Sunday, March 8, 2009

On Gael Clichy

"We talk as players and we understand the frustration of the fans and it's their right to express themselves. I'm not saying I totally agree with them but.... when the results are not as you want, then the frustration is there."

- Gael Clichy, who's nicer than Ashley C*le

Most match days, there's a ten year old kid hiding under the bench in the middle of the Arsenal dressing room. His name's Robbie, and he crawls under there so he can watch the Arsenal players prepare for games, listen to Wenger's pre-match address, and steal the players' wallets when they're out on the pitch.

One day, he stays behind. It's a horrible match, and the Arsenal are listless and shoddy again. Around the 80th minute, when Robbie's biting Adebayor's gold chains to make sure it's real, the sound of crying and sobbing fill the corridor. Robbie's only got a few seconds to throw Adebayor's bling back into the pile of faux-gangster crap and duck back under the bench.

It's Eboue, and he's crying.

A few minutes later, Gael Clichy enters the room and embraces Eboue in a big bearhug.

"Let it out, mon ami."

"They were so nasty, Gael. Why, why are people booing me? Mr Wenger calls me the Pass Master. Why don't the fans love the Pass Master?"

"They're not booing you, Manu... they're, um, they're cheering you on. They're, um, saying E-boo-ee."

"Really, Gael?"

"Really, E-boo-e."

Robbie's nauseated by what he's watching, but then, at least he didn't have to watch the football match. That would've been much, much worse. He thinks Gael's a nice guy, though, to comfort Eboue like that.

Like Robbie, I can kind of see Gael Clichy as a diplomat. He's a networker. He's the kind of guy who mends fragile psyches and pumps up battered egos. He tries to get everyone to get along, and most of the time, his words are sugar sweet and comforting as molasses.

In the above article, Clichy's trying to explain that Wenger's an amazing manager, that success is just around the corner, and that we're better off with Wenger than without. And he makes it all sound quite reasonable - despite the fact that we're 5th and have a serious problem with the quality and quantity of the squad. But when it comes out of Clichy's mouth, it don't sound so bad. One bad season out of thirteen (?) is pretty good.

But I have to say, I think that booing is counter-productive. I never understood why people would pay that much money to watch a football game, and then boo the players off the field. It just leaves a nasty taste to the mouth. I mean, try and be happy when you're watching the Arsenal. It's an amazing experience, and booing tarnishes it.

Anyway, it hurts the booer much more than the (E)booee.

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