Clichy buoyant ahead of Hull trip

Remember the Invincibles? Me too. Sigh. But wait. What’s this? Gael Clichy was a member of that squad and he believes winning the Premier League this season would be a bigger achievement than 2004.
We went through the entire campaign without losing a match, winning 26 and drawing 12 before finishing 11 points ahead of the Chavs. And in the Daily Mail this morning Clichy said: ‘Even more, because people really doubt Arsenal. With the young team we have, people were saying a lot of bad things about us.
‘That is the first thing we want to do. We want to show them we are a bit more mature now and that we can compete in this league, which is the best league in the world. We are going to fight until the end to make something happen because this year could be our year.’
Clichy also claimed he knew it was just a matter of time before striker Nicklas Bendtner found his scoring touch. He added: ‘That says everything for the character of Nicklas. Sometimes people can feel he is a bit arrogant and he is a bit careless about the result and what he is doing on the pitch. But he is a great guy and certainly not missing any confidence about himself.’
Neabwhile, the Sun claims Arsene Wenger has been forced to curb the confidence of Bendtner. He said: “It can be a little difficult as he has the confidence that he is the best before he has proven it. I believe a central striker is a special position and you need a special character to play there. He has qualities important in his position.
“He has changed but he is still confident in a more mature way. He is a guy who is open to advice. He can sometimes be completely wrong as he says ‘I am the best’. But if you say to him that ‘you are not the best as you have not done that, that, that’ he listens and tries to take advice. It is not a blind self-confidence. It is an open one. That is why I like him and always believed in him.
“What is important for him now is that he is not injured. As a top level player when you need to have a good run, it is important to keep playing. If you look at him now and three to four weeks ago, he is a different player. He looked out of shape, heavy running, heavy feet. It is different as he plays more. He doesn’t know that he is always going to play but he knows that he will get a chance. As long as he does well he has a good chance of playing. As well, he has qualities needed in our team.”
And in the Mirror AW says he will shake Hull manager Phil Brown’s hand this evening: “I have nothing against Phil Brown. Of course I will shake his hand. We just seem to have had tight games against Hull and the tension has been higher.
“What can stop us winning the title is that we don’t perform at our best, and Hull are a team who can play very well against anybody in the Premier League. We have done exactly the opposite of last year – we’ve lost against Chelsea and Manchester United because we didn’t turn up, but we have been quite consistent agains the so-called lesser teams.
“Of our six defeats, four have been against Chelsea and United. That’s why it is important that we continue to achieve that consistency until the end of the season.”
The Telegraph reminds us thatif  Chelsea fail to beat West Ham earlier in the day we can go top with a victory ay the KC Stadium. We have won their last four Premier League games. Hull have won just once in 13 Premier League games, against Manchester City last month.
We remain hopeful that captain Cesc Fabregas could be involved after missing Tuesday night’s 5-0 Champions League win over Porto with a hamstring problem. Aaron Ramsey, Robin van Persie and Johan Djourou remain on the sidelines. Hull miss Anthony Gardner and Ian Ashbee and test Stephen Hunt but Craig Fagan is available after a ban.
Team details (probable)
Hull (4-4-2): Myhill; McShane, Mouyokolo, Zayatte, Kilbane; Garcia, Bullard, Boateng, Cairney; Fagan, Venegoor of Hesselink.
Arsenal (4-5-1): Almunia; Sagna, Silvestre, Vermaelen, Clichy; Rosicky, Nasri, Fabregas, Diaby, Arshavin; Bendtner.
Referee: Andre Marriner. Matches: 20. R7. Y76.

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