I don’t think I could be a football agent.
Firstly, I’m just not that kind of hard-nosed businessman driven solely by money. Secondly, I’m not a particularly great liar. Mrs Blogs always knows when I’m spoofing because of the look on my face. I tend to make a face which suggests that I’m making a face so as not to look like I’m fibbing but the face says “I’m fibbing”. When she asks who left the beer bottle caps in the cutlery drawer, in with the little spoons, I can never successfully blame the dog.
So when a player came to me and asked me if they thought our course of action was what was best for their football career they would know that I was having them on. That the course of action was, in fact, best of their bank balance and ultimately best for my bank balance.
“Yes, of course you should leave this club where you have developed into a fine player and go somewhere else for a large transfer fee and get massive wages. Why? Because you’ve had one good season, dammit, and if that’s not proof you’re one of the best players in the world then I don’t know what is. What? Don’t be silly. Why would you have to prove yourself over more than one season. You’re being stupid now. Best player in the world deserves best player in the world wages. Trust me”.
And thirdly, I don’t have that thing they all seem to have where they don’t mind making themselves look, well, a bit silly. They’re not stupid, they know how to play the game and all, but modern football fandom means fans can express their opinions, very publicly, very easily. If not on blogs, then on Twitter etc, and I suspect that the massive, massive cunt that is Nasri’s agent isn’t blind to what’s going on.
I haven’t looked, as it often depresses me to see what people say to footballers on Twitter, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if a fair number of Arsenal fans sent messages @nanas08 to express their dissatissfaction with his current situation. He would then have told his agent who then decided to change tack a bit and try and take the focus away from the money side of things.
This story in the Guardian has a distinct whiff of that to it, where it’s suggested that Nasri is waiting to see what Wenger does in the transfer market before he decides whether or not to sign. It’s certainly plausible, the old ‘waiting for the club to show their ambition’ thing. And in the current Arsenal climate it’s a fairly safe one to go with. However, the more cynical amongst us would be suspicious of the timing of such a story, perhaps thinking this was a way of placating those who think the Nasri issue is all about money. Which, of course, it is.
The whole situation is close to becoming an Adebayorian farce, whereby the player and agent misjudge the goodwill amongst fans to tolerate such brinksmanship. Back then Adebayor had a brilliant season, worked his hole off, and then he went and spoiled it all by saying something stupid like ‘Give me a massive pay rise or I’ll leave. No, wait. I didn’t say I’ll leave. But I want to leave. Except I never said that. Only to the foreign press. I want a transfer. Or a pay rise. Or both”.
In the end his final season at the club was horrendous. He’d lost the support he’d built through his performances, the cynical badge kissing during the Emirates Cup went down like a dose of the scuts in a spacesuit, and in the end there was nowhere to go but somewhere else. Thankfully City’s millions rescued us from each other.
I don’t see the Nasri situation as quite that bad but we’re heading down a dangerous road at the moment. Fans aren’t stupid, we know when damage limitation is being carried out, and we know that when a player has been offered a new contract for months and months without it being signed then he’s clearly not fully commited to the club. And that’s fine, we can deal with that. As I said yesterday, players come and players go, but don’t take us for idiots.
Nasri may well decide that he’s going to sign and if he does, great. I think it’d be better if we held on to our better players and Nasri is one of those, but the longer this goes on, and the more mixed the signals he and his agent put out there, the more danger there is of serious damage being done to his relationship with the fans. Times are turbulent enough as it is, we all want things to be ‘put right’ this summer, and a player publicy agitating, either for a move somewhere else or for another few thousand a week of on top of the alleged £90,000 on offer, is not going to win many friends.
I think the club are absolutely right to have put a deadline on things. We cannot engage in another summer long saga, we cannot let it get to a point where we let a player we spent £13.5m on leave for free, so there will come a time when we’ll say ‘Thank you for your service, you’re transfer listed’. Ideally Nasri will sign before that, ideally he’ll then develop further (remembering he’s just 23) and will add more consistency to his game. A full season like the 6 months he had is the next step. Ideally.
Whatever happens I just hope it’s done sooner rather than later so we can tick the box as one of the jobs done this summer and move on with the rest of what needs to be done.
In this morning’s transfer guff, The Mail is the one with all the Arsenal stories. Apparently we’re battling with Man City over the £8m ‘bargain’ signing of Gervinho from Lille. Why on earth would Man City be interested in any kind of bargain? I don’t get it. Also, is it just me or does Gervinho have the biggest forehead in history? Does he score many headers?
And also in The Mail a story about Blackburn’s Phil Jones and a four way between us, City (of course), United and Liverpool. He’s certainly highly thought with lots of potential of but he’s hardly the experienced centre-half this team badly needs.
Finally for today, is this the most pointless article of all time? I think it is you know.
Ok, contract shirkers, have a good one. More tomorrow.