Wenger bullish on Nasri and Cesc

A new week begins with positive noises coming from the manager over two players whose futures still remain in serious doubt.

With Samir Nasri either playing hardball to get more cash or trying to engineer a move away, and Barcelona’s desire to sign Cesc, our ability to plan properly for next season remains complicated. If we can keep them then we can go out and do what business needs to be done, add to the squad, strengthen it. If we lose them then they will need to replaced and then we’ve still got to spend what else needs to spent.

So, some finality to both of these situations, one way or the other, would be very welcome indeed, and Arsene Wenger is certainly making the right noises. On Nasri he said:

We will do everything to keep Nasri at the club. My wish is that he stays here. If he looks back he can see that he’s come quite a long way with us, and I think there is still a bit to do.

It’s the club that makes the player’s career.

My gut feeling is that if Nasri really wanted to stay then he’d have signed by now. There have been offers on the table, none of which have been acceptable to him or his massive cunny of an agent. And if he’s looking for parity with Cesc then I’m afraid he’s got a rather inflated opinion of both his talent and importance to the team.

He’s not as good as Cesc, he’s not as consistent as Cesc and he hasn’t done it season after season after season like Cesc has. This short-termism must be a real bane to those who work in football. A player who has a good spell believes the press or the yes-men that surround him and want to be compensated only for the good times they have whilst ignoring what came before and what will most likely follow.

I like Nasri as a player but I still think he’s got a fair way to go. He scored plenty of goals for 6 months last season but he doesn’t add much in the way of creativity and assists. He can do better and I think that’s what Arsene Wenger is trying to tell him. It’s whether or not the player is willing to listen. We don’t know how much his head has been turned by offers from elsewhere and by people who are telling him he’s worth more than he actually is.

It’s just another situation which proves that the modern day footballer is, for the most part, impossible to relate to on a personal level. It’s easy enough to admire their skills and what they can do on the pitch but when it comes right down to it they look at football as a job and if there’s a better job offer somewhere else they’ll take it up. We take it personally because we love our club, and with a few exceptions the footballers don’t. They might love their job but it rarely matters that much where they play, as long as they play and get paid enough.

Anyway, we’ll wait and see regarding Nasri and on Cesc the manager said:

I will be pretty clear about this. For me, Fabregas is with Arsenal for a long time and he will stay with Arsenal.

That’s fairly unequivocal and bullish from the boss but it doesn’t alter the situation that much. We know that Barcelona want to sign him, that Cesc would be open to a move if it were happening, and that Barcelona must test Arsenal’s resolve with a bid comensurate with the real value of the player. Not the value they like to put on him because he grew up in their youth team.

Perhaps one way of sending a message to both players is to bring in players that might make them think twice about leaving. If Arsenal go out and spend on quality and experience, those magical attributes that will make trophies more likely, it might well be a temptation to stay put. The whispers suggest Arsenal will be busy this week so we’ll have to wait and see but good players like nothing more than other good players being signed by their club.

If the motivation is money then it won’t make any difference but if the desire to win things is most important in a player’s career then seeing the team get better – on paper at least – could very well have a big impact. The reality is that a big part of Arsene’s work this summer is to keep our best players and making a real statement in the transfer market could play a role. Of course his first and most important job is to make the team better and the squad better but they go hand in hand. We shall see.

Tonight Ivan Gazidis will face Arsenal fans and shareholders at the AST ‘end of season review’ meeting. I suspect he’s going to get quite a grilling, it being the first time anyone from the club will have faced the disgruntled public since the end of season collapse. It wasn’t pretty back then and while time might well have mellowed some folks, I still think there’s considerable anger and frustration out there. Witness the reaction to the Jenkinson signing.

The questions from AST members are likely to be, well, challenging at the best of times so it’ll be very interesting to see/read how it all goes down. I’ll have a report on the meeting on tomorrow’s blog.

In other news the Mail says we’re considering offering Ignasi Miquel on loan to Bolton as part of the Gary Cahill deal. It makes sense in that Miquel needs to play and a season out on loan will develop him as a player, allowing us to make a better judgement about his potential. However, we’re only thinking about considering it and are probably weighing it up, having a good ponder while we ruminate over it and then we might contemplate it a bit too.

Finally, if you missed it over the weekend, check out Lee Dixon answering questions from Arseblog readers.

Right, let’s see where this week takes us. Till tomorrow.