Smoke and mirrors.

July 13, 2011

That’s the only way I can really take Wenger’s comments at his press conference in Malaysia with any kind of seriousness. I just can’t see a man that is so hell bent on being fiscally responsible allowing Nasri’s contract to run down. I may have imagined this, but just a few months ago, didn’t he say that the club can’t allow another Flamini style situation to arise again? Well, the end result of telling Nasri to stay will most likely end up in exactly that kind of situation.

 

Heading into a major international tournament in 2012, Nasri will have the perfect chance to showcase his talents, as a free agent, and sign for someone for big money once the tournament is over. That’s assuming that he doesn’t sign a new contract with us in the meantime, which is highly unlikely at this stage you would have to think, or sign a pre-contract agreement with another club in January. It’s also a bit of a calculated gamble by the player himself, in that he is running the risk of picking up a serious injury which could very well leave him up the proverbial creek without a contract.

 

Don’t get me wrong, I like Nasri and would have liked him to have already signed a new contract. He’s a good player but he hasn’t delivered on anything close to a consistent basis since he joined the club. You get the feeling that he saw the posturing of Rooney mid-season in order to get a better contract and thought he could use the same tactic, safe in the knowledge that Wenger wouldn’t come out and put him down in anything even remotely close to the same manner as Ferguson did to Rooney. If it comes down to a choice between cashing in on him now and holding on to him for another year only to see him leave for free, then I think that it is the manager’s duty to sell him this summer.

 

I may be wrong, but I feel that his comments may also put him at odds with the board. The fact that he says that any club that purports itself to be one of the elite shouldn’t sell two of its best players in one summer, which is true. However, this means that should Cesc say that he wants to go home this summer and is sold then the board will have a dilemma of whether or not to cash in on a player that also wants out, or backing the manager and foregoing a potential £25m that could be better invested in signing a replacement for Nasri. For me, there is a difference between selling big players purely for the money, and selling two of your best players because they are no longer fully committed to the cause, as may be the case with Cesc and Nasri. Anyway, I’ve already said way more than I had planned to on this topic.

 

The club announced earlier in the week that Gervinho has signed for the club subject to some kind of ‘regulatory process’ which I have never heard of before so can only assume that it is related to the size of pound his rather impressive, and shiny,  forehead. I suppose there is the risk that its sheen could blind pilots and take down flights that pass overhead? Fingers crossed he is a good player for the club. He will more than likely share the right flank with Theo, while the latter will probably get a bit more playing time up front this season.

 

In other news, both Bendtner and Almunia look like they are closing in on moves away from the club, possibly to Dortmund and Atletico Madrid respectively, if some reports are to be believed, though apparently Bendtner has a number of clubs sniffing around him. What chance some sucker will come along and ‘snap up’ Denilson, too? *I’m looking at you, Steve Bruce.*

 

The club’s pre-season tour in underway and the opening game is against a Malaysian XI tonight in Kuala Lumpur at 20:45 local time. For a change, this pre-season will kick off at a nice convenient time for me and will be at 13:45 back in the UK and Ireland. It will be nice to see Vermaelen get some more playing time under his belt as he looks to finally put the season-long injury hell of last season behind him.

 

This summer is one where Gooners are having to put all of their patience to the test as we watch and wait for new players to be signed. So far, Twitter has been relatively calm, for the most part. Of course, there are still  a lot of extremely rude, crude, batshit people out there, but it hasn’t been as bad as I had been expecting. Though if more signings don’t come, I am expecting a complete meltdown by some people on Twitter as they indulge in what Iain Macintosh, @iainmacintosh, might label ‘twatfoolery.’ It’s because of these wacko people that they wonderful ‘block’ option is needed and often exercised.

 

Anyway, the first of our pre-season games is now under two hours away from kick-off and, despite all of the frustrations with our squad and general lack of strengthening so far, I can’t wait for the team to be back in action again.

 

Hope that post didn’t come across as being negative. It’s been a while since my last post!

 

Enjoy the game.