Sunday, April 21, 2024

Stuff about Cesc, Nasri, Nick and dolphin heads

I don’t know about you but I think we’ve had enough in-depth analysis of the team, for now at least. Today I shall content myself with superficial remarks and pithy observations.

Lots of headlines this morning about how Man City would like Cesc. Quite why this is news is beyond me. I don’t imagine there’s any team that wouldn’t like a bit of Cesc. I’ll admit, my Tuesday night Astro team made a bid last summer, which the club considered to keep him out of Barcelona’s hands, but in the end they decided £50, a collection of Sigue Sigue Sputnik 12″s and a voucher for Anto’s Kebabs: “Made from 100% kebab!”, just wasn’t sufficient.

It’s also quite funny to read around and find people who think we should sell Cesc this summer. On the one hand they bemoan the lack of quality in the team, on the other they’d like us to sell our best player. The aim of this summer is to improve things, right? Don’t we all have it up to here (*points to somewhere quite high above head*) at the selling of big players, especially as there’s no guarantee they’ll be replaced properly? Regardless of the money we might receive if we don’t have hot steamy Cesc at the Grove every week next season then we’ll have taken a step backwards.

Meanwhile, Samir Nasri’s agent has been talking about his future. And also Nasri’s, saying:

The interest from Juventus and Inter Milan? There is nothing happening with them. There is no split with Arsenal, far from it. We have started negotiations for the extension of his contract which currently expires in 2012.

Which I suppose you could translate as:

Interested clubs please be aware that at the moment we’ve had no approach from Juventus or Inter which could make things easier for you. Arsenal, meh. And, every single club in the world, please pay attention to the reminder regarding the expiration of this contract. You can get him for free next summer or, most likely, at a knock-down price this summer as Arsenal simply cannot afford to let a valuable asset like that go for nothing!

Tricksy agents, it’s when you read between the lines that you get to see just how duplicitious and sneaky they are. I suppose there is the vague possibility that he’s being on the level and is telling the truth but then you remember he’s a football agent. They are like politicians. Self-serving, greedy, parasitic flimflammers with scaly skin and and vestigial tails who you wouldn’t believe if they told you the sky was blue on a sunny day.

Clearly there’s an issue with Nasri at the moment and I’d be very disappointed if he didn’t sign on. He showed flashes of excellence in seasons past but it’s only in this campaign that he added some measure of consistency to his game. And that was up until January really, since then he’s not been quite as good, but he’s only 23 and his best years are undoubtedly ahead of him. It would be a shame if they weren’t with us. Some of them, at least. Let’s hope his scaly skinned agent gets what he wants, which is probably just as important as what Nasri wants.

Meanwhile, after Arsene said he’d be sitting down with Nicklas Bendtner at the end of the season, the big Dane says that he too will be sitting down with himself and Arsene at the end of the season. He says:

I need to have a talk with him because I’m not satisfied with playing on the right wing, which I’ve done more or less all season long. It’s certainly not the best thing for me but it’s not up to me and sometimes you have to adapt to what the manager says.

Nothing wrong with that, I have to say, and in that sense I do feel for him a bit. Would Cesc be the player he is today if he’d been played as a wide midfielder all the time? Can you play a slightly immobile centre-half at right back and expect him to develop properly? However, as I said the other day, when his big moment came, right down the middle of the Camp Nou, he was found wanting. Maybe it was because he hasn’t had that much time playing in the middle but that would be excuse making. When you get a chance like that, in a game like that, to prove you’re as good a player as you tell everyone you are, you’ve got to take it.

Nick also says if he could choose a team to play for it would be Barcelona. Pfff, talk about boring. Everyone wants to play for Barcelona. I can only imagine he hasn’t had the offer of £50, a collection of Sigue Sigue Sputnik 12″s a voucher for Anto’s Kebabs: “Made from 100% kebab!” yet. Then we’ll see where he wants to play next season.

The Mirror links us with our friend with the Water Sheringham head, Lassana Diarra. Decent player, no doubt, but it would be most unlike Arsene to go back (Sol and Jens excepted because they were old and retired and stuff). Remember, this was a player for whom Euro 2008 was more important than anything else, so he started agitating just months after joining. Yes, we had a surplus of central midfielders at that time but what you’re looking for then is a guy who will fight for his place and who has the belief in his own ability that he break his way into the team and stay there.

Diarra gave up, moved to Portsmouth and still missed out on Euro 2008 which rather sums him up, I think. If you’re looking for a tidy, defensive midfielder then he’s an option – provided you’re not looking for someone with plenty of character. And this summer, more than any other I can remember in recent times, that’s a quality we need in players we might sign.

Not much else going on, so shameless promotion time: Get any t-shirt and any print from the store for just €21.99 and remember, this weekend we play Aston Villa which means the return of Bob Pires. What better way to welcome him back than sporting a dreamy t-shirt


Remember – each purchase made goes into a draw for an Arseblog engraved iPod shuffle. Right, midweek tedium awaits. It’s like a tiny taste of the summer, except with fewer ludicrous transfer stories. Mind those football agents out there too. They eat souls.

Till tomorrow.

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