Gael Clichy spent eight seasons at Arsenal under the tutelage of Arsene Wenger before moving to Manchester City last July. He does not occupy the same pantomime villain role as Samir Nasri or Ashley Cole, however, because he is not gloating and disrespectful like those two. He seems to appreciate what Arsenal and Wenger did for him and his career.
Two weeks ago at the Etihad stadium, the tunnel camera showed Wenger going past Clichy without acknowledging him and much was made of it in the press. Clichy denies that there is any rift or bad feeling however, stating that his response of ” it’s only been
nine years,” was just a joke to his friend Joleon Lescott.
“But of course when I saw (Wenger) after the game, I shook his hand and later sent him a text. I don’t have to tell Arsene Wenger how much I respect him or how much I owe him. He knows this and I know it.
“He doesn’t need to prove anything to anyone. He brought so many new thins to England and made certain players- like Henry, who was the best in this country for years.
“This is a club that is always competing in the Champion’s league with young players- and they reach many quarter finals. People don’t realise this achievement because they want trophies, but he has done so much.”
Clichy also talked about his first season with Arsenal, the `Invincibles` year. Clichy says that he never appreciated the magnitude of it at the time, being a teenager, but Thierry Henry told him that it might be his only title ever and that plasyers like Alan Shearer had only got one.
Clichy was in dreamland when he moved to Arsenal, stating that playing with players like Henry, Bergkamp, Viera and Campbell was all he cared about. Now he has got a very level head and enjoys whatever comes, but he will always have a place in his heart for Arsenal and Arsene Wenger.