Paul Parker

Why Clichy could be a bust at City

Paul Parker

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To be brutally honest I have never been 100 per cent convinced by Manchester City new boy
Gael Clichy as a player
. His concentration levels are suspect and I
wouldn't say that the Frenchman represents a great signing.

Put it this way: if I was a City supporter I wouldn't be jumping up and down with glee.

Clichy
isn't the same player that he was when he first established himself in
the Arsenal starting XI and had people wondering whether he would be a
worthy successor to Ashley Cole - better, even - when the England
international left the club in the summer of 2006.

His form has
slumped quite considerably in recent seasons at Arsenal. Clichy doesn't
get a lot of crosses in, his defensive side suffers due to concentration
lapses and although he looks exciting because he has a good change of
pace, I don't think he is a superior player to Kieran Gibbs.

When
Arsenal lost Cole to Chelsea it was a massive setback for the club;
losing Clichy will have nowhere near the same impact. Though he is a
popular figure, Arsenal fans will not be up in arms about his departure
to City.

There is a reason why Arsenal are not putting up much of a
fight to keep him. I haven't heard Arsene Wenger say anything about
Clichy's departure, but he said plenty when trying to hold on to Cole.
Perhaps his silence now speaks volumes.

I suspect Clichy's desire
to go has made it an easy decision for Wenger as he has been spared
making a big choice about what the future holds for his compatriot, and a
player he brought to the club as a teenager in 2003.

Clichy
seemed to want to leave Arsenal quickly so you suspect money has come
into it, or maybe he doesn't believe that Arsenal are going to go any
further.

Either way he is joining City, but it is hard to know
whether Clichy is an upgrade on Aleksandar Kolarov. The latter has been
in and out of the team since signing from Lazio last summer, and he
performed to an adequate standard, but it remains to be seen whether
Clichy will improve on what Kolarov offered the team.

Clichy was
always seen as a regular at Arsenal and you imagine he has been
purchased to fulfil the same role at Eastlands. Kolarov is believed to
be available, Jerome Boateng has said he wants to join Bayern Munich and
Wayne Bridge is reportedly one of a number of players who have been
asked to train away from the rest of the first team.

Samir Nasri
could also be on the way to City despite interest from a host of clubs. I
don't think Arsenal would consider selling him to Manchester United,
but in theory he would slip into Sir Alex Ferguson's side much easier
than he would Mancini's.

Nasri would be a more natural fit at
United and would be used better by the manager. He would be the focal
point of the side and Fergie loves those kind of players. When Eric
Cantona signed he said, 'When Eric wants the ball, you give it to him
regardless of where he is on the pitch'. Nasri is of a similar ilk. I
think he would relish playing for Manchester United where he knows he
could be one of the greats.

He would probably perform well at
City, but unless Mancini changes his approach and abandons the use of
two holding players then Nasri's impact would be limited. Perhaps he
will only use one holding player in Nigel De Jong, but what is certain
is that City do have to change the way they play if they are to push on
next season.

From an Arsenal perspective, £27 million is a good
price for two players who have only one year remaining on their current
contracts. The test for the Gunners is how they spend it: will Wenger go
out and buy experience or will he appease the board and put the money
away for safe-keeping?

He needs to be more worried about keeping
the fans happy than the board at present, especially when you consider
how morale is amongst supporters following a summer in which all manner
of players have been linked with a move away from the club.

Spending big money does buy you success - just look at how City ended their lengthy wait for a trophy last season.

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