Nasri’s improvement, Fabianski’s redemption

It might be Tuesday, two days after the great win over Manchester City, but if you’re feeling anything like me then you will still be grinning like an idiot.

The post-match comments have focused mostly on the players widely considered to have been out most impressive performers at City, goal-scoring extraordinaire Samir Nasri and goal-saving maestro Lukasz Fabianski.

AFCB writer Darragh Murray wrote a great article on Nasri yesterday on the blog, commenting on his improvement from last season and his new-found scoring ability, while Arsene Wenger has echoed the same sentiments.

“At 23 years old your career starts at the top level and he is becoming more efficient. I think he has become stronger physically and you judge a player with his numbers. On Sunday he had a goal and an assist so that’s what you want from players who have a lot of talent like he has. He is quite a complete player because he can run with the ball, he is quick and he is a clinical finisher now. I believe we have a great player in him now.”

The key improvement so far this season, in my opinion, has been his goal-scoring. Since the days of Robert Pires and Fredrik Ljungberg we have been searching for a wide midfielder to provide 10 or 15 goals this season and given his scoring rate so far this season, Nasri is on his way to achieving that.

As Darragh touched on yesterday, Nasri appears to have grown more comfortable with his spot on the wing and rather than competing for Cesc Fabregas for the spotlight, has used the early part of this season to show us what he can do. His goal against City had all the hallmarks of a player in form: once the first pass left his foot he knew exactly where he wanted to go, tore off like a man who knew he was going to score before he even received the return pass and buried it past Joe Hart.

His early contribution to the goalscoring tally aside, the important thing is that Nasri can kick on and give us a consistent season. For all of his immense ability a combination of factors – injury, a new position and his relative youth among them – means he has had a tendency to float through some games, failing to stamp his authority in the way that a player like Fabregas does. At the moment we can have no complaints though: since his World Cup snub Nasri has appeared a new player and has been thrilling to watch and devastatingly efficient in front of goal.

Fabianski is in great form

Another player who has made significant improvement this season and also had a superb game against City on Sunday is Lukasz Fabianski. He kept a clean sheet for the first time this season and after four impressive games in a row the manager has all but confirmed he will be retain a place in the team despite the imminent return of Manuel Almunia.

“From game to game he shows what we see in training. Sometimes in our job you have to be steady and fight against opinions. It’s easier for you when you know the player has the talent and I believe he has the talent. I never say that definitely [that Fabianski will stay in the team] because you always want the freedom to change when it is needed. But at the moment looking at his performances you can absolutely not fault him at all.”

I am reluctant to work myself up into too much of a lather over Fabianski’s performances – yes, he has been strong, but it has only been four games – but I cannot hide my delight that he has responded so well. The Pole has to show that he can continue this form over another ten or so games before he can be considered to be our No 1 but at the moment, there is no way I would be taking him out of the team to accommodate Almunia’s return.

Sunday saw Fabianski’s first clean sheet of the season and he found obvious joy in that at the end of the game. As I mentioned previously Wenger’s faith in the goalkeeper has provided us with the potential of a unique and rather heart-warming story: an opportunity for a player to fight for redemption despite being written off by almost everyone. Alex Song, among others, achieved it after being heavily criticised a couple of seasons ago and Fabianski is showing that his career could be following a similar path.

And on that heart-warming note I will finish up today’s post – however I do encourage you to keep an eye out for a very pleasant surprise on the blog later today.

Have a lovely Tuesday.

Have your say on Samir Nasri and Lukasz Fabianski by leaving a comment.



  1. As samir Nasri and fabianski they shold be a regular stater for the team almunia shd remain silent for the time been while nasri shold remain first choice in the team

  2. i think nasiri is a complete gifted and natural player.he is a double legged player.i think we ve not seen his best.his best will be seen soon.i see this guy winning trophy for arsenal this season through his extra contribution to the team.GOOD LUCK ARSENAL!

  3. How come everyone’s forgotten the double save Fabianski made against Wigan two seasons ago. It qualified as one of the best saves ever by an arsenal goalkeeper.

  4. Andrew do you think that Nasri can effectively replace Cesc if and when he unfortunately departs? I think to replace one of the best players in the world like Fabregas there must be some sort fo combination of Nasri and Wilshere. Agree?

  5. @ Damola

    Fabianski has never had problems pulling off acrobatic saves. In terms of reflexes, the Silva and Adebayor saves showed just how athletic he is. It’s his decision making that has let him down in the past.

  6. Fabianski is great. Not just during last weekend’s match against City but also in other matches including the Champions league. Needless to say he’s been key to Arsenal’s success. I think all he needed was confidence in himself. Nasri should be given a permanent spot in the first eleven. A great talent. A great inspiration to the team.

  7. What a fantastic performance by the boys and I’m very proud to be a Gooner but going by the commentators on Sky Sports I think we upset them a little ickle bit.

    All I know is (and its all I kept hearing) ManCity were ‘very courageous’ and were unlucky. Courageous? In what way? Because they went down to ten men? Do me a favour! And before anyone grumbles that Arsenal only won because City only had ten men better think again.

    Of course the numerical advantage helped us but the way we played today they wouldn’t have beat us even if they started with twelve players. I have no doubt we will hear plenty of moans about the sending-off but the truth is it was the right decision and Boyate gave the ref no choice.

    I think hardly anyone expected Arsenal to go to the City of Manchester Stadium and win, let alone win so convincingly. And it was massively convincing too. The commentators did their best to take their shine off the Arsenal win and their tongues were so far up City’s arse it was unbelievable.

    Had Chelsea or Manchester United gone to Eastlands and won 3-0, albeit against ten men, we would be hearing nothing but praise and how ruthless they were. All I heard today was of Man City’s bravery. Did everyone think they were going to just lie down?

    I think we burst the City bubble, from the media point of view. Nobody gave us a chance and every man and his dog wrote us off. We really upset the form book.

    In the bookies for the first time in my whole entire stinking existence (that I know of) City were favourites to beat us today. Not surprising when they’ve spent a record £3456324 billion on players really.

    I really fancied us to win 3-1 and Nasri to score first. The odds? 200/1. So on goes a fiver. I think its the only time in my life I wanted the opposition to score.

    Anyway we’ve proved we can beat a ‘strong side’ like Manchester City so maybe a mental barrier has been lifted. It’s true we’ve struggled to pick up points against sides like City, United and Chelsea recently but maybe this is the turning point.

    I’m sure some people were urging us to lose today just so they can say ‘I told you so’, well we’ve stuck two massive fingers up at them and given them the wanker sign. Any doubts that we can win the league surely have evaporated. We CAN win the league and we CAN beat the so-called other big-guns no matter what the likes of Andy Gray say.

  8. For me the biggest improvement on last year is the number of players who can take the weight of Fabregas – Nasri and Wilshir in particular. If Ramsay can come back and reach his potential the picture looks even better. Last year teams knew that if they closed Fabregas down we had no other outlet. Nasri, JW and Rosicky give us those outlets. And if Arshavin can recapture his best form we are pretty formidable offensively speaking. Defence is still the big questionmark. I would like to see to a few more clean sheets over the next few games starting with the irons this weekend.

  9. i love my writer, keep up on your good work, God bless u. those guys are really given hapiness to some one like me i pray God will take away injury from them reward them with trophies this season, then their critices will be shut. once more thanks my able writer keep it up

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