Gael Clichy Takes Blame For Arsenal Downfall

The French full-back believes the Gunners must raise their game to get their season back on track...
Arsenal left-back Gael Clichy has admitted that standards have indeed slipped at Emirates Stadium and has stated that mistakes have been made by Arsene Wenger's young guns.

The Gunners currently lie in fifth and are fighting for a place in the Champions League next year, with the likes of Aston Villa and Everton threatening to take fourth spot away from the north London club.

The club have struggled badly against the weaker sides in the Premier League this season, with losses to Hull City, Fulham and Stoke City effectively killing off their title challenge for this term.

Clichy claims that the Arsenal team have lost confidence this season, and this has led to a dramatic downfall in comparison to previous seasons.

Speaking to The Observer, Clichy said, "I cannot hide from that, I've made a lot of mistakes this time.

"When you lose confidence, that happens, and it has cost us points.

"All I can say is I am committed to the club, that I give 100 per cent every day in training and in games. I will continue to give everything."

Amazingly, Clichy is refusing to give up on this year's title dream, and has used the Gunners' title win during the 1998 Premier League and FA Cup double as backup for his claim.

During the 1997/1998 season, the Gunners clawed back a massive 11 point lead held by Manchester United, and after ten straight wins handed them their first Premier League crown.

"This club has been in the Champions League for the past 10 years and we can't afford not to get in," added the 23-year-old.

"We still have time. It is starting to run out but even today the boss has been telling us we can win the title, that we have to keep believing.

"In my case, he didn't have to remind me what happened before (in 1998). Any player who plays for Arsenal should know because it was an amazing achievement.

"The fact that it has been done once gives you encouragement. We have to go for it."

Nick Turner, Goal.com

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