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Clichy puts faith in fledgling Fàbregas

Gaël Clichy believes Tony Adams, the homegrown defensive colossus who helped lead Arsenal FC to ten major trophies, offers a shining example for Cesc Fàbregas to follow after the 21-year-old's appointment as captain.

Gaël Clichy celebrates an Arsenal goal with Cesc Fàbregas
Gaël Clichy celebrates an Arsenal goal with Cesc Fàbregas ©Getty Images

Anyone doubting the credentials of Cesc Fàbregas to captain Arsenal FC should just remember what happened the last time a 21-year-old pulled on the armband of the north London club. That was Tony Adams, the homegrown defensive colossus who helped lead the Gunners to ten major trophies and who, according to full-back Gaël Clichy, offers a shining example for new skipper Fàbregas to follow.

History books
Clichy delved into his club's history books by citing Adams as he countered the suggestion that playmaker Fàbregas, at 21, might be too young for the responsibility handed him by Arsène Wenger, following William Gallas's demotion from the role. He said at the club's London Colney training ground: "Tony Adams was given the armband at [21] and now he is one of the greatest for all the Arsenal fans.

'Key player'
"I really hope Cesc will do the same. When he started playing, everyone was saying Cesc was too young to have so much responsibility in the team. For the past two years he has been showing he can hold the team together and put in good performances. I am not scared of saying it but I think Cesc is the key player in the squad and he fully deserves the recognition of the boss and I hope he will do well."

Media storm
As they prepare for their Group G contest against FC Dynamo Kyiv, Arsenal are a club in the eye of a media storm following Gallas's criticism of his team-mates and a run of just two wins in seven games. Clichy admits "the results are not what we wanted" but believes his team's troubles have been overblown by the press. "In football one day it is fantastic and the next day it is really bad," he said. "Tomorrow is a big game and I am sure if we win and qualify then everything will be better."

Consistency key
Clichy is hopeful a good day against Dynamo on Tuesday can preface a "new start" with Fàbregas as captain for a side that suffered their fifth domestic defeat of the season at Manchester City FC last Saturday. "We don't have time to lose any more," said the Frenchman, an ever-present in Arsenal's European campaign. "If we start winning games, winning points and playing well, all of this will be behind us. Let's all get behind Cesc and have a great season from now on. We know we have got the quality. The key word really is to be consistent. We know, and we have shown, we can perform well, as we did in the game against Manchester United [which Arsenal won 2-1] and the only thing we have to do really is to work and to try to perform like this in every game."