Liverpool Preview: Nasri in from the cold?

Samir Nasri

Apologies for the lack of blog yesterday. A sleepless night and a five hour train journey meant sharing my thoughts with you would’ve been an unpleasant situation for us both. Fortunately, I am now slightly recovered, and feeling rather better. About everything, in fact.

This morning I’ll cycle up to the Emirates for my first live game of the season. In fact, work commitments have prevented me actually getting to games since around March. I watched our end of season collapse on the television, or through my computer/fingers.

The summer hasn’t been any easier on the eye. But tomorrow lunchtime, when I’m confronted with the full horror of Liverpool FC and their fans, all I will care about is that the eleven men in red and white triumph over the eleven men in whatever hideous away kit Liverpool’s marketing men have concocted for this season. And that, really, is what football ought to be about.

For ninety minutes, I’m calling a truce with my angst.  All I want to do is beat Liverpool.  I’m even calling a truce with Samir Nasri, who has been surprisingly recalled to the squad.  It shows how stretched we are when the manager is prepared to risk a £23m asset just hours before he’s due to leave the club.  The fact that Tomas Rosicky has joined Jack Wilshere, Abou Diaby, Gervinho, Alex Song, Kieran Gibbs, Armand Traore and Johan Djourou on the sidelines has forced Arsene to reconsider Nasri’s position, and I now expect him to start in a midfield trio with Emmanuel Frimpong and Aaron Ramsey.

It’s certainly a change of position from when Arsene said he was only prepared to use players who were 100% committed to the club.  And it’s a change brought about, quite clearly, by desperation.  Arsene said:

“You do your job until the last day of your life at the Club – the rest is speculation. That doesn’t interfere with your dedication and the way you do your job.

Nasri is in the squad. If I decide to play him he will play. When you are professional you play until the last day.

Everywhere I have worked in my life I have made sure that until the last second of where I was I did the job properly. He is paid this month by Arsenal Football Club so why should he not play?”

Nasri’s impending move to City has seen his relationship with the Arsenal fans very quickly and very publicly disintegrate.  There will doubtless be those in the Emirates crowd who want to vent their frustrations at a player who has reneged on a new deal at Arsenal to double his money elsewhere.  My advice to you is this: save it for when he comes back with City.  There’s no need for a negative atmosphere around the ground on a day when teenagers like Carl Jenkinson and Emmanuel Frimpong could be making their first league starts for the club.

The team will most likely be:

Szczesny – Sagna Koscielny Vermaelen Jenkinson – Frimpong Ramsey – Walcott Nasri Arshavin – Van Persie (c)

Japanese winger Ryo Miyaichi, having completed his paperwork, is also in contention and is likely to be on the bench.  Interestingly, there’s been no talk of whether or not Nicklas Bendtner could be involved, perhaps in one of the wide attacking roles.  I wouldn’t be adverse to giving the Dane a game, although his lack of match practise might be a worry.

Regardless, it’s a line-up that tells you a lot about the state of the squad and where we require strengthening – especially when you take Nasri out of the equation too.  I was encouraged by the news that Arsenal made an enquiry for Lucho Gonzalez - an experienced, quality player – albeit one whose form has dipped in the last twelve months; but seriously, why would Marseille allow one of their best players, who cost them €18m two years ago, to leave on loan?  Much like when we bid only £10m for Phil Jagielka, I think we were being optimistic at best, and naieve at worst.

It doesn’t look like we’ll be getting Juan Mata either, with the Spaniard now set to sign for Chelsea.  That’s a shame: he’s a great player and would’ve been a good like-for-like replacement for Nasri.

One player who has signed is Joel Campbell.  The teenage striker will now wait to hear if he is awarded a work permit before the club decide the next stage of his development.

It’s a huge game today.  Our first two matches have come with creditable results, if uninspiring performances.  This is a different kind of test, against the team a whole host of pundits have predicted will supercede us in the race for Champions League qualification.  It’s an opportunity to make a real statement, and give both the players and fans a much-need boost ahead of a very difficult week in which we travel to Udinese and Manchester United.

Arsene looked as fiery as he ever has done in his press conference yesterday, swatting away journalists with defiant rhetoric.  He’s clearly been riled by those hacks and fans who have openly questioned his decision-making this summer, and feels he has a point to prove.  As supporters, we should consider that a good thing.  Three good results in the next eight days would certainly silence many of his critics.

Come On You Gunners.

Gunnerblog is the brainchild of childbrained football writer James McNicholas. Aside from Gunnerblog, James currently contributes to Bleacher Report, The Mirror and ESPN.

36 Comments

  1. Me   •  

    Fuck off Wenger!!!

    The transfer window closes next week.

    One week to save your job.

    Buy, or bye.

    Its that simple.

  2. Swede   •  

    I’ve just seen on sky sports arsenal tried too loan a player from marseille, wtf LOAN ! A player ??????? Don’t look like were gonna spend a penny of the cesc money

  3. Me   •  

    A very realistic 10 days:

    Arsenal 1-1 Liverpool

    Udinese 1-0 Arsenal – Arsenal lose on penalties

    Man Utd 2-0 Arsenal

    Arsenal buy 3 more teenagers. Nasri & Bendtner leave the club.

    Wenger says that he tried to reinvest the money made from the selling of our players, but that he couldnt see any players that would make our team any better!!!!!!

    2 points from 9 in the league, no champions league, a weaker team than last year, the young team drop their heads, while all our rivals have spent over £50m.

    Oh, & RVP gets injured, then Wenger says that he didnt see that coming & blames our poor form on injuries!

    • Snethemba   •  

      End of the season Arsenal finish 6th. He doesnt get the sack after 50 mil record profits are anounced.

  4. Get Wenger Out   •  

    Why quote anything Wenger says anymore GS. The mans a proven compulsive liar and contradicts himself with each silly statement he makes. Its best to ignore anything he says nowadays as apart from the “AKB” group, the man is seen as a comical Ali type character among football fans worldwide. Despite the fact that I despise the man for what hes doing to Arsenal its also a little sad the way a once good manager has been left so far behind by modern managers, but it happens to them all in the end.

  5. Me   •  

    Nasri starts!!

    We all know that he is going.

    All this proves is that Wenger knows that we are short of players.

    Rather desparate.

    Frim & Jenkinson starts too.

    Arsenal RIP.

  6. F@bz   •  

    God is on the FAN’s side!!! Everything collapsing infront of AW. Now Koscielny looks seriously injured.

    Spend the money please

  7. Teddy Bass   •  

    Frimpongs getting stuck in .i like that.

  8. Farewell, Wegs Wegregas!   •  

    C’mon Frimmers! Let’s show the world that you’re the Pong!.

  9. Mr T plays for the A team   •  

    Song isnt gonna get his spot back from EF

  10. Gelbs   •  

    FUCKING LOVEEEEEEEEEEEEE ITTTT!!!!! GET IN!!!!

  11. Monsieur Merde   •  

    This result is absolutely outstanding. Exactly what the wrinkly voyeur deserves. And exactly what GS deserves for not calling him out as the piece of shit cunt he is. Long may this continue.

    • Aran   •  

      You’re clearly not an Arsenal fan, seeing as you want them to lose and suffer. So do us all a favour and fuck off.

      • Monsieur Merde   •  

        Ha ha ha, I don’t support any club in particular. I “follow” arsene FC for the comic entertainment of laughing at arsene wenger and clowns like you.

      • Shandyman   •  

        Clearly, neither are you an Arsenal fan, as we are ALREADY losing and suffering, up to our necks in quicksand already actually. Or did it not occur to your thick empty skull? Do US a favour, you Wenger-loving idol worshipper, and f— off from OUR club. Take that barefaced liar with you. I’m tired of his endless excuses already.

  12. Lynchpin   •  

    Not happy we lost but if these results get that sickening cunt sacked then it’s all good

  13. A Force!   •  

    So now i’m even hearing Martin Keown contemplating wengers sack.

    Did we expect anything else today. 1 fit CB and he has a record of injuries.

    Last time Arsenal failed to score in the opening two games. 42 years ago. Last time Loserpool won away to us? 2001. LMAO. Wenger’s breaking records left right center.

    We need minimum 3 cb’s. A holding DM. Two Attacking midfielders and one striker minimum.

    Frimpong? The whole world knew he was going to get sent off. Yet Wenger didn’t.

    RVP Captain/Leader? He is no leader just like Cesc. Only leader is TV5.

    We go to OT with no Holding midfielder and one fit CB. lmao

    We could be in the relegation zone next week.

    Wenger out & Capello in!

    • ole   •  

      We are in the relegation zone!

  14. Makanaky   •  

    Sincerely looking for a tinter/sheep/AKB to defend Wengers currently untenable position.

    Wenger Out.

  15. Visca Catalunya   •  

    IN ARSENE WE TRUST

    It’s only the second game. No need to panic! I’m sure Arsene will work with Lansbury over the week to make sure he’s ready for Manutd!

    • ole   •  

      Fool!!

  16. Munitionsman   •  

    this is good news… wenger is history. its bad but at least its almost over

  17. Aran   •  

    Stopping saying the AKBs, you dramatic fucks.

  18. Arsenedoesntknow   •  

    How can anyone call for the sacking of Wenger? Just think of the way he’s revolutionised the club. In a mere 7 years he’s taken us from being invincible and arguably the best team in Europe to a glorified Barcelona feeder club.

    And to think some people suggest Wenger is scared of making changes! I think you’ll find he has been ruthlessly efficient in losing all our best players and replacing them with youngsters unable to compete at the top level.

    All I’m saying is, give respect where’s it due.

    • RVB   •  

      It’s kinda poetic that the man who brought us to the top should bring us down. He’s finishing what he started. Like GS said, I would laugh if this was any other club.

    • JMIM   •  

      Respect and all that other shit aside, I call for the sacking of Wenger for only one reason, and that is for the good of Arsenal FC. The club I love and support.

  19. RVB   •  

    We’re pretty fucked. This is the turning point of the club. What they do over then next week will determine the next 3 years of AFC. Or longer.

    Face it AW. Look at it and do some fuck shit.

    I’m not even talking about the result. You don’t lose a league by losing 2-0 to Liverfools. It’s about having nobody decent left to play a proper game of football. Much less our brand of football.

  20. Tayo fashanu   •  

    The oh board should be sack ans show AW an exit pls a stuborn choach who does take advice pls 4 G od sake they should all be sack and i no dis is end ingrate nasri caria all france players who are not loyer to arsenal fc are all ingrate success fabrigas, ecuador does are loyer player did u think dat ingrate will be welcum at emirate?

  21. Tayo fashanu   •  

    If they all fail to change their ways i pray that god of soccer will down fall the oh board and team to religation bcox this so call arsenal board and AW are all useless they are cursing pain to we arsenal fans and i want dat sturborn arsene wenger to dat the clud in EPL are not looking for the success of arsenal that is why they all come at the end of every season to buy our best player and they are same club that call arsenal players inmature boys can u immagine at the end of d day they come for the inexperence in arsenal f**k den all coward teams

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