Clichy - The impact Vieira had on the squad

Patrick Vieira
Patrick Vieira

Having played alongside Patrick Vieira during his time in north London, Gael Clichy understood his qualities on and off the pitch more than most.

Speaking exclusively to our In Lockdown podcast, our former left back explained exactly what it was like to play side-by-side with a legend.

"Patrick was someone who, when he was on the pitch in training, I felt pressure," Clichy said. "Not because he was shouting at young players or because he was demanding too much, but just because of his charisma and the way he was.
"He was the guy putting in tackles and training as hard as anybody else so as a young player you have two ways of seeing this. Either you say, 'Wow this guy is the captain of the club, has won this, won that, if he is training like this I cannot do less. I will not be better than him because quality is quality but in terms of commitment and hard work, I have to match that.'
"Then you have those players who will think, 'If this guy is behaving like this there's no way I can catch him up so there's no point for me to train.' Unfortunately, I have seen players behave like this and have that attitude.
"For me on my side I always thought, 'If these guys are doing this, I cannot allow myself to do less.' Again, it is not about quality but it is about commitment in training. I do feel that when Patrick left, we had great players coming in, but that space he had within the team, within the club, was perhaps too big to fill for any player."

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