14 Dec 2011

Star DEFENDER reveals: "I had phone calls with Damien Comolli..."

Prior to the signing of Jose Enrique, Liverpool wanted to sign former Arsenal player Gael Clichy to play at left-back. The deal didn't go through, and the defender chose Man City instead. Most fans will probably he think it was just about the money, but Clichy refutes that accusation.

Speaking to L'Equipe, Clichy revealed why he snubbed a move to Anfield:

"There was serious contact with Liverpool, and I spoke on the phone with Damien Comolli several times...but manchester City offered me the opportunity to play in Champions League".

"There was interest from AS Roma too, which was an exciting possibility, but I wanted to stay in Premier League.

"It wasn't about money. I would have earned almost the same at Liverpool, and a defenders' salary doesn't change that much.

"I can understand people believe that money was the key factor, but that is not true.".

Hmmm. I think the key word here is 'almost' - he would have earned 'almost the same' at Liverpool. I imagine the difference in salary is actually quite significant, but maybe he's telling the truth, and Champions League football was the motivating factor.

I'm a fan of Clichy, and it would've been great to see him at Anfield, but would you have him instead of Enrique?

Jaimie Kanwar


  1. No way! Clichy was totally stripped againts Chelsea. I love Enrique, his passion, strength, teqhnique and pace. So glad we went for him!


  2. Thanks Clichy for choosing City, I prefer Enrique!

  3. I prefer Enrique.  He is so passionate and his football shows that.  Besides he so determined to get into the Spanish squad which only keeps him more motivated in playing for us and pushing us to the champions league.  I am glad we didn't get Clichy.

  4. Enrique, in my eyes have grown massively since moving to Liverpool.

    I did think that he was a better fullback than Clichy already back when he was at Newcastle, but he has become a much better player since moving to Anfield.

    I'm actually astounded that he isn't a regular at left back in the Spanish international side, before the likes of Jordi Alba, Nacho Monreal and Joan Capdevila, all of whom I can't see as even a decent challenger to José, at least not when he is in the form he is now.

    He is much of the reason why we are the best team defensively in the Premiership.

    To describe him in two words:

    World class.

  5. How can he be world class when he hasn't proved himself in Europe or on the world stage with Spain? You don't go from playing in the Championship to world class in two years. If he's world class now, then you must think he doesn't need to improve? This kind of gross hype is dangerous IMO. Enrique is good, but let's not get carried away...

  6. No comparison - Enrique is a much better defender in a much better defence. You don't see Liverpool capitulating at The Bridge the way Citeh did; & as regards attitude, Enrique is in a different world. Clichy was playing CL for the Goons; but now he's playing in the 'embarrassing' competition - serves him right!

  7. That's not true.  You can do that, and there are examples of players who have done just that.

    Chris Smalling has looked excellent for Man U, with a couple of high profile errors which pretty much all players have.  He went from Maidstone Utd to Man Utd in two years, represented his country and played in the Champions League.

    As for proving himself in Europe, you can play domestic only football and play against some of the worlds very best players now, so whilst it's nice to play in Europe etc. I don't think it's fair to demand that to prove class.  Le Tissier was always a class act, and I don't remember him leading Southampton out to European successes very often.

  8. There have to be some legitimate criteria for labelling someone 'world class'. There are three levels of football: Domestic, European and World, and IMO, you cannot be considered world class until you have had a specific, measurable impact at all three levels.

    How can Enrqique be put in the same bracket as the likes of Zidane, Baresi, and Beckenbauer?! It's nonsense.

    Frivolously labelling players world class when they haven't earned it cheapens the concept.

  9. But there are.  Playing against the like of Aguero et al, in the Premier League is a great indicator.  He could play for Spain and not play against any top quality competition, depending on when he gets picked.  It doesn't necessarily prove anything, though obviously it makes the argument easier.

    Comparing him to three of the greatest names in the history of football is absurd as well.  How many are going to be called World Class next to those three?  Not many at all.

    Additionally, you seem to have an issue with Enrique which I don't understand.  You've asked in the last week or so whether we'd prefer Riise back, and now Clichy.  Do you have an issue with him, or are you just lacking things to write about that don't involve being negative about our players?

  10. No contest in my eyes having watched a third of the season. Enrique is so consistent, better than I had in fact thought he was, Clichy has a number of qualities, similar to Ashley Cole but has not exactly been a revelation at City to date.

  11. Totally agree world class is a term used too lightly these days. But understand why people think Enrique is a class act.
    I do not feel the World Football stage is the place to judge players no more, IMO Messi has got to be the best player ever, but I do not think he will Win many honours with Argentina.
    Too many average players are also selected to play for their countries, well England anyhow!!!!

  12. Jesus, when are people like you going to accept that different opinions are allowed?! If I want to discuss Enrique, I will; if you don't like it, tough luck. If you have a problem with that then get over it.

  13.  If Kenny had his way, we'd have signed Leighton Baines! I like Clichy too and never really thought Enrique to be outstanding for Newcastle, but he's a perfect fit for us! Perfect fits are hard to come by. He got his first game as an emergency option, was good both defensively going forward and has shown so far that he's capable of delivering everytime he starts. He makes a few gaffs every now and then, but he recovers from them very well. Sure we missed out on Clichy - but that we got Enrique instead is something we should be grateful for! Like how we got Agger having missed out on Vidic.

  14. You people?  I'm making a personal comment, from just myself.  I'm also trying to understand whether you have an agenda with Enrique or not, not having a go at you for whether you do.

    For someone who demands such high standards and lack of attacks on your comments, I find your 'tough luck, get over it' approach to my comments to be rude and hypocritical.
    You encourage discussion in these posts, and I raise the question, a reasonable question, about your actual feelings towards a player who is accepted, by a large number of LFC fans, as a player who solves a problem area we've had for a while - then you react like this.

    If you want discussion, educated reasonable discussion, then I suggest that you calm your tone a good way and actually discuss.  I noted that previously Evra and Coles lack of goals from left back hadn't stopped them being regarded as excellent, and at last read of that topic you hadn't replied, so I question you further.

    My apologies if discussing things in a discussion, and asking questions, are among the many issues you have with people posting.  Maybe you should be clearer that you want discussions that agree with your points.

  15. If you want to discuss football that's fine, but when you start moaning about agendas and pointless stuff like that then I have no interest in continuing the discussion. In other words, attack the argument, not the person. If my view on a player offends you (which with Enrique it clearly does) then argue against it; don't start trying to make out I have something against the player when there is absolutely no evidence at all to suggest that.

    And again, at the end of this comment, you make the ridiculous assertion that I want people to agree with me. This is another reason I'm not going to waste my time on commentors like you.

  16. Again, I ASKED you a question - do you have an issue with Enrique.  This allows me to understand your position on the topic so that the discussion makes sense.  

    I didn't attack you in any way.

  17. You erroniously inferring that I have an 'issue' with Enrique is the problem here. There is no evidence to suggest that; I have said nothing negative about the player. In fact, if you look back through the archives you will that I have written lots of positive stuff about him. I like to ask questions, and create debate about things, hence my Clichy/Enrique question. I like to hear what fans have to say because it's interesting to me.

    I ask similar questions about a variety of players.

  18. Sigh.

    If you readit properly,I said thatyou seemed to havean issue, which is hardly an attack, or evenreally an accusation.  It's why I went on to ASK you if you had a issue withhim.

    Discussion and debate needbothparties to havea reasonable understanding of the other persons position. There's littlepoint me arguing withyou thatEnrique is quality if you are on the same side of the argument.  It becomes redundant.  So I was attempting to establishyourposition, nothing more, nothing less.

  19. Let him be where he wants since he snubbed Liverpool. The same goes when we enquired about Mickel Sylvestre who went to the scums before we got Jon Arne Riise.

  20. I cant tell you how glad i am that we signed J.Enrigue instead he is ten times the player Clichy is PHEW what a result!!!!

  21. F*** the Clichy. We love our Enrique.

  22. Listen Clichy is completely over-rated. During his last season at Arsenal he was at fault for the majority of Arsenal defensive lapses. As a matter of fact his defending is absolutely horrendous, always has been and always will be. Enrique is an absolutely solid left back, similar in mould to Arbeloa when he was playing at Liverpool, and we certainly can't be complaining about having another one of him. Delighted Clichy has gone to City, he will join the other redundant left backs they bought fairly soon.  

  23. If i'm completely honest, i would have prefered Clichy to Enrique in the summer.  I thought both players were very well priced, but Clichy's pace plus his ability on the ball tipped it for me.

    However, i'm prepared to admit that i completely underestimated Enrique and have been astounded by his attributes.  I did not realise just how quick and strong he was and he has been a superb addition.

    I guess sometimes you dont get a true refelction of a player until you see them up close and personal game in, game out.  I love how well, and how often Enrique uses his strength and his body to piviot away from a winger and come away with the ball. 

  24. You are displaying a huge lack of understanding for football here, Kanwar.

    You could come from 3rd division in Kazakhstan and be a world-class player just a season later- although that is far from the case with José Enrique, as he's now in his 4th Premiership campaign. 

    Andriy Schevchenko is a better example of what I'm trying to prove. Average in his first seasons at Dinamo Kyiv, but suddenly he got a break through season "out of nowhere" in the 98/99-season, and suddenly all the top clubs in the world were after him. 
    From then on, it took him only three seasons from his departure from Ukrainian fotball before he was named THE BEST PLAYER IN THE WORLD. 
    And after that- it took him only two more seasons to become the most expensive flop the Premiership has ever seen, and decay dramatically to become just less than an average player when he returned to Milan.

    So I don't really see what relevance it should have what a division a player played in a season ago- let alone two.  You could improve dramatically in just a couple of months, if you do things right.

  25. Enrique is not world class. To suggest such a thing when he hasn't proved he can cut it in Europe or on the international stage is just ridiculous. What next: Andy Carroll is world class? Stewart Downing is world class?!

  26. You can't be serious?

    Zidane, Baresi and Beckenbauer represents the "Crème de la crème" of footballers throughout the history of the game.  Surely you're not serious..

    If you want those kind of criterias for a player to be called world-class, players like Messi, Agüero, Rooney etc. isn't world-class in your eyes?

    That is complete nonsense.

    This has nothing to do with not accepting the fact that people have different opinions than you.  It's just that you have stepped in the metaphorical pile of dogshit, and you refuse to believe it, even though people constantly remind you that you did.

    And you obviously are becoming quite upset by it.

  27. First, try understanding the point I was making, then you might be able to respond properly.

  28. You have disappeared up your own ar se again JK

  29. I think you are being a bit petty here Jaimie, though admittedly there seems to be some of that on both sides of the argument by this point. To highlight Carroll and Downing as world-class to expose the poster's fallacy is redundant since no-one would claim them world-class and, more importantly, no-one would claim that either have performed to the same level as Enrique.
    The same is true of bringing up Zidane etc. since world-class is a term that evaluates whether someone is one of the best in the world at that time, it doesn't judge a player against everyone who has played on said world. It is a like for like comparison. You'd best be able to judge Enrique's class in comparison to the like of Cole, Evra and, as you've done in this article, Clichy. Many people inside and outside Anfield have argued that Enrique has outperformed this trio and they've done this both anecdotally and statistically (not necessarily at the same time). Evra and Cole, by your definition of world-class, surely qualify. Both league winners, European Cup finalists and established internationals for strong nations. Clichy hasn't been favoured internationally but some would still argue his merit in this regard. The mere fact that they have been outshone by Enrique this season means that any argument that he himself is world-class cannot be dismissed out of hand or called ridiculous. I myself would not call Enrique world-class; he may have the talent but it is much too premature for my taste to make that judgement. I agree that people are getting carried away.
    Whether or not someone has had 'specific, measurable impact' in the three levels you highlight is not the only way of determining whether someone is world-class. I understand you prefix this with 'IMO' which is fair enough, but it just seems at odds with logic. Some people's talent demands the term world class. You don't necessarily have to earn it by ticking arbitrary boxes, your performances can be enough. I think your model is good and very useful, it is a lot easier to judge a player if they are proven at a number of levels but relying on pure empiricism is just as bad as being a wannabe super-scout and going on the gut. Take Henrik Larsson. Many wouldn't accept he was world-class because he was playing in Scotland but as soon as he went to Barca and United people wouldn't shut up about him like he'd finally came of age. In actual fact his best days were behind him. Another example would be Batistuta- proven internationally and domestically but never really got his chance in Europe because of his loyalty to Fiorentina. A better judgement of whether he is world-class is the statue the club built for Batistuta after about 4 or 5 seasons.
    Also the idea that 'you don't go from playing in the Championship to world-class in two years' doesn't wash. Some players do just emerge, have a breakout season and establish themselves as one of the best around. The example of Sheva was a decent one. There are many others, likely even more dramatic and contrary to your claim.

  30. best thing that ever happened going to city we got the best of the deal more than happy with Enrique.

  31. Players like Zico, Baresi and Beckenbauer were not just World Class, they are legends or former super stars.

    World Class maybe an overused term used to describe an exceptionally talented or able player but I don't see a particular problem with that as long as they have proven they can mix it with the best and stand out amongst them at a top Club. Sometimes you hear the term international class or European class but this is a term that is very loose in my opinion as well. You can play for your country if you were a partimer for Lichtenstein or play for a Bulgarian Club in the Europa Cup.

    Anyway, I have no doubt that if we ever make it in the Champions League Enrique will get the recognition he deserves and may even get a call up for Spain which is the current no.1 team in the World. No mean feat in itself.

    As for the term World Class, I like how people used Shevchenko as an example but we can go on about how Gareth Bale went from a half decent Spurs players to a World beater after making Maicon look ordinary, or how Rooney suddenly came onto the stage with that strike against Arsenal when he was at Everton. 

    Some may only be World Class for a couple of seasons before disappearing, or have an exceptional World Cup but disappear at Club level. It's all very relative. But in my opinion any player that can consistently stand out among international class, Premier class team mates or opposition (and the best of them I may add) may as well be coined World Class whether they have won trophies or accolades or not.

    I have no doubt just looking at the kid play for Santos, that Neymar will one day become a super star, legend, already being a mercurial talent and ability wise World Class already at his age.   

  32. Brilliant, as they have countered your arguement and disproved that you can go from a minor league to world class in a short period of time you have ignored the whole point of SiseMoCu's post.

  33. how is champions league going for you ? gael
    how is bench warming going in the champions league  torres

  34. Enrique is by far the best defender we have had for a while now, he has impressed every time he has step out and I would never consider anyone else ove Enrique.
    Any way why do you always keep postings crap about our player and making unreasonable comparison ...you muppet! 

  35. @Jamie Kanwar Check Anfield index for stats to date for this season. You will find that Enrique is miles ahead of the rest of the LBs in the premiership. No one comes close to him, when you consider all the respects of the game. If he stands so tall among the other fullbacks in arguable the best/second best league, then he has got to be world class. At least at the moment in current form. 

    Jamie our only argument against Enrique would be that that he dont score goals. Thats too childish an argument. You better go play fifa video games.