By Walter Broeckx
Lots of the fans are unhappy because we haven’t signed anyone yet. Mostly the “we want it now” brigade. The ones that only look at now and this hour. But running a team and bringing a squad together is more than now. It is looking forward for some time and weighing up the options and the what ifs.
For years a part of the fans have been yelling that we should get rid of Clichy. They have their wish and still they are unhappy. I kinda liked him for his attitude. He had his moments of madness, as most players have, but he always gave it all when on the field. He now wants to go away and I wonder if the lack of support he felt from a part of the fans had anything to do with is. The usual platitudes of wanting to win things could also be a way in avoiding having to say that he didn’t feel the support of a part of the fans.
But now that Clichy is gone I wish him all the best of the world in his personal life. For his football career I wish it continues like he did the last 6 seasons at Arsenal.
Now Wenger must buy someone sito presto (according to the section of the fans that wanted Clichy out). And if possible a big name. I just leave it to the wisdom of the ones at Arsenal to do what need to be done.
Let us have a look at what we have at left back. We have Gibbs. I think he could be a great left back. If only he could get over his injuries. The way he has had bad luck in the last seasons is almost unbelievable. Always when coming in the side when Clichy was out with an injury he got a new injury. Sometimes because of muscle injuries but also on a few occasions because he received some rough treatment from opponents. With 1.80m he is a bit bigger than Clichy, he is fast but he is a midfielder from his origins and sometimes it still shows in his game. But if properly coached he could be a good left back.
Armand Traore is also still out there somewhere. He played at Juventus this season. He got a serious injury early on but he still managed to play some 10 games in total. But he never really made it at Juventus who struggled this season in the Italian league. I’m not saying Traore had anything to do with them struggling. Just the fact that he came in a team with a lot of problems. Traore is 1,85m high.
Or will we have the rabbit that comes out of Arsène’s hat? And I mean a Brazilian rabbit. Because if my information is correct Pedro Botelho has been playing 3 years in Spain now and this should be enough to get him a EU passport. And so he could be joining Arsenal this summer. Botelho is a left back and he is the biggest of the 3 we have now for the moment His height is 1.88m. People might have forgotten about him but he has been bought in 2007 by Arsenal as an 17 year old. But he couldn’t get a work permit and so had to go on loan. For more information about him you can find it on the Young guns blog on the internet.
But I have found a few interesting statistics about him. Because in those seasons out on loan he managed to play rather a lot of games. In each team he has had long spells. And in his last loan spell I found out that he started 39 games in the last season. For a young boy of just 20 years old at the start of that season I think this is not a bad number. In fact I think that when he was not injured or suspended he always started. Not bad at all. And he also scored a few goals in his last season. Four in total and I think this is a rather high number for a left back. In fact he was their 4th best scorer. He also is 21 years old like the other 2. So I think we could have some strong competition on the left back place at the start of this season.
So maybe the fact that we will not buy a left back before we go on the Asian tour could mean that Wenger first want to see how they will perform if played in the first team. Because why should be buy one if we have the answer already in our squad?
I don’t know what the best solution is but I sure would give those young guns a chance before we go out and spend lots of money. Because let’s face it when Cole was sold to Chelsea who would have thought then that Clichy would be our left back for such a long time? Wasn’t he a complete unknown to all of us when Wenger brought him in ? So are we going to see the same again with Botelho this time? Time and Wenger will tell.
Oh and if it fails we still have a good left back in our squad but more on him in another article.