Lessons learned, Nasri’s back + Wenger turns 60

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A very good evening to you all.

Things are fairly quiet at the moment and you have to say that’s a good thing. There’s not a lot to say on the blog because the team is traveling well and there’s very little to complain about.

Most of the very minimal negative comments to come out of the draw with Alkmaar was the suggestion that complacency might be rearing it’s ugly head. Abou Diaby mentioned last weekend that he thought the team switched off after going 2-0 up against Birmingham and Bacary Sagna echoed those sentiments following the late equaliser in Holland. He said:

“Tonight we switched off because we thought maybe that the game was over and they scored a nice goal. With injury time, we have to concentrate 95 minutes these days. Tonight we only concentrated for maybe 90 minutes so we just have to learn from it and take all the positives we can.”

Complacency is something that really needs to be avoided this season and for the large part thus far, it has. I think in many ways it was good to see the boys punished for their snoozing late on against Alkmaar given that it will be a firm wake-up call with difficult fixtures against West Ham and Tottenham in the league and Liverpool in the Carling Cup coming up next. To be reminded in a fairly trivial Champions League game (we’re extremely likely to qualify, after all) is far better than in the league so hopefully Diaby, Sagna and the rest of the squad have learned their lesson and can improve on things going forward.

One player who is an outside chance to return to the squad for this weekend’s clash with West Ham is Samir Nasri. The little Frenchman has recovered from his pre-season leg break and played almost an hour in the reserve team’s 2-2 draw with Wolverhampton on Tuesday (check out a full match report here).

I must say I’m very happy to have Nasri back. He’s certainly one of my favourite players and will provide not only more attacking options but also some deeper midfield cover for the likes of Cesc Fabregas and even Alex Song. I have little doubt in my mind that had he not broken his leg then Nasri would have joined Alex Song and the captain in the manager’s favoured midfield trio from the start of the season. He’ll have some work to do to get his spot back with Tomas Rosicky back in the fold and Diaby getting plenty of time, but I’m certainly looking forward to seeing what Nasri can add to the team once he’s back to full fitness.

Anyway that’s really it for today. I just want to finish off with a birthday message to our beloved manager, Arsene Wenger, who turns 60 today. Happy Birthday Arsene and may there be plenty more to come!


Have your say on complacency, Nasri or the manager’s 60th by leaving a comment.


18 thoughts on “Lessons learned, Nasri’s back + Wenger turns 60

  1. will be great to get nasri back and his return can only make others around them raise their game,wev gone from saying we needed to buy to now having healthy competition,if not depth, in our squad.although we still have to play chelsea,lpool and the spuds,its those games i feel where we will learn whether we are goin to go close this year,its all about momentum,when we are in our current mood we can go 10 straight victories but if we loose to spuds or throw away a 4-2 lead,ahem, we are liable to go out and struggle the next week.
    i hear people saying that diaby or deni can fil in for song when he leaves for ACN but its not realistic hes playin the best stuff in the league in this position at the moment and neither of the afore mentioned come close to his physicality or engine…so this for me is a worry…vieira would be great for 6mths

  2. Yep, Nasri is vital because he can cover for Cesc and Rosicky.

    I bet there are some who would argue that he should be picked over the latter as one of the first choice three.

    Either way, competition is good and I thought he was excellent last season.

  3. Yes Nasri ‘s return is amaizing news,Diaby need to rest, mistake mistake we do ‘nt want own goels,,,,what happen at Manchester unated game its so ashemed.

    Nasri’s come back was a plus point to our team.

  5. Nothing much can be read about the premier league table at this point. For now ManU has the upperhand espacially when Benitez screws up again this weekend.

    On towards more serious matters, Andy what is your opinion on Stan Kroenke’s intention. A lot of supporters (from blogs at least) seems to think that he’s fine wheras Usmanov is dodgy, I am not quite sure its a fair judgement because I’m sceptical about both their intentions.

    Look at Liverpool they have American owners but its becoming a real mess up at Anfield. Chelsea have a russian owner but there dosen’t seem to be any air of discontent in their management.

    On foresight I can see a takeover happening within the next two months if the American economy moves out of deficit or maybe Usmanov could buy out the remaining small shareholders and Lady Nina’s. What do you guys think?

  6. Ianinja,

    I was hoping for some enlightenment to come out of today’s AGM, however when asked about his intentions Silent Stan lived up to his nick-name and remained shtumm.

    I doubt that a take-over is in the offing as it would cost him in the region of £640 million and as he still owes around £50 million for shares he has already agreed to buy he would find it very difficult to raise that sort of money.

    The one option open to him is to borrow heavily and load the debt onto the club, much in the way that the Glazers have done at Man.U.

    To do so would be a disaster in the long term as it would undo all the work Wenger has done in making the club self sufficient. This is probably the one scenario which would force our manager out of Arsenal.

  7. Happy Birthday Arsene! Nasri’s return is really great news and he I agree he adds to our depth and creativity in midfield.

  8. @Johno, I was always worried about that scenario. Here in the US credit is a major factor in purchasing anything. Even if they have the money, they don’t risk their own cash to make this huge purchase. As soon as he increased his stake, I was hoping he doesn’t launch a bid so that we don’t end up like ManU and Liverpool, laden in debt.

    First thing is first though, congrats to Wenger the great! I’m a fan of Nasri and glad he is back so soon. Funny, I don’t remember a single month in the past when every player was healthy and available. Is this unrealistic expectation?

  9. Great news for Arsenal. Nasri would help the midfield, they’ll be more creative with his presence. Now we have two guys who can pass a ball to Robin (who should receive them, not pass them to Bentdner).

  10. In looking at the Russian ownership question posed earlier. it may appear smooth sailing, but there is a section in Abramovich’s ownership clause which stress that if he chooses to sell his share, the club would be forced to pay back all the money which he “loaned” the club. ROughly about 650 million pounds. But Stan Kroenke has a strong history in sports management. And to me appears to be someone who is more than able to fill the required boxes of a club owner. But I am still very much a fan of the structure which we have currently. Usmanov to me is not a likely replacement because he is far more dodgy. His linkages to Russian business in which there are strong allegations which would suggest were corrupt do not sit well, neither do the rape allegations made against him.

  11. Thanks for the clarification Johno and Shane about the situation at Chelsea.

    I guess the main focus is for Arsenal to not go into further debt if we ever get bought by Stan, I do aggree with Shane with some of the points made about Usmanov though I would prefer we remain self sufficient than be tied down to any foreign takeovers.

    The situation would only turn worse if Usmanov somehow gets that 30% needed to lodge a formal bid then maybe we would actually know what is happening behind the scenes. As someone who could look “from outside the shop window” I really hope the situation don’t become messy like Liverpool, West Ham etc.

  12. Well I cant wait for the west ham game as I’m up in brissy on holiday and watching the game with my best mate who is a west ham fan so I’ll guess the casino or at the pig would be the best place to watch the game. Are any brisbane gooners going out to watch the game and if so where? Would love to catch up with you Andy if you are going out to watch it? It would be good to rotate the likes of sharva, nasri and ro-sicky plus theo when he’s back and keep our team fresh with the likes of rvp banging them in for fun we will be a great scoring team like the days of pires, freddie and henry.

  13. I welcome Nasri back to the squad but i wish Arsene to play Rosicky too in the squad.

    We were leading in the season when Rosicky,Fabregas and Hleb played together.

    The only difference now would be Nasri for Hleb as with Song for Flamini and with strong Arshvain/Edurado on the left ,with VanPersie/Bendtner on the middle rather than the Adebayor(23rd pulikesi – a comedy character where he always misses the target when he shoots with his bow) and with Walcott/Eboue at right, it is surely going to be a great winning team.

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