Archive for May, 2008

Next week: Nasri in, Hleb out

Add comment May 24th, 2008

With the breaking news that Hleb’s agent has secured him a move away from Arsenal, it has become very clear that Samir Nasri is viewed as the Belarussian’s replacement. Those quotes from the agent include the sickening suggestion that Hleb might find it unable to perform as well for Arsenal were he denied a move. I can’t be the only fan who’ll be glad to see the back of the gutless bottler.

Hopefully we recoup enough money for Hleb to make sure that we still have plenty of cash left after bringing in Nasri. As Gilberto (who looks increasingly like staying) intimates, we need more signings to recover from the undoubted blow of losing half our first-choice midfield.

Next week could be very interesting indeed…

Today’s Audio Blog + The Real Reason Nasri hasn’t signed

1 comment May 23rd, 2008

I haven’t had time to write a blog today, but that doesn’t mean you don’t get your daily dose of my Arsenal-based ramblings.  Only difference is, you’ll have to listen to them rather than read them.  Check out today’s arsecast to hear me natter on about Nasri, other possible transfers, and the Champions League Final.

Speaking of Nasri, you may have noticed he’s yet to officially become an Arsenal player.  I can’t imagine this has helped.

Don’t forget though, just because it hasn’t been announced doesn’t mean the deal hasn’t happened…

See you tomorrow.

Nasri on the horizon; Moscow thoughts

Add comment May 22nd, 2008

Nasri representing FranceSamir Nasri’s agent has admitted that his client is considering an offer from Arsenal:

“We are not in a hurry. It is true that we are examining an offer from Arsenal, which is interesting for Samir Nasri from a sporting point of view. But I have also received other offers.”

The reason they’re “not in a hurry” is probably that the deal is very close to completion already – from what I hear Nasri could be an Arsenal player by the end of the week.

If the deal is delayed at all, I imagine it might be connected to the fact that Marseille may be loathe to give the ‘OK’ for the deal until they have secured Nasri’s replacement: Hatem Ben Arfa, of Lyon.

Nasri might not be the only Frenchman arriving this week, with 17-year old midfielder Francis Coquelin set to sign.  Arsene also apparently has an interest in PSG midfielder Clement Chantome, who would be a somewhat underwhelming replacement for Mathieu Flamini.

Last night saw Manchester United beat Chelsea in the Champions League Final.  Now yesterday I laid my cards on the table and admitted I wanted a Chelsea victory.  And on balance of play, I reckon they deserved it – alas, it wasn’t to be.

The penalties themselves were, fittingly, much like a game of Russian Roulette.  Amusingly, it was a game of Russian Roulette in which the heads of Cristiano Ronaldo, John Terry, and Nicolas Anelka all exploded as the despised trio missed.

I don’t have much more to say about the game, other than to commiserate my Chelsea-supporting family members, of which there are several.  After the pain of Paris, I know how they feel.

But what the result does mean is that we still have the chance to be the first London side to win it.  Starting now.  Come on Arsenal.

Nasri: More of the same or something different?

1 comment May 21st, 2008

With stories about Samir Nasri’s potential move to Arsenal spring up all over the web, I thought it might be worth considering if Nasri is really what we need.

For a couple of years now, Arsenal fans have been desperate for Arsene to sign a wide player. Many thought that Carlos Vela would solve that problem on our left-flank, but Le Boss recently revealed he sees the Mexican as a striker.

Nasri, though, is not a traditional winger. In fact, he’s from the same mould as Tomas Rosicky and the man he could replace at the Emirates, Aleksandr Hleb. He is a playmaker, happiest in a central role off the striker(s), but also able to play wide at a push. In many ways, Nasri’s countryman, Hatem Ben Arfa, would be a more suitable signing – he has the pentrative pace and direct running we have lacked in recent seasons. Perhaps the emergence of the fleet-footed Theo Walcott is what has led Arsene to opt for a more creative player like Nasri. I can’t pretend to know what’s in Arsene’s head. But if I had to choose now, I think I’d plump for Ben Arfa.

Update #1: L’Equipe claim that a £12m deal for Nasri is agreed, and that he could even sign a four-year contract later today.   I have to say, they rarely get it wrong.  Looks like our first signing of the Summer could be imminent.

Robin van Persie insists he will be ready for Euro 2008. His coach, Marco Van Basten, is more cautious:

“I do not want to take a risk with Robin.”

In that case, might I suggest something like this.

Champions League Final tonight. I’ve thought about it a fair deal, and I think… *gulp* I want Chelsea to win.

Why? Well, United are The Old Enemy. I despise Ferguson but am indifferent about Grant. And as much as I loathe Ashley Cole (Update #2: Thankyou Claude Makelele, thankyou), I think I might find Ronaldo equally detestable. United deserve to win it, and I would chuckle if they lost it to a side who for much of the season have been regarded as a rich man’s plaything.

We’ll know if I backed the right horse soon enough…

Gunnerblog ‘understands’ + Our 6’2″ Brazilian left-back

Add comment May 20th, 2008

There isn’t much actual news about, but after yet more mumblings from the French press, the Samir Nasri story seems to have taken on a life of it’s own.  Now the BBC ‘understands’ our interest to be concrete.  At the BBC, ‘understanding’ something basically means guessing at it when the odds are stacked heavily in your favour.  For example:

Gunnerblog understands that tomorrow it will be Wednesday.

Then tomorrow, when it is Wednesday, I can claim I broke the story.  Clever, eh?

(Disclaimer: If indeed tomorrow it is Wednesday, that does not neccessarily mean that Nasri will sign.  It doesn’t work like that.)

Young Guns, who should be commended for producing a lot of quality specialist material, have a piece on our 6’2″ Brazilian left-back, Pedro, who has been described as a “giant Roberto Carlos”.  Whilst I’m sure that description would make calling Alex Song ‘The New Pele’ seem reserved, it’s good to know that the production line of young talent is as long as Arsene’s spindly legs.

My brother is in Moscow as we speak.  Sadly, it’s not on a mission to assassinate Ashley Cole: he’s Chelsea fan.  Till tomorrow.

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