by Tony Attwood
Think back if you will, to August 2011 when Samir Nasri left Arsenal to go to Manchester City. He announced that he was moving for two reasons. One was because he was utterly fed up with the constant harping and criticism against Arsenal in the media. And because, he said, “Arsenal have good fans but not that passionate since they moved from Highbury. City fans are really passionate. When we played against City, the crowd was amazing. That’s what I want.”
Since then Le nouveau Zidane has had three decent years with Man City, and three not so good years ending with a loan with Sevilla for whom he clocked up 23 league starts last season. Man City would love to sell him, but sadly for them, no one seems to want him. The fans don’t seem so passionate either. Perhaps the trouble is that since 2014, apart from the League Cup, Man City haven’t won anything.
Of course Arsenal haven’t either, because the FA Cup is not a trophy, but I suppose if there is a hierarchy of things since 2014, and if we do count City’s League Cup, then in some people’s eyes the FA Cup in 2015 and 2017 is an improvement on no trophies, especially after a huge amount of money being spent.
Nasri’s problem – that of a player who forced his way out of Arsenal – might yet turn out to be akin to that of Alexis; although obviously as yet we don’t know how and where Alexis’ career will go.
There’s no suggestion that Alexis could get himself tied up with the sort of drugs case that just seems to be part of the Manchester City’s and Nasri’s misfortunes at the moment (they are also under investigation by the Court of Arbitration in Sport as mentioned in this morning’s notes, as well as being suspended from transfer arrangements for academy players, following wrong doing) but it is well to remember that not everything is greener everywhere else.
“For us Alexis Sánchez is a loss, of course,” he added. “But we have all the other players prepared in pre-season and they are all ready. It can happen in pre-season.”
As for a move to PSG Mr Wenger said, “I just think we are not open – what I said to you many times – to any offers, anyway. It’s a long time I didn’t speak to Nasser, [Nasser al-Khelaifi, chair at PSG] because it’s certainly very busy to complete the transfer of Neymar and it’s a long time that I didn’t speak to him… I think if you read the French papers, they are on Mbappé’s case to finish their transfer market.”
As for the transfers out of Arsenal of the players that won’t be in the 25 Mr Wenger said, “Yesterday I had the managers’ meeting and was talking with the other managers in the other clubs. It looks like everywhere there is many, many players and a bit of congestion at the moment everywhere.”
Ramsey and Ozil could be ready for Friday’s game, although Ozil is considered a “major doubt” in some quarters, and actually Jack Wilshere could also be ready, but I am sure he will be given a run out with the under 23s first before anyone considers him for the first team. Mertesacker might be available, but at the very most I’d only expect him on the bench.
That leaves Coquelin, Gabriel and Santi Cazorla certainly out for the opening game, along with Alexis – which is pretty much what we knew anyway. Plus of course Koscielny who is serving the second of three matches suspended. Mustafi, like Alexis would not be considered yet having come back late to the club.
- Alexis deal with PSG, the latest. And the list of players leaving Arsenal grows
- Do we need stats? And what happens when a billionaire divorces his wife?
- Another match another win at Wembley. But still, it seems, lots to moan about.
- Do the BBC think football fans are all that stupid?
On UntoldArsenalToday on Facebook
“I have to say that when thinking of Liverpool FC I tend to experience a sort of deep depression of my spirits….”
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- The seven main things that are wrong with football in England
- 2022-23 WSL Arsenal v Spurs – Match Preview – part 2 comments from the manager and team news
- 2022-23 WSL Arsenal v Spurs – Match Preview – part 1 the head to head record and comments on Spurs summer signings