Fabregas’ Message For The Fans, Nasri Contract, Wenger Wants Height

I am covering some relatively old news in this post as I didn’t have time to jot down my views earlier.

First I want to look at the words of El Capitan when he thanked the fans in the official matchday programme for the last home game. Specifically, I want to discuss his comment on the home fans,

Our home fans have constantly amazed me too – I think of the sensational atmosphere they created against Chelsea, and then against Barcelona. The match against Everton also stays in my mind – we were 1-0 down but they pushed us so hard to help us turn it into a win.

It’s interesting to note that Cesc mentions three games and those are probably the only ones in which the Emirates had a memorable atmosphere that visibly affected the team.

I understand the complaints of some fans. They are not happy with some of the performances of the players and the work of the manager. But does that justify the moans and groans in the stadium?

Think of it this way – if Song is having a poor day, how would you feel if Vermaelen started sulking and dropped his level? Most fans would be furious. The normal expectation would be that the Belgian raises his performance to cover for the drop by his teammate, and also tries to encourage/inspire Song to do better.

I have picked two names at random but the same can be expected from any member of the team.

It raises an interesting question – do the fans consider themselves to be a part of the team? It’s all very well to protest against the price hike (A complaint I agree with wholeheartedly) saying the club is not a PLC, but don’t the fans have to prove that by their performance in the stands? If they react as paying customers, booing something they don’t like, do they really have the high ground?

I don’t buy the argument that this is a recent phenomenon either. It’s been going on for a few years and isn’t a new issue by any stretch. I do, however, agree that the number of dissenting voices in the stands has gone up drastically in the final few weeks of the season.

This summer provides a good opportunity for the fans to take a look at themselves. It’s important to understand that this matter is independent of the issues gooners might have with the club or the manager. Just as we would not expect Vermaelen to slack off when a teammate is underperforming, fans have to do their job even if the team is struggling.

In fact, the Everton example is an extremely pertinent one. We could see that the players received a noticeable lift once the fans got behind them. Maybe Fabregas really was giving a message to the fans. He knows the impact a vibrant atmosphere can have on the Gunners. So while the summer will largely be spent discussing potential transfers and other details, some fans might want to take a hard look at the mirror. Who knows, they could be like a new signing!

Then there is the Samir Nasri contract stalemate. I have read some unsubstantiated stories so won’t bother about them. The simple fact, and one that the manager has confirmed, is that there is a disagreement over the financial terms. Wenger said he will try to work on it in the summer but didn’t sound his usual optimistic self.

I know this might not be a popular opinion but I, for one, will not miss Nasri if he goes. Exceptional talent that he is, the French international hasn’t delivered on a consistent basis. He will not be missed as long as he is replaced with another top class 23-24 year old international player or someone even older and established. Selling the Frenchman and signing someone like Alex Chamberlain will not work.

That doesn’t mean I am suggesting he be sold. Nasri has improved a lot this season and I expect the growth curve to maintain its upward trajectory next season. He can turn into a truly world class player. If he is reasonable, the club should make every effort to keep him.

With the kind of figures these players earn it’s hard to draw a line between well-deserved and greedy. A big performance (individual and team) based incentive should be the right option rather than a flat increase in wages. Le Boss and the staff involved in the contract negotiations will have to make a judgment call at some stage. I’d prefer it be sooner rather than later.

Such a situation does highlight the complex nature of contract decisions. At the end of last season many fans were not impressed by Nasri. If he’d been offered an improved contract at that stage and his form didn’t improve as much as it did this season, Nasri would have been put in the category of players who are being overpaid. Since his contract wasn’t improved but his form has, we are in different kind of a tight spot. Even now there is no guarantee that a substantially improved contract will lead to better performances. Nasri could lose his form or pick up a serious injury next season. Just goes to show there are no easy options or decisions at this level.

Finally, I want to talk about a very interesting point made by Arsene recently.

We conceded very few goals from open play, most of them were from set pieces in a way you don’t want to concede goals. It’s something that’s easy to correct. We need to improve the size of our squad. We need a bigger variety in the height of our players. We need to be more capable of fighting against some characteristics than we have been this season.

Some fans will claim they have been demanding the same for a long time. I don’t think it’s as simple as buying a giant centre back. After all, Djourou has been culpable for some of Arsenal’s recent woes and he probably gets his clothes from the big and tall section. So that alone is not enough.

I think the point Wenger is making is that he needs more variety. If he has to take Walcott out and replace him with Arshavin, Wilshere with Denilson, and so on; it doesn’t add that dimension of height. Instead if he can bring someone on who can play on the wing and offer presence in the box while defending set-pieces, it would make a big tactical difference in some games. This is the variety he needs. To be fair, some fans have talked about this need for a couple of seasons. Of course, that player has to be intelligent and technically good enough, that complicates matters.

Considering this, I’d not mind Nasri being replaced by a bigger, stronger player if his contract situation doesn’t work out. Arsenal have plenty of ‘clever’ players who can take on the creative mantle. Adding solidity at the expense of one artistic player should not hurt the team. Of course, a skilful brute will be a dream signing but there aren’t that many around.

Since these thoughts have been in my mind for a while, I was particularly impressed by Arsenal’s reported interest in Ricky Alvarez. The Argentinean ticked all the right boxes; skilful, strong, tall, and old enough. He does have an injury concern hanging over his head and there aren’t many of his countrymen who have succeeded in England, so it’s by no means an ideal signing. But all said and done it could be a valuable one.

Anyway, there are likely to be a number of changes in personnel so it’s better to wait and see how things pan out.

I realize I haven’t been posting regularly off-late. Since some readers visit the homepage to check for new posts I thought it might be easier for them if the post appears on twitter. From now on the link for each new post will appear on my twitter page

I created it a while back but haven’t been able to actively engage with the Gooner community over there. For now, I won’t be able to do much more than sharing new blog posts and other interesting links. In case you find it useful please feel free to add me (somehow I don’t like the notion of ‘following’).

78 Responses to Fabregas’ Message For The Fans, Nasri Contract, Wenger Wants Height

  1. Wills says:

    I agree, even though I love the little frenchman, he is slightly over-rated at the moment despite his great goals. Sometimes he goes missing in big games. Personally I think walcott is more effective.

    I don’t agree with you saying that we have many creative ‘itelligent’ players. Beside Cesc and Jack who can really create something from nothing. The closest was Rosicky until he lost the plot.

    I really hope the real rosicky comes back after warming up this season. On his day he was even better than cesc!(dare I say).

    • xx says:

      Wenger is a genius, tall players explain why spain are world and european champions and barca are the best team on the planet. l knew it, this man is a genius and will win bucketloads of trophies! In wenger we rust!

      • 037 says:

        Barca and Spain do have height.
        Pique, Abidal, Busquets, Seydou Keita (Barca)
        Pique, Ramos, Capdevilla, Torres (Spain)

        All above 180 cm..

      • Tim says:

        Spain’s tall players in the final of the world cup were Ramos(6ft),Busquets(6ft2and1/2),Xabi Alonso(6ft) and Pique(6ft3).Capdelilla is almost 6ft.
        That makes 5 out of the 10 outfield players.
        If Arsenal play their best starting eleven of this season. The tall outfield players will be Djourou(6ft4),Koscielny(6ft1),Song(6ft but he is poor in the air) and Van Persie(6ft2).That’s four(3 if we don’t count Alex Song) out of 10.

      • venky says:

        Wow! You are a genius!.

        La liga doesnot have a single side like stoke/Birmingham, EPL has plenty of them, no international team in the world are as brutal as english clubs nor are they so efficient in the dark arts on the pitch .

        English press just dwell on bigging up the physicality of the English game when in reality all it does is break legs (atleast one leg per year) and utterly good for nothing – nor watching nor winning anything on world stage.
        come on man, the man has accepted the mistakes and is willing to rectify,give him a break
        May be they should make you the manager and probably you may win the quadruple and that in you we must trust

      • Wenger says:

        @ xx maybe you should take the job since you have achieved what have in football ..

      • ES says:

        Wenger is looking to add height specifically for games in the Premier League. And he appears to be looking at Samba. (Remember AW tried to sign him in January, but it fell through.)

        As for B*rca/Spain being short on tallness … (a) they’re not, and (b) 70-odd percent possession kind-of limits those pesky set pieces we seem to suffer from.

        Two decent pieces of news though: Ignasi Miquel (6 foot 4) has been included in the Spain under-20 World Cup squad this summer, and Carl Jenkinson (6 foot 1: decent for a right back) will probably be signed as the transfer season progresses.

      • willybilly says:

        plus barca domt play in the epl. where height is more important. moron

      • santori says:

        Barca ARE a short team. They ahve some tall players sprinkled in as do we.

        That said, we do not as yet possess the talent in keeping the ball (or winning it back) to the level Barca does.

        Therefore, it would help to have some height, particularly if we concede so many set pieces.

        Middle ground enough? 😀

    • edddie says:

      he was it could be his injury effecting him from producing his maxium but dont rule him off he actually is still class if he starts 14/15 games next term you will see something special hopefully

      • santori says:

        I wouldn’t wish him gone.

        It would make our sqaud restructuring that much more complex.

        Plus whilst not and out and out winger, he is the one player out wide that offers us consistent industry and creativity.

  2. walkpass says:

    Share some your thoughts in the article, esp the Nasri one. Nice read

  3. Steve says:

    Arsenal cannot lose key players all the time. Nasri has to stay. If he is greedy give him a new contract anyway. Then sign a replacement and give him a year to acclimatize to the league while playing second fiddle. Sell Nasri next year once the new guy is able to prove himself. Selling Nasri this summer will do irreparable harm to our chances next season.

    • giddy says:

      hi man? how you are another genius for your suggestion. if i was wenger i would do that in a second of reading your advice. selling nasri at this point would create a very serious negative impact in our teams chances of having success.

  4. Waleed says:

    Nasri has to stay. He will be sorely missed. Even when he is not scoring goals he is extremely good at keeping possession, holding up the ball, keeping our attack going. He is not big and tall but he is stronger than he looks, and he is quick too.
    It’ll be hard to find a player like him.

    I am hoping that it is only a minor disagreement and one or both parties will soon compromise, because it is in both their interests that Nasri stays at Arsenal.
    I think he wants to stay, but he also knows he’s become and important part of the first team and that Arsenal will desperately want to keep him. So he’s trying to get the most out of it as he can.

    And as for the ticket prices, one of the problems with the hike is that it does alienate some hardcore all-weather supporters and brings in more of the consumers who come to watch goals.

    • desigunner says:

      I too am hoping it’s only a minor disagreement.

      Interesting point about ticket prices and all-weather supporters. But would the consumers really pay such prices when the team hasn’t been doing so well? I think anyone who renews or buys a season ticket this summer has to called an all-weather supporter.

      I guess the issue is more about dealing with disappointment/frustration and channeling the angst/criticism in a constructive manner.

      • alphie says:

        i think desi u get it wrong and waleed is correct about the price…u can have the money but u r a leisure supporter….the high price knocks out a huge chunk of all weather supporter and u dont need them to feel the stadium…a thousand of them can infect the whole stadium with chants and antics and crazy stuff….i mean look at liverpool fans…if arsenal ever reached a low period like the one liverpool suffered the past season….emirates would be as dull as it could be yet only in a few games did the liverpool supporters loose the plot

      • desigunner says:

        I agree leisure supporters can have enough money to pay high prices. Point is, will they have the feelings/motivation to do so? Or will they be motivated to support the clubs that are winning?

    • Miranda says:

      Hasn’t it gone on a bit long for a minor disagreement? Since Nasri has been refusing to enter into discussions all season, doesn’t it suggest he’s waiting to see who comes in for him, which doesn’t say a lot for his happiness here and commitment to us. Of course he may not get any sufficiently attractive offers – I doubt if Barca or Real are that interested – and he may just be doing a Rooney and angling for a massive pay rise, but it worries me that Wenger has now given him such a far-off deadline (July) which doesn’t leave us much time to know what we’re selling him for and use the money on a replacement. Shades of the Hleb and Flam situation where Wenger was saying all summer that he was sure they really wanted to stay. I wish we’d called his bluff (and Clichy’s as well) and said immediately at the end of the season, ‘Right, sign or you go on the transfer list, and if City are the highest bidder, that’s just your tough luck.’

      • G4L says:

        Selling him is not that simple. He could easily refuse to sign for a club he doesn’t like and see out his final year when he is sure to get a big deal at the club of his choice. If Nasri really is a troublemaker Arsenal are in, well, trouble!

  5. Monday says:

    As it was mention there that Samir nasri could be replace.remember that it take somtime for a player to be fitt in the postion that he play at therefore u will be midle of the season before he get fit

  6. Yang says:

    Inexperienced players are more susceptible to Fan’s atmosphere for example, if home fan boo at certain young player then you can assume that his career at team almost gone. Fan’s mind affect all over the squad and even referee’s mind.

    Need to make sure keep Nasri, of cause he is replaceable but keep losing senior player is main culprit of failure. Give some bump to Cesc and Masri.

  7. Karl Smith says:

    alright man.
    You used to be one of my favourite blogger but lately you have started to piss me off with your blogs.

    First of all, the comment you made about the atmosphere is just ridiculous. Do you even go the games?? I have been to almost all the arsenal games this season as I am a season ticket holder, and trust me our fans make a lot of noises in every game. Even in the last couple of away games that I have been to, we were louder than the home team. But the players didn’t repay back.
    Yes, the barcelona game was the loudest no doubt, and I still remember when we conceded the goal, the guy in front of me stood up and started signing and all of us in that section followed him. But that doesn’t mean we were quiet in all the other games. I find it really offensive when someone comments about the atmosphere, when the person doesn’t even engage in it.

    Secondly, the nasri situation. yes, I would miss him when he will leave because he is one of the best attacking mid we have. His amazing performances in the first half of the season was one of the main reasons that we were still in the race till the very end. I dont know if you remember but he almost won the player of the season award. And i thought he deserved it more than bale. And I feel the reason his performance wasn’t that good towards the end of the season was because Cesc was missing.
    But i do, however, agree with your comment on the contact situation.
    lastly, I like the fact that you are trying to protect arsene wenger but if we hide behind our weaknesses and pretend nothing is wrong then we can never improve on those problems. And i think its our job as fans to highlights those problems so that he can solve them. I am not saying he doesn’t know about the problems. But what im saying is that, if we create pressure then he will HAVE to address them. If we just praise our players even they are not performing, then we are actually harming our players because they are not getting the message that he is not playing up to his level.
    So, overall im really disappointed in you.

    • desigunner says:

      Well, I agree my right to comment on the atmosphere is limited at best. However, that doesn’t mean I cannot notice and comment on the differences I notice even from afar. Even on TV the difference in the atmosphere at the Emirates in many of the games and those, say, at Shakhtar or Barcelona was palpable.

      You’re right about highlighting the problems in order to solve them. So shouldn’t we look at ourselves as fans? That’s just what I am saying.

      I don’t comment on individuals because I know many fans do support the team even when the players are not performing. But, at the same time, can you deny there aren’t too many moans and groans at the stadium? When a guy like Arshavin is struggling, haven’t the fans got on his back at times? Should we completely neglect that and think that all is well?

      As far as away fans go I have never said a single word against them. They have been superb.

      As I said Nasri has improved a lot this year and will most likely improve again next season. But there are no guarantees that will happen or that he won’t be injured. So I don’t think the club should succumb to unjustified or unreasonable demands. Since I don’t know the demands I am not judging, merely stating an opinion and leaving the rest to the judgment of those in the know.

      Finally, I am all in favour of identifying the actual problems and solving them. I don’t try to protect Wenger, he doesn’t need my protection. But I am against mindless criticism. Booing a player on the pitch serves no constructive purpose. Similarly, constant moans and groans during a game don’t help the team in any way. People who wish to criticize should also know how to do it in a manner that actually benefits the club.

      • santori says:

        The fans can do much better. Watching some games is like being in a mortuary when things don’t quite pan out the way we expect them to.

        I’m not expecting us to have anfield standards but we could certainly offer more encouragement when the chips are down.

  8. Boop says:

    Gotta agree that more height on the bench when 2-1 up with 17 minutes to go might give an additional option to help shut up shop. But lack of height is not why Carrol scored the winner, or Kenwyne Jones chested in a corner. Someone needs to look back at all our goals conceded and the circumstances and test various hypothetical scenarios and crunch the numbers to convince anyone to go beyond their own observations and gut instinct that (from what I mostly hear) it’s lack of organization and lack of conviction that really hurt us on set plays.

    Besides, what about the stale offensive tactics this season. Surely this is more complicated and more important for AW to sort out. We need to replace Rosicky with a new and improved AM with even better creative vision – it may be Jack’s growth, or Ramsey coming of age, but I’d prefer to bring someone in.

    • desigunner says:

      You’re right about a lot of things. I don’t think Wenger meant signing some tall player was all he had to do. It was just one point among a million he might have to address during the summer. Most of that will involve analysis of goals conceded, number crunching based on detailed stats, and devising and implementing training routines to improve the defending.

      It’s hard to imagine who will come and perform better than Rosicky while getting chances only sparingly. Think of Van der Vaart. He struggled at Real because he hardly got regular chances. But he did well at the Tinies.

      Any player who comes in and doesn’t get many starts will lose form. In that sense it is easier to have defensive players because their jobs are mostly functional. So even if they don’t get many starts they can perform. But for attacking players continuity is crucial. I think promoting Ramsey in place of Rosicky is the best option.

      • Miranda says:

        I wouldn’t take Wenger’s statement about buying tall players too literally. I think it’s the kind of thing he increasingly says to the media (and the fans) because he believes it’s what they themselves think and are therefore hoping to hear. He’s under pressure and he’s a very polite man, so he’s not going to launch into a tirade about the stupidity of the English obsession with size or point out that it was Spanish and Barca’s slick passing that made toast of teams who rely on mere endeavour and brawn. If he does buy a big defender it’ll be because that defender has qualities other than size. As someone has pointed out, Djourou isn’t a midget but he hasn’t helped us any with set pieces. What might help us, though, is better defensive coaching.

      • santori says:

        VDV has struggled physically though.

        With regards Rosicky’s replacement, I would think (if he isn’t sold) that Arsharvin is the senior player. Although your probably right that Ramsey has more of a utility role. he doesn’t seem (as yet) quite effective other than in the middle.

    • santori says:

      Yes height alone won’t matter if we keep making our common mistakes.

      Just as an illustration, Marscharano played at the back with Pique for the CL finals. He did very well in keeping United in check despite his slight lack of height.

  9. Tim says:

    Wenger has bought a lot of tall players at youth level. Now we just have to wait a few more(4-5) years……

    Jon Toral is 6ft3.Kyle Bartley is 6ft4.Szczesney is 6ft5. Lansbury is 6ft. Coquelin is 6ft.
    Benik Afobe is 6ft.Botelho is 6ft2.Armand Traore is 6ft2. Samuel Gallindo is 6ft3. Jack Jebb is 6ft something. Ryo Miyaichi is 6ft. Henderson is 6ft1.Aneke is 6ft3. Bunjaku looks tall but I don’t know his height.

    • alphie says:

      haha…nice one.we may laugh but all those players are apt technically so we might actually be seeing a revolution in those years u r saying…funny but true…kinda

    • santori says:

      We aren’t terribly lacking in height.

      Chamakh, RVP, Song, Diaby, Djourou, Kos, TV, Frimpong are all 6 ft and above.

      That said, we could do with one more 6’4 plus defender aside from Djourou. My pick Haangeland.

      I believe we are rumoured to belooking at Alavrez out wide and he’s 6’2.

      Maybe someone up front to replace Bendtner.

      No Hazard I guess although I would make an exception for him particularly if he is coming in for one of AA, Fabregas or indeed Nasri.

  10. Tim says:

    Buying Ricky Alvarez I think looks like it could be a great move. The thing is IT WILL NOT HAPPEN.
    Wenger wanted to buy him for something like 8M but his club wants 12M so Wenger is too afraid to take 4M from Arsenal’s money while we sell Denilson for that kind of money plus Denilson’s 2,5M a year salary gone. I doubt Alvarez would want a huge salary.It would be around Denilson’s wages.
    We missed out on the likes of Mascherano,Di Maria,Xabi Alonso because of a few extra millions.
    Let me tell you something, if it is the RIGHT PLAYER then 2-3 millions more should not matter. It is NOT the right business that our French coach is doing.You don’t have to be a genius to realize that.

    • desigunner says:

      I don’t know how reliable these stories are. Schwarzer gave an interview in which he clearly stated that the problem only arose because Given changed his mind. Before that interview and in some cases even after that, people claimed that Schwarzer would have signed if Wenger had spent an extra 2 million.

      Do you know any reliable source for those stories about Alonso, et al?

      In principle, I agree 2-3 million extra for the right player should not matter. If Wenger has really done that then it’s indeed a big mistake.

      • Tim says:

        Jamie Sanderson from Younggunsblog thinks that’s the case with the likes of Mascherano,Xabi Alonso and Di Maria.
        I do not know if that is reliable enough source.
        Let’s see if Ricky Alvarez comes to us in the next few weeks.According to Jamie Sanderson, the deal is off.

      • alphie says:

        i have facts to back up that wenger spends

        look at kos….around 10m+ addons(wenger was sure about him)

        squillaci….around 3.5m….had experience but since wenger knew he was taking a higher risk u can see the difference in valuation.i know there is age difference but hope u get the point.

        arshavin is also a prime example…wenger was sure of quality but no one can assure u of consistency because its a variable like life. players like messi normally are off form but because they score goals or the team is winning its harder to point it out,not mentioning when they drop form they dont look like eboue:-)

        wenger will fork out the money not because the player is quality or has potential…the higher the fee the more you get that wenger believes the player will produce the goods SOONER rather than LATER….

        players like vermaleen where bought to walk straight into the team,kos u feel wasnt to get the baptism of fire though i feel he’s been utterly superb,infact apart from being vocal i think he’ll be an arsenal legend unless injury curtails his career….he’s a killer…..i know it sounds silly but defenders are supposed to get redcards everyknow and then…its a mojo thing….hehehehehehehhe

      • santori says:

        We have money to spend and 12m is not much.

        I think we can afford one player in the 20+mil bracket, one in the 15+mil and one in the 10mil bracket.

        PLayer sales (Denilson, Squillaci, Rosicky, Almunia, Bendtner, Vela etc) could amount to 25+mil.

        So we’re 20mil off which is about what I feel we might have in the kitty.

        I think much will depend on our top priority purchase which would be a solid senior defender to replace Squillaci.

        Knowing our need, clubs might jack up the price slightly.

        That said, we should be able to convince some players (Notably the likes of say a Lucio or Haangeland) to come over for the 10+mil bracket since these players are slightly older.

        If this piece of business is done, then Wenger might afford paying slightly higher for the winger (since he can punt on the striker a little)

        That said, Alvarez should not be going for 12-15m, so I would expect Wenger to hold out and see if they come down to a more reasonable 8-10m.

        OTOH, if opporunity presents itself we say Hazard (NO heigt but he can play both wings), particularly if we have to release one of Fab, AA or Nasri, then he may well pay in the 15-20mil bracket for such a player. But not Alvarez.

      • desigunner says:

        Interesting observations/points alphie.

        I’d like to add that Wenger does seem to have an upper cut-off wrt transfer prices. While he does spend good money for players who are likely to deliver sooner, he does seem to have a point beyond which he would not budge.

        Re Arshavin, many other managers might have paid through the nose to Zenit without giving a second thought about the money. Wenger took it to the last day. I guess most other managers are not accountable for their financial spends or don’t really care enough about the clubs financial stability.

      • alphie says:

        santori …ur assumptions are too many on the transfer market.swiss rumble did some great accounting and reckons we could have around 50mil MINIMUM

        DESI…he does seem to have a limit that is tied to his responsibility,i agree but this window we all know that the kitty is somehow significant than the last 6 years plus there is maybe a greenlight to pick items he really likes…

        what do you reckon of wenger signing the defender from charlton and alex from southermpton…..i read around and found that the charlton defender is a bit versatile and all the positions he plays are the same eboue plays although i’d like eboue to stay since it seems he’s humour is important to the dressing room.

        no one noticed btw that apart from a few blippers the reason we beat barca in the first leg was because eboue and walcott went all attack,meaning direct running and less of passing….unlike in the second leg compared to rosicky and sagna

        interesting transfer window for arsenal more than any other big team in europe i reckon

  11. Tim says:

    Nobody has mentioned that Wenger bought only tall players last summer.
    Koscielny and Squillaci=6ft1

  12. alan b'stard M P says:

    he has come out and said not many changes are required. Don’t count on him getting anyone decent

    • andersonaa07 says:

      he said an overhaul of the squad isn’t necessary, he knows who he will get and expect a few decent players…He’s already identified the parts he needs to improve so i see him making a few big moves this summer

  13. Jatin says:

    ppl, how much money has wenger got. i don’t think he has much to play with.

  14. Aussie Jack says:

    About Nasri. I`ve said this before, it is a game of `bluff`the master verses the pupil but that doesn`t mean the master will win. Nasri is doing what Wenger does best `wait and see`. He has the time and can find a new club at the eleventh hour, Wenger would not have time to find a replacement so that`s one nil to Nasri.He`s hungry for trophies so he`ll hold off and see what Wenger buys in. Finally, he knows Wenger must come to terms or he`s a free agent next year and Arsenal get `zilch`. What would I do if I were Wenger?
    Call his bluff and put him on the market, but not to any of the top four.

    • desigunner says:

      Maybe Wenger needs time to see the kind of replacements he can get? That way he can make a better decision on whether to give in to the demands or move the player on.

  15. ewa jerome says:

    nasri most stay, is a most.wenger why are u stingy like dis, why do u plan 2 fail arsenal fans. sign quality players & leave all dis 18 years boys. parker, gervinho, eto,o.falcao,samba, cahil, hazard & sell delnison, diaby, almunia, sqalici,bendtner, clichy.

  16. johnny says:

    Maybe it’s just me, but I really don’t like what Samir is doing. He tends to forget that we bought him when he was only a talented player at Marseille and now he’s a regular in the French national team.
    Technically, after his 1st good season at Arsenal (I’m being polite when saying “season”, in fact it’s three/four months), our Samir is already thinking about going away. Apparently he doesn’t seem to like a wage of 90.000 pounds per week. Why? Because he wants 110.000… This seems to me more like a pretext to leave the club. All I can say is Good Riddance, Sami!
    The club can’t give him the same wages as Cesc, because the dude didn’t do even half of what Cesc has done for Arsenal. Another djerk, that’s all.

  17. demz says:

    Brilliant read. You hit the nail in the head. Why are arsenal fans so judgemental during games. Shouldn’t We support whoever wears the red and white and show encouragement.

    I remember when We started hitting form. I’m talking our glory days of poor players called jeffers, cyan, luzhny (if that’s how you say his name) I remember when We used to support players that wasn’t the best. And We still won leagues with these players. Maybe a few recent players are not playing like they are privilege to be at arsenal. I hope We say goodbye to them.

    However I trust arsene he has brought in some gems for cheap and mould them into great players. I did not no some of the starting eleven of the pass 15 years that stood out and I could go he is an awsome player. Bergkamp and a few like ashavin Campbell gilberto. Only few I new of. So all this household names haven’t been in our structure for years, We have always developed and done good business. We do need some new blood but careful what you with for. We was close again this yr, last yr, yr before that We just slip up. Like We lose focus.

    I will not lie some of our tall players have helped in the box but mistakes has cost us a lot.

    We do need changes, We need a proper leader, not because he is our best player but because he loves the red and white more then RVP. Need more like him.

    Anyways to wrap this up, i will be upset to see nasri go but he plays way better with fab. But We need more direct play, pissing and passing. Would like to see more shots and more runs. And better concentration and less errors then maybe We can win something. But how do We play against teams that sit back? That’s when We lose it. Hope things change because being a mid table team was nice showed the passion in fans. But once your used to something its hard to see it go.

  18. Che says:

    ”It raises an interesting question – do the fans consider themselves to be a part of the team?”

    I do not think the majority of the fans feel part of team and this is in part down to the direction of the club and the attitude of the manager. It is reasonably fair to say that a cult of personality has developed around Wenger at Arsenal and this is coupled with the almost them vs us attitude adopted by the team.
    Its always negative football vs pure football – completely negating the fact that there is no proper way to play football, only tactics.

    I do not believe wenger is as stubborn as people make out, however i have personally not felt as though the fans have been walking the same line these past 6 years. Thats not say we do not support the club or manager, nor is it to say we do not believe in the direction of the club, however i feel the PR at arsenal is very poor and at times it feels as though the club have a mentality that says ‘the fans are lucky to have it so good’

    Now maybe thats true, but it is certainly not good enough! It is simply hypocritical on a number of levels.

    Firstly it shows the club are taking advantage of the supporter concept … they can act like ruthless business men whilst pushing the fans because they know they will pay the ticket increases due to their love of the team.

    Secondly If the they treat the club like a business then is it fair that they moan when the fans act like customers? If you pay the most in world football for tickets is it not fair to expect trophies or at least some ‘top’ signings once every few years

    And if you demand this of your fan base at least have the decorum to be greatfull … arsenal take the high ground in every situation, turning die hard supporters into enemies and even making fans question their loyalties

    • santori says:

      I must a gree that the ticket prices are a tad high. That said, hopefully, this might change as Kroenke attempts to bring in other revenue streams.

      I would also have to say that as a fan, regardless of business practise adopted by the club, my loyalty is to the team and it’s performance on the field.

      15 years of CL footy is an amazing achievement.

      With that in mind, if you can’t stomache a 6 year ‘barren spell’, then I don’t think you should seriously consider yourself a hardcore fan.

      Aside from the opporunity to win titles, and the beautiful footy (sadly missig of late), I take great joy in watching the development and growth of a young team.

      It’s a difficult but sensible road (needing minor modification) that will only reap greater rewards when it does come to pass (and it will)

      All I’m saying is that you should be supporting a club as a whole (it’s ethos) and not merely because of titles/cups. If that was the case, then why not go support United.

      If you do support the club wholeheatedly, then why not lend your voice when needed, when we are not performing up to par. We’ve seen what Liverpool can dow ith the 12th man, I hope we can do somewhat similarly.

    • desigunner says:

      I agree with a number of your observations, especially the one about poor PR. I think the club could have done much better to explain the situation to the supporters.

      However, does that justify the negativity we sometimes see and feel during the games. It’s just a 90 minute period when everyone can put things behind them and focus on the objective – getting the best from the players on the pitch.

      The supporters definitely have some genuine grouses but they must find the right way of airing them.

  19. feygooner says:

    That’s a good point about the Emirates crowd. I haven’t attended any matches either (main toh apne desh main rehta hun :P), but everyone agrees that while our away fans are superb, among the best in the league, our home fans could do with getting behind the team a bit more.

    I agree with Johny, I don’t like what Samir is doing either. A great half season does not entitle him to Cesc’s salary. Tbh I think the top earners at the club should be Cesc, RvP, Sagna nad possibly Vermaelen (although we have to remember that he only has one good season under his belt). Then players like Arshavin, Walcott, Song, Chamakh etc. Samir should be paid roughly the same as these players.


  20. bc says:

    As i keep saying if nasri cesc denilson and rosicky left and we got schneider hazard mascherano and affelay in their place i would have no problem. Likewise if bendtner and Vela leave and we get berbatov and Gaimero. Finally if eboue squillaci and clichy leave and we get jagielka Samba and vertonghen then i will be over the moon with our transfer activity. I would even let Almunia leave without replacing him. Amaltifano is a great replacement for mark randall.

  21. Kieran says:

    I am a fan from afar in Australia, following from the age of six when I saw Pat Jennings in goal. I really don’t get how you can be disconnected as a fan paying big money for a ticket. IF we go and see my Manly Sea Eagles or Sydney FC we let the ground know how we feel about our team. I’m not sure about the home Arsenal fans, they are so quick to tear down the mood when things aren’t going as well. I go to the cricket all around Oz and the typical Barmy Army spirit isn’t reflected through the screen in the same way when you listen to an Arsenal game, you can only hear the purie Barmy Army chant of the opposition fans. Having not been to a Highbury or Emirates game I would love to hear the thoughts of the home gooners

  22. sig says:

    it’s a two way street isn’t it…
    if we see our team playing with no fight or spirit, conceding the most embarrassing of goals and asking to be substituted (hands up Arshavin) then what do they expect from the fans????

    sycophantic delirious support???

    I would never boo our team but have been very very disillusioned with the players in the last couple of months.

    Cesc’s choice to visit the Spanish grand prix in Barcelona instead of being at his club’s last game of the season is a prime example of the players not respecting the club

  23. para says:

    no international team in the world are as brutal as english clubs nor are they so efficient in the dark arts on the pitch .

    English press just dwell on bigging up the physicality of the English game

    Hooray, someone else has noticed this.

    • santori says:

      I don’t see Barca having a problem coping with physical English sides.

      That said, they are exceptional.

  24. bazzer says:

    OK – We need a quality defensive coach who will hammer it into our defenders to take command and to actually watch and head the ball our or danger. So often the ball has been delivered into our penalty area and our defenders are so worried about the opponents forwards they are caught ball watching.

  25. alphie says:

    alvarez does tick the boxes….
    if nasri is demanding too much sell him….
    height and team organization will sort set-pieces at both ends…sagna is shorter but rarely looses out on headers.

    i’m hoping all the players we buy are 6ft upwards….whether wingers/strikers/pychologists/water boys or even fans…

    this will really be an interesting arsenal transfer window…its guaranteed.

    • santori says:

      We certainly should be looking at one player who can replace Squillaci as the senior defender and he should be (if poss) closer to Djourou’s height.

      Whoever replaces Bendtner should be at least 6′

      That leaves say a Winger and maybe a DM/RB

      The winger doesn’t necessarily have to be a 6′ IMO although it won’t hurt.

      We should have quite a bit of height in the middle of the park next season with the likes of Song (6′), Diaby (6’3), Frimpong (6′), maybe Bartley (6’4), Ramsey (5’11) and even Kos (6′)…if played as a DM.

      If we want a replacement for Eboue (pending a younger RB developing into the role), then Hitzelsperger isn’t bad as back up (I believe he is 6’+). He might also be able to screen defensively in midfield and weigh in with the occasional shot from range. Did I mention he is at West Ham and should be cheap Wenger?:D

      • Tim says:

        Ramsey is 5ft10
        Frimpong is 5ft10 not 6ft
        Kos is 6ft1

      • alphie says:

        as u suggest players suggest who they’ll replace in the starting XI and y? its easy to use height as a reason without going further into the details

  26. adicuzzy says:

    nice article, good luck to Arsenal 🙂

  27. mbojosouvenir says:

    hahhahaha nice player, hello all, nice to meet you. Please comment my blog 🙂

  28. bob says:

    i think wenger should put up or shut up…..

    ie … ‘i will continue my policy and add X players and if we dont win within X seasons i will resign’.

    its been 6 seasons ‘already’

  29. G4L says:

    Didn’t we have a problem while signing Nasri initially? That too was a protracted process. It’s hard to take a balanced view with a guy who has had trouble over contract issues in the past and who also had problems in getting along with some teammates. Some guys are just like that I guess. Best to dump him in Germany or Italy.

  30. Willy young says:

    On the fans there are various reasons why

    1. High ticket prices = corporate entertainment guests not fans

    2. Stewards threw me out for standing and shouting at Kuyt when he dived in the Champions league game. The adjoining seated man Liverpool fan complained!!

    3. If players show no passion or are negligent how can they expect vocal adulation

    4. The clubs spin doctors need to stop lying!! If we play badly Wenger don’t blame ref or whatever say your disappointed and you will try to put it right

    5. Players show fans respect passion

    It would help

  31. […] Fabregas’ Message For The Fans, Nasri Contract, Wenger Wants Height I am covering some relatively old news in this post as I didn’t have time to jot down my views earlier. […]

  32. Phil23 says:

    Who are the three shortest players in our squad? Wilshere (5 ft 7), Arshavin (5 ft 7 1/2) are the two shortest, while Fabregas and Walcott tie for third (5 ft 9). Imo having the two shortest players both on the left in front of the already short Clichy (5 ft 9 1/2) is not a good idea. Having these three players down the left has been spoken about by you Desi but something that must be ratified is that the replacements must have height or be well equipped in the air. Botelho and Traore are both 6 ft 2 although they aren’t ready yet. Vertonghen is a player that would add 5 and a half inches to the team every time he replaced Wilshere. With tall players in the positions that matter, we can afford to have little genius’s like Arshavin doing what they do best, and thats scoring goals. I hope that Arsene can convince Nasri to stay but knowing him, it could all be a cover up for another player like Clichy who may be slipping off quietly. If Clichy were to go we would need to replace him immediately as Gibbs, Botelho and Traore are not yet ready for a starting role at left back. The best option would be to get the two footed Van der Wiel to play as left back beside Vermaelen. In time he would replace the aging Sagna, leaving the door open for the other left backs to step into the role.

  33. bob says:

    more wenger rubbish, look at Vermaelen … hes hardly towering but can deal with taller players for 2 reasons that the team lacks.

    1 – hes skilled in his position – a natural.

    2- he never wants to lose.

    all wenger needs to do is stop buying french whimpets and get some steel on board that wants to win…. its hardly rocket science.

  34. richie says:

    Desi I’m an old Gooner Boo’s at highbury were 99.9% reserved for the opposition, the Ref, the linesman and very accassionally the manager when he made an unpopular substitution. Booing of our own players was vertually unheard of, if it happened I know there would have been crowd trouble amougst our own. Accassionally someone would make a comment that someone else objected to and “a disscussion” 🙂 would ensue but this was rare. Even though at times we had players that were terrible, I can’t remember our own booing them. I may have a selective memory and if someone else can remind me different please do. From my perspective this phenomenon is an Emirates/corporate one.

  35. Terrence says:

    Many people, certainly those who have been bitten, will tell you that there’s no such thing as a hard-up bookmaker. It’s better if you can get somebody to read and review your articles. Earlier, gambling was limited to horses but with these online sports betting sites, the concept of betting on sports teams and even individuals has taken root.

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