Clichy takes a swipe at United

In January, Edin Dzeko made the point he had been told most

football fans in a divided city support the Blues. The jibe did not

go down well at Old Trafford, especially as memories were still

fresh of the inflammatory ‘Welcome to Manchester’ poster that

proclaimed the capture of Carlos Tevez and led to Sir Alex

Ferguson’s condemnation as “stupid and arrogant”. Now Clichy has

come out with a similar statement to Dzeko, raising the temperature

of a Mancunian duel which now involves the clubs who hold the most

important two domestic trophies and will contest the Community

Shield at Wembley next month. “I understand that the people who

live in Manchester are the true fans. They are from City,” Clichy

told City’s official website. “That is a good point. I won’t be

bothered by United fans.” Not that Clichy lacks respect for the Red

Devils. It is just that, after eight years at Arsenal, he is intent

on doing something the Gunners have not managed in the past six –

winning something. “There is no limit at Manchester City,” he said.

“Of course, you have to be realistic but there is no limit. Where

they have come from in three years is phenomenal. And I want to win

things.” Observations issued through the medium of an interview

with the club he has just joined are unlikely to be too revealing

about the failings of the team he has left behind. Compared to Cesc

Fabregas and Samir Nasri, who is also on City’s wanted list and has

been tipped to be reunited quickly with Roberto Mancini’s first

summer signing, Clichy may not be quite as important to most

Gunners fans. However, if the star duo also quit, big questions

will be asked of the Londoners’ future direction. “My season was a

bit like the team’s,” reflected Clichy on another barren campaign

at the Emirates. “We started well and collapsed at the end of the

season after the (Carling Cup) final. “These things happen in

football. That is why you can see the importance of having a big

squad. “We had a few players out at the same time. It was difficult

to cope with that. We lost Fabregas and (Robin) van Persie at the

same time. “Sometimes it is difficult to have a lot of players

because you have to leave some out. But you need to have a big

squad to go all the way. That is why I joined City.” Clichy has

penned a lucrative four-year contract and is now in direct

competition with Aleksandar Kolarov for the left-back berth. With

Joleon Lescott able to fill that role as well, it is difficult to

see Wayne Bridge having any future. Bridge is one of a number of

players Mancini needs to offload to keep his squad manageable, yet

the inability to merely give them away due to UEFA’s Financial Fair

Play restrictions are a hindrance when it comes to further big name

arrivals. Someone who does appear set to stay is Patrick Vieira,

given Clichy made a pointed reference to his fellow countryman,

although it is not known in exactly what capacity the former

Arsenal skipper will remain at Eastlands. Clichy clearly cannot

wait to get started in a battle for silverware which intriguingly

pitches him in direct confrontation with the man blocking his path

to the French national team, Manchester United’s Patrice Evra.

“Patrice is a great player who plays for a great club. You have to

accept this,” said Clichy. “Now, I hope it will be a different

story. I am at a different club. “It is not the fact he is in the

same city but I am sure in France they will probably ask the same

question. “Hopefully my team will be the winner and that will take

me higher with France.”