(AFP) – Manchester City defender Gael Clichy admits his decision to leave Arsenal was motivated by the Gunners’ failure to turn their potential into prizes.
Clichy had grown increasingly tired of Arsenal’s lack of a winning formula when silverware was on the line and last season’s woeful meltdown in the second half of the season was the final straw for the French left-back.
Arsene Wenger’s side had been in the hunt for four trophies but finished with none, extending Arsenal’s barren run without a trophy to six years.
Clichy decided enough was enough and joined City for £7 million ($11.3m) earlier this month because he is convinced Roberto Mancini’s FA Cup winners have a squad capable of securing all the major honours.
“After spending eight years with Arsenal it would have been easy to sign a new contract to stay there because they’re a fantastic club that will always be challenging for trophies,” Clichy told the Mail on Sunday.
“But it got to a point for me where I didn’t want to just challenge for the titles only to be disappointed in the final weeks of the season. I wanted to play for a club that would win them.
“I joined City because I felt that this was a club ready to win important trophies over the next few years.
“Look at last season. At Arsenal we were challenging for all four trophies. But in the end we finished fourth and without a trophy. City came third and won the FA Cup. So I’m joining a club who are winning trophies.”
The 25-year-old did not always have such belief in City’s ambitions, but has been won over by the commitment of the club’s Abu Dhabi-based owners.
“When Sheikh Mansour first took over here there was a lot of scepticism in the game and I was one of the sceptics,” Clichy said.
“But for me, last season proved City are now one of the top clubs in the game. I have been at City only a week but I look around and see a squad that is strong.
“I know from my own experience that when it comes to the most important part of the season, you can’t just have a great team, you need a great squad.
“It was so frustrating at Arsenal. At times last year we played some fantastic football and looked as good as any team in the league.
“But there were also times when we had injuries to our best players and we couldn’t cope. If we lost Cesc Fabregas or Robin van Persie then the team really suffered.”