had a few incomprehensible lapses of concentration before that cost us points, but watching him now, you get a feeling that he's trying harder to do the right thing. You can't doubt he has a good head and decent attitude, which when added to his ability, bodes well for him. Now if he could swallow a book about crossing and practise that a bit more, he would be headed for perfection!
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17/03/2010 14:04:00

Is arrson finga the reincarnation of KB71?
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17/03/2010 14:14:00

No, please no more KB71!
Sir Henry
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17/03/2010 14:25:00

Gael is one of our injured players who are re-gaining some form now and this is why we can finish strongly. We should avoid any burnout that may happen to the likes of Chelsea and Man U given that half our squad seems to have only played for part of the season. Going off subject a little bit, I would be interested to know that if we ended the campaign without winning anything, do we consider this season to be a success or a failure?
Sir Henry
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17/03/2010 14:34:00

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17/03/2010 14:37:00

you can attribute a bunch of losses/goals to clichy getting caught too high up the pitch this season, but to be fair the same can be said of traore when he has been covering, it is definately the system that needs to be adapted to - and without song tracking back and covering we've been exposed too many times down that side of the pitch - looks like he is adapting nicely now tho
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17/03/2010 15:07:00

good question sir, i don't think it's that simple to answer. at the beginning of the season most experts were sure we'd drop out of the top 4 and we fell out of the title race twice. Now we're still right up there, and in the quarter finals of the CL, furhter then Chelski. That's success in a way. But if you look how far we've come and the quality the team has, it would be failure not to win anything. What's certain is that the disappointment would be greater now if we finish second than a few months ago.
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17/03/2010 15:10:00

Clichy has been really solid, and arguably our best player since the liverpool game.
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17/03/2010 16:34:00

I remember Man Busted, and others, targeting Clichy heavily with some success and it hurt to witness as the man bleeds Arsenal and is a beast for us when on top of his game. Without that weakspot in our defense the only person the opposition can target is the human mountain Campbell, so i pity them as we have seen as with Zayatte even the big ********s won't win against him.
Sir Bobo
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17/03/2010 19:22:00

It's good to see that Clichy is coming back into form, as we will need him to be on at his best. As each game until the end of the season is a must win for us.
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18/03/2010 05:22:00

I don't think Clichy's crossing is too bad, i'm a lot more concerned about Sagna's crossing then Clichy's. He seems like a good lad and you can tell he always tries his heart out. Seeing him in good form is excellent.
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18/03/2010 10:50:00

Completley unrelated topic, but did anyone see that P-Diddy is interested in buying Crystal Palace? Who would've thought that the guy who got Notorious B.I.G famous, a NYC 'Gangsta', watched the English 2nd Division? ...Sorry, 'Championship' Division.
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19/03/2010 02:25:00

Sagna's crossing has been excellent over the last couple of months in my opinion, just look at the Hull game for example, I remember a distinctly good cross he put in between the goalkeeper and defenders that caused quite a lot of panic, but Bendtner was unable to get to it.
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19/03/2010 19:19:00

Clichy is certainly getting back some of his good form, although I think his decision making still leaves a lot to be desired. He attacks the ball in the middle of the pitch, which is good if he wins the ball, but if he loses it, he leaves a huge gap open for the winger to run into. we've conceded a couple of goals like that earlier, but it does look like Clichy is taking the less risky approach recently.
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19/03/2010 22:59:00


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