Nasri or £20million?

The question is clearly a gross oversimplification of the complex chain of negotiations involved in football transfers, but many supporters are prepared to believe that Arsène Wenger means what he says and intends to keep Samir Nasri whether he signs a contract extension or not.

Personally I find it hard to believe that the club would let him go on a free in a year’s time when he could add £20m (or thereabouts) to the coffers this summer.

Even so,  if we accept AW’s assertion that Nasri is going nowhere is true, let’s examine the pros and cons on the assumption that he does not intend to sign a new contract with Arsenal.

Pros if Nasri stays

  • We would have the services of a top player who has been an integral part of our midfield for another year.
  • He could be the difference between us qualifying for the CL or not and the money earned by doing so outweighs the loss of a selling fee.
  • We would not be weakening ourselves and strengthening one of our top four rivals by allowing him to go to manu or city.
  • We would be sending out an important message to the football world that we won’t be bullied.

Cons if Nasri stays

  • We would forego a selling fee reported to be in the region of £20m
  • Hopefully we will still have Cesc in addition to Song, Wilshere and Ramsey. Add to that Arshavin, Diaby, Walcott, Rosicky and possibly Frimpong and it would appear that we have an abundance of midfielders.
  • He could pick up an injury and miss a large chunk of the season.
  • What if he can’t motivate himself such is his disappointment at not being allowed to leave?

Opinions seem to be divided on the issue. I’d be interested to know what the groundswell of opinion among supporters is so please feel free to express your preference by participating in the poll below. The results are open for all to see by clicking on ‘View Results

False premise

It is entirely possible that all the speculation is based on a false premise. The exercise is purely hypothetical and the whole furore may have just been engineered by Nasri’s negotiating team to get him the best deal possible. Many will say “sell him as long as we spend the money to buy a top player (defender)”.

I think the only two alternatives the club should consider are:

We do everything to encourage him to stay including a sizeable pay rise and repeatedly tell the world he is not for sale


We sell him even if it is to a top four rival.

A possible outcome could be that he signs a new contract with a buy-out clause that allows him to leave in a year’s time. This way both parties retain their dignity and Arsenal will get a good price in addition to his services for one more year.

The idea of  a ‘gentleman’s agreement as a form of  ‘contract’ seems to have arisen from the circumstances surrounding Cristiano Ronaldo’s exit from manu. We all know the famous Samuel Goldwyn quote regarding verbal contracts.

I don’t think any top club has ever admitted to striking such a deal which would rely on honour and integrity, both of which are in short supply in the Premiership as Mancini  graphically demonstrated only yesterday. Buy-out clauses (often ludicrously high) are common and may be the norm in contracts with the top players so I would expect any new contract signed by Nasri to include an exit strategy.

I want to keep him and keep him happy. Cesc will almost certainly go back to Barca some time in the next few years and the future of Arsenal’s central midfield may well be in the capable hands of Wilshere and Ramsey, but for the timebeing I want to retain the artistry and experience of Nasri but not at the cost of £20m for one season – that’s too high a price.


116 Responses to Nasri or £20million?

  1. VCC says:

    My take on this is …
    Sell him now and get the top price offered (probably ManCity)
    IMO Nasri had a great first half of the season and the second was in his standards poor to say the least, so was he a 6 month wonder? His motivation seemed non existant at times at the latter stages, when he and other seasoned performers should have stood up and be counted.Also I would not give in to his demands of a huge pay rise, what would this send out to the younger players.
    The ONLY concern I have about selling him is…..Wenger probably would not re-invest any of the money on another player. The whole world is crying out for Wenger to buy a top class defender, why oh why can’t he see this. Looks like he will miss the boat again with the chance to purchase a proper Centre Half.

  2. Rasp says:

    Morning VCC,

    The poll is currently running at 2:1 in agreement with your stance. I have thought all along that apart from the small budget used to buy Gervinho, we would need to sell to buy. Losing one of Cesc or Nasri may not trigger a purchase (attempted purchase) but losing both surely would force the club to seek reinforcements although not necessarily in that midfield role.

  3. Gooner In Exile says:

    i struggle to see the benefit from selling him.

    This is a football decision not a financial one. Two months ago every fan and his fog was battering AW for financial prudence, now the same fans are saying he is not being prudent if he keeps Nasri and again is in the wrong.

    It’s almost like Wenger can’t do anything without upsetting one element of the support or another.

    From my point of view keep Nasri for the season, just because he can go for free doesn’t mean he will not sign a new deal. £20million it’s hardly worth worrying about as we wouldn’t spend it anyway 😉

  4. Gooner In Exile says:

    Fog=dog hungover typinsons

  5. Rasp says:

    Morning GiE,

    I have great sympathy with your view but ask yourself this one question…. ‘which takes precedence in the eyes of the owner and the Board, football decisions or financial decisions?’

  6. Morning all(and thanks for the post Raspers), for me I would normally say sell now(not to a Premier League team) and re invest in a ready to go player, but Wenger’s actions in the past, and near present, suggest the proceeds would NOT be re invested.

    If the clamour to sell from our “fanbase” says “he is a disloyal so and so, get rid, Jack and Rambo can cover for him” then i will fear for our top 4 spot even more than I do now as Wenger will not replace him and most likely sell to the highest bidder, any of the top 3 in this case.

    In this scenario I’d agree to losing him on a free and then selling abroad – obviously the ideal outcome is Nasri signs a new contract double quick, but we live in a far from ideal world and most likely the City examples of Chavness will rumble on and on and Wenger will get more and more spikey with it.

  7. PS – I am preparing myself for no more additions to the squad- we have the classic Wenger behaviour in the later stages of a transfer window – not replacing Clichy(talk of killing Traore and Gibbs), Vermaelen is like a new signing(no new centre half), How will Chesney improve if he doesn’t get a chance to play(no new goalie) and if I buy another midfielder how will Jack and Ramsey feel ?

    The squad we had on tour in Asia is most likely what we’ll have starting against the bar codes come early August.

  8. terry says:

    transfers should be done in such a way that they improve the team not mess it up… a player like nasri needs to be replaced with a top quality player or it will have a major impact on our game… a player like diaby, denielson can easily be replaced internally… so if gona replace him with sum top talent then itz cool or else dont even think about selling him

  9. Rasp says:

    Morning chary,

    I wonder if the final decision on whether we take the money or make a stance really lies solely with AW. The brave decision is to keep him come what may and hopefully finish above city to make Clichy rethink his suggestion that he had to leave to achieve success.

    The owners are aware of disquiet amongst a significant proportion of the supporters and will be concerned by the drop off in season ticket renewals. But I have to say that the timing of the ‘we’re going to be very active in the transfer market’ statement was perfect to coincide with the season ticket renewals going out – cynic me?

  10. chas says:

    I can only look at this from a footballing side, the financial side is completely irrelevant to me.

    Nasri is one of our better players, why on earth would you sell him just for the money? Why weaken the team for a larger bank balance? We all know the money would not be re-invested. If we sold him and bought a player of similar quality, then fair enough.

    I quite like the idea of getting him to sign a new contract with a release clause but if he’s going to be half-hearted during his last season with us, then again it would be self-defeating.
    Mind you if he stays without re-signing and becomes distracted from January by flashing his arse at all and sundry around Europe hoping to win the fattest contract, then the same applies.

    If we sell him, I hope it’s outside this country.

    The more I think about it, the angrier and more detached I become from the players in today’s game. Sell the effin lot of them if they don’t want to play for the club!

  11. Red Arse says:

    Morning Rasper, 🙂

    Interesting and topical Post.

    Before considering the important implications of ‘To Sell or To Keep’ Nasri’, I would like to query how the club got into this position in the first place.

    Firstly: Your observation about ‘A Gentleman’s Agreement’ is quite apposite here. I believe that Arsenal trusted Nasri’s implied assurances that he would sign a new contract last year, (during the close season) even tho’ the contract talks were then allowed to drag on into the Autumn (2010) and then into the new year (2011), when Nasri again reassured the fans he would continue contract talks after the end of the season.

    The moral here is that ‘trust’ is an outdated notion when dealing with greedy grasping agents and compliant players.

    I think Arsenal allowed themselves to be ‘played’ by Nasri and his agent!

    More could be said, but let’s leave it there for the moment.

    Secondly: If, as we were led to believe, the contract negotiations failed because Arsenal ‘only’ offered £90K when he wanted £110K, how then can the Arsenal CEO (Gazidis), equate that impasse which would have cost us an extra £4m over 4years, with the loss of £20m by keeping him to his contract for an extra year?

    In Summary:

    — Keeping Nasri for another 4 years at his (new) £120K per week contract would cost an additional £4m;

    — Keeping him for an extra year until 2012 and then letting him go on a ‘free’, would lose us his £20m transfer.

    Surely this is a no-brainer!

    Nasri in the first half, yesterday, was our best player, (London, when I said he looked disinterested, I was referring to his pre-match rather surly expression when compared with the smiles and bon homie of the other players — obviously a subjective opinion ).

    But, in the second half, the best player by a country mile was young Jack. With better finishing from Walcott we would/should have won easily.

    For me, there is no question Arsenal have handled this protracted contract discussion badly, when he (his agent) first revealed their despicable underhand tactics, Gazidis should have immediately taken the initiative and proactively made it clear Nasri HAD to go, and organised an auction for his services.

    If Gazidis had done this, we would have looked in control and determining the futures of both the club and Nasri and not a jilted club forced into selling.

    We don’t need either of the following soubriquets;
    “Arsenal – A Selling Club” or
    “Arsenal – A Feeder Club For the BIG Clubs”!

    Unfortunately, that rabbit appears to be out of the hat now.

    The mealy mouthed reluctance to let him go until next year, even if it hurts us economically, is akin to the spurned partner being unable to let go when a relationship breaks up.
    Sad and pointless!!

    Grasp the nettle, Arsene! Show our PRIDE — show your METTLE.
    Don’t be suppine and allow us to be walked over — GET RID NOW.
    Show that Arsenal are not going to be dictated to, by any player!

    Apart from that — Good Morning all you lovely AA’ers!! 🙂

  12. Rasp says:

    Chas 🙂

    It was a difficult post to write and no doubt does not make encouraging reading but these are the bare facts as I see them.

    My heart agrees with your and GiE’s sentiments but my reality button keeps flashing that he will be sold to City.

    After watching our defence floundering in the first half yesterday, I’d see taking £20m for Nasri, buying Cahill and keeping Cesc for another year as a great improvement to our chances for next season.

  13. Rasp says:

    Morning RA,

    That’s a brilliant comment – so much better than the hastily compiled post. We don’t really have a clue about the contract negotiations but your interpretation has a ring of truth to it.

  14. Gunner38 says:

    If we sell Nasri it signals our intent – sadly that we are no longer a club with ambition. United and City spend on quality, Chelsea will too, L’pool have spent big…oh and we’ve just secured the signing of JOEL CAMPBELL! F****ng joke!

  15. Rasp says:


    Manu lost Ronaldo to a rival so it’s not just Arsenal who are forced to sell when a player refuses to sign a new contract.

    I accept that we are run differently to the clubs that you list, but I would hope that since we are financially stable now, the money raised from sales will be reinvested in the squad.

  16. goonermichael says:

    We have never bought a player that has cost £20m But we’d spend £20m on one for 1 season. Chary if what you say is true it’ll probably take more than Nasri to keep us in the top 4. We were rlegation material for the last 10 games Gervinho won’t make that much difference. We need to buy.

  17. goonermichael says:

    Just watched hightlights of yesterdays game.

  18. goonermichael says:

    Mancini had stated that he was eager to sign Nasri ‘by the end of the month’, although City later clarified that he was talking about general transfer targets and not Nasri specifically.

    Are all transfer targets called Nasri then? wankers

  19. chas says:

    Forgot to say, Rasp….perfect discussion post.
    Especially with the timing of Mankini’s comments yesterday.

  20. asim says:

    hi…arsenal fans..i am a newcastle fan…lot of arsenal fans are saying this and that about u lot not buying..or which players are going…but u won the pools when your left back left for city…it took wenger 4 years 2 late..2 let him go…and other players like danillson…what wengers problem is..he thinks all these players he brings through are great..and sticks with them 4- 3 years while the team suffers…your goals against come down the left and right hand side…both defenders cant head the ball or cant defend..whcih puts your central defenders under pressure who then get singled out…if u get enrique then u will come very close winning the league..he is the best defending left back in world football full stop;;;it will cut your bad play out and make u better at defending…get him and stop messing about…

  21. Rasp says:

    Hi chas,

    The blogs are going to be awash with this speculation next week I suspect so I thought we’d air the topic sensibly on a quiet Sunday rather than join in with the upcoming maelstrom. We have a couple of nice posts from dandan and Rocky to redress the balance this coming week.

  22. Red Arse says:


    Your Post was spot on and helps to encapsulate the quandry the club continually finds itself in.

    I know finances are boring to many people, but like many other sports, football is a business first and foremost and an entertainment/trophies vehicle very much second.

    In the current climate, we simply cannot compete with the immense fortunes being thrown about by many of the other ‘top’ clubs.
    Man Utd are reportedly trying to buy Schneider for a 4 year ‘package’ totalling £80m (transfer fee and salary). For 1 player! Madness!

    So where did my ‘football is a business, first and foremost’ go?

    This monetary madness has been sprung upon us by the influx of billionaire playboys following on from Abramovich.
    Against all logic and fairplay, football is NOT a business to them. It is a vanity thing, trying to show the other billionaires that they have the biggest yacht, the youngest, most beautiful girlfriend/harem or crucially the biggest and best football team.

    The fans and their loyalty mean nothing to these people. If they could, I suspect they might be perfectly happy to play games against each other without the distraction of noisesome tatty fans.

    This money centric madness is what the Uefa ‘Fair Play Rules’ were intended to address. But already, as I forecast here on AA some months ago, the clubs who would suffer under these rules, Citeh, Chelsea, Barca, Madrid, are beginning to launch plans to circumvent these well intentioned regulations.

    Citeh getting a £400m naming rights deal from an associated company for a stadium they don’t own is a flagrant attempt to breach the ‘going concern’ rules.

    The paltry sum of £20m does matter to Arsenal and our attempts to do the right thing. To Citeh and the others it is petty cash.

    Our only way to compete, it seems, is to unleash our own billionaire spendthrift and follow the crass example set by the others and try to buy a trophy, at all costs.

    If that is how it has to be, you can include me OUT!

  23. Rasp says:

    Completely agree Red Arse. We stay the Arsenal and continue to do things the Arsenal way – but please reinvest money from raised transfers in the squad.

  24. Browny says:

    I don’t agree that by selling him it means we have no ambition. We will not be the first big club to have this situation. Look at Ronaldo with Utd and even further back Figo going to Madrid. It happens and Arsenal need to do the right thing for them. For me if he signs I am happy but if not I would sell him. Everyone thinks it is just about the loss of a transfer fee but I think more importantly it is important that you enter the season with key players that want to play for the club. What is the point in building around players you know are not committed to the future of the club. You are better off letting them go and bring in the replacements that genuinely see their future with us otherwise we end up with consistent stop start seasons. I agree that we have a lot of creative attacking midfielders / wing forwards / number 10’s with Nasri being one of them. What we lack is a proven goalscorer who is more an out and out striker. If we got that RVP could drop deeper into the creative number 10 role effectively replacing Nasri without having to try and go and buy like for like.

  25. goonermichael says:

    “But it got to a point for me where I didn’t want to just challenge for the titles only to be disappointed in the final weeks of the season.

    “I wanted to play for a club that would win them.

    “I joined City because I felt that this was a club ready to win important trophies over the next few years.”

    Clichy conveniently forgets that he was part of the problem.

  26. Rasp says:

    Hi Browny,

    I made the point about Ronaldo earlier.

    I think gm’s point that it would be bizarre to pay £20m to keep Nasri for a year when we’ve never paid that much to buy a player sums up the situation.

    He signs or he goes, and the most likely destination is city – but as you say, it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world.

  27. Hi Raspers, true that there is more disquiet than usual about the club amongst supporters, my fear is that due to Wenger’s unquestionable authority ultimately we will follow the same transfer window trail as usual.

    GoonerM – I’ve never felt as worried about our top 4 spot as I do now, in previous years it’s been easy to put the scare mongering down to the press being all too eager to write our obituary,

    RedA – a well thought out and intelligent response as is your trademark.

    Chas – “Mankini” 🙂

    Anyway, I’m shortly off to make way to my gig(Judas Priest/Queensryche) and going to lose myself in 3 hours of classic metal and Peroni indulgence tonight.

  28. goonermichael says:

    How old are Judas Priest?

  29. kipper says:

    I thought the Arsenal had stated ‘no player is allow to go free (aka Flamini). As far as I am concern this is a negotiation position and PR exercise. We will nothing again with Nasri and Cesc. The midfield will be defensively stronger with Wilshire and Ramsey, who will be give more to the cause.

  30. Gooner In Exile says:

    Here’s a question:

    Is Wenger playing hardball on Nasri to put pressure on the board to release funds or any funds from a sale?

    It feels to me that AW is sailing in a different direction to the board at the moment, he knows he is not being given any funds to do what he wanted at the end of last season so he is not about to fill the coffers anymore.

    The Asia tour was for increasing revenue if none is forthcoming from the tour to strengthen the team I’m sure AW will be asking what the point was.

  31. evonne says:

    Hiya Rasp – good analytical report and very well presented – congrats! I like the voting button and the results showing instantly; great add-on.

    I’d sell Nasri for £20m BUT not to a PL club, let him go abroad, I’d rather never see his face again. I don’t like what he has done to the club that made him. Has anybody heard of little Samir before he came to Arsenal? No, I don’t thinks so. Then he played like a genius for the first half of last season to make sure he will get some lucrative offers and have the Club over the barrel, no, I don’t approve of such attitude.

    Chary, Chas – mankini is what Harry wears for playing footy

  32. Rasp says:

    Hi evonne,

    I think if we sell, we sell to the highest bidder, although, like you, I would prefer if he went abroad. If a foreign club matched city’s offer, they would just increase it (that would be good for us) but I suspect that clubs worldwide know that they cannot outbid city.

  33. charybdis1966 says:

    of the current line up GoonerM they are 63 61 60 49 and 31. the youngster there is due to one the founders retiring.

  34. goonermichael says:

    I’ve never listened to them Chary. Enjoy it. They are younger than the rolling stones aren’t they?

  35. chas says:

    Evonne, is it light blue and white and made of cashmere? I thought he just wore it around the house. Wearing it playing footy is a scary thought.

    A couple of banners from the Hangzhou Greentown game. 🙂

  36. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    hi to you all. just been for a 6 mile run (no,not trying to find my way back to the emirates!) with my mate from the next field (plymouth fan and closet manure) and as usual talk about football, i asked him why manure?, he replied (as most do of his age) because he felt sorry after the plane disaster. he asked me the same question, i told him i was born in bethnal green,(i came out so week,i had to have a pie& mash introvenus drip! i will be having some on emirates cup trip!) and that arsenal was my nearest team and all my mates were gooners aswell,he said thats east london why not west ham? which was the same question my west ham loving older brother always moaned to me about, but as i told my mate arsenal were the closest by miles(west hams move to olympic stadium came 50 years to late! to be the nearest) he then asked me, how close was the scum bags to the olympic stadium compared to west ham? i said the scum were so far away that there were probably a million manure supporters inbetween! and that arsenal were probably closer and laughed. then i thought i wonder if we are? so when we got back i said to him . cant talk must get in to get on google maps and yes! we are closer to the olympic stadium than the scum bags! maybe we should have been in the bid process, our reserves need a ground! sorry if i bored you but it did make me giggle to find this out.

  37. Rasp says:

    Hi gooner l i cornwall, welcome to the site,

    It’s funny where one’s football musings can lead. What if we’d not built the Emirates and got the Olympic stadium on the cheap?? – nah, we’re still in our spiritual home in Islington and that’s the way it should stay – but an interesting thought all the same.

  38. Right, I spoke about this weeks ago, its simple in football terms, we cannot allow both Nasri and Cesc both to leave, end of, period.

    Financially throwing 20million away is madness, although speaking as some have said I have little thoughts or care regards to the finance more so the football side of things and ultimately our standing and reputation.

    The strength in this is detemined by two contracts, one has 1 year the other 4 years to run. We have already in place both of their replacements, but just not quite ready for full responsibility with no heir apprarent behind them ready, although Lansbury is thereabouts as a squad player if we actually keep him.

    Either get Nasri to sign a year extension and we sell next season if we dont convince him we can win trophies……..Or sell Nasri and TELL cesc, sorry bud, 1 more season…….

    Keep one invest a tad more, a defender is high on the shopping list and then for me we show that we cannot be bullied and we are serious.

    If both go, heaven forbid, then we must spend big…..

    Clichy is getting the press buzzing with his quotes which have been twisted to suit as usual……..

    Mancini obviously hasnt listened to what he said, well I watched you tangoface, specifically speak about Nasri and wish to sign within this month, so wenger has every right to be annoyed, so peter barnes can shut it, mug.

    Cruyff is different he was a class player and obviously a gentlemen as he is saying that Barca must put up the money………so they are no all clowns at barca then?

    And this is the only snag, if Barca do stump up the cash of say 45million, would we be inclined to let him go?? and then the issue of Nasri not signing really becomes a problem….?

    This story unfortunately has a few chapters to go, what will the last page say…….who knows…………..?

    Wengers resolve will surely be tested in the next few weeks…….

  39. harry says:

    Oh sorry Rasp, great article……..

  40. Rasp says:

    Hi Harry,

    You are correct, between us we’ve clarified and solved the problem. There is no need for any further discussion of the topic on other blogs as we’ve already covered all the bases 😛

    It is worrying as you say that if Barca reach the required figure, Cesc will go too and most likely it will be late on and not give us time to secure a replacement.

  41. London says:

    Do you people support the same team as I do?

    Can you not see the pattern? This is bog standard Arsenal public relations at work here; we saw it firstly with Wenger, then we saw it with Bergkamp, than we saw it with Henry, then Vieira and then Wenger again before being slowly tortured with the same — will he won’t he stay with Cesc.

    Looking back do you really think that Wenger ever seriously thought about leaving? This is now so obvious the club’s PR machine don’t even bother teasing us with it anymore.

    Kelsey is bang on when he says the whole thing has been scripted.

    Did you notice there was a time delay between Wenger knowing that we had signed Gervinho and the actual announcement? The same thing is happening with Nasri; he has already agreed a deal, the club are just waiting for the right time to announce it and that will be after things with Cesc become clear.

    Nasri will not go into the new season without having signed a new contract. I would bet my cashmere scarf but that is gone, on this I am going for my precious woollen red and white hat, the one with the cannon the correct way around.

    Good post Rasp.


    Re Nasri: fair enough.

  42. RockyLives says:

    Excellent discussion here today (thanks Rasp).
    So many good points that I found my opinion swinging backwards and forwards as I read them.

    My conclusion is that I believe AW has a plan. I believe he intends to buy more good players (as opposed to promising young-uns) and that whether Nasri stays or goes is dependent on these plans and on issues such as whether Cesc goes (it seems clear that we are prepared to let Cesc go if Barcaloser offer the right price).

    One thing that surprises me is how many people genuinely seem to think that AW and/or the Board are unwilling to spend money and that AW’s comments about being very active in the transfer market were lies (even cynical lies aimed at encouraging season ticket renewals).

    There are weeks and weeks left in the transfer window – let’s have a bit more faith.

  43. RockyLives says:

    As for Clichy’s comments…. Well, it’s pretty much what you’d expect him to say so I can’t take too much offence. It’s not like he’s going to say “yeah I know they’re a bunch of classless lottery winners but they offered me loads of wonga”.

    But I fear Gael will turn out to be another player who will regret leaving Arsenal. Once he’s made a couple of his trademark slip-ups he’ll find himself more on the bench than on the pitch.

  44. Rasp says:

    Hi London, Rocky,

    Two very good comments written with authority and optimism. I hope you are both correct – but unfortunately, I fear my take on things will be closer to the truth.

    Rocky, the PR machine that London refers to makes optimistic noises every season at the time season tickets are up for renewal (or not!) It is club spin, no more, no less.

  45. Red Arse says:

    Hi Rocky, 🙂

    Very intelligently summed up.

    I think what is making some fans a bit more cynical is that AW said at the end of last season that we would be very active in the market and early.

    That does not seem to have happened. There are possibly two drivers here affecting that statement.

    First: Rasp’s Post has spoken to one of the variables, in that I believe AW was caught out by Nasri’s contract prevarification. The renewed Cesc to Barca onslaught has also caused him to pause and reflect on his priorities dependent on the resolution to the outcome of the destinies of both those players.

    Secondly, the obscene amount of money being offered by some buying clubs, [the usual suspects – Citeh, Chelsea etc] or the demands/reluctance of the potential selling clubs has also made AW stop and take stock.

    Like you, I think AW will buy at the right price, if quality players are available, but it may only be another one or two lesser known players, like Gervinho, who it seems no one else wanted to buy.

    Will that meet the aspirations of the fans? Who knows!

  46. Red Arse says:

    Don’t wish to be provocative here, but ‘PR machine’ and ‘spin’? Seriously?

    Self promotion or advertising is the norm for almost every business in an attempt to get people to buy their product (or season ticket).

    Hwever, to imagine there is any purpose or point in putting spin on AW’s contract status, or to hide the truth about a player’s contract negotiations (or the signing thereof) is stretching things a bit too far. Sorry, I am not buying that.

  47. Rasp says:

    Red Arse,

    Is that in response to my point or London’s? My reference was in relation to the ‘selling’ of season ticket renewals.

  48. harry says:

    Rasp, as you say why other blogs bother is beyond me, AA or nowt end of period…….:D

    Rocky, Clichy might just end up regretting leaving us, but any money that regret is not reciprocated………

    London, I know where your sentiments are from, but it’s not that easy this year, too much going on……As rocky pointed out, wenger promised lots of activity, so he has set himself up……….And the money that city can offered changes the landscape somewhat, i like your positivity, but all i say is hold onto your hat tight, its going to be a bumpy ride!!

  49. chas says:

    Who’s Clichy?
    I bet he feels a right tit….. 🙂

  50. evonne says:

    London – have you not eaten that scarf yet? 🙂

  51. Red Arse says:


    I was responding to London, I suppose.

    Your comment regarding positive publicity, prior to the renewal of season tickets, in an attempt to make them even more appealing, is quite correct.

    That is what I said most companies/clubs do to entice people to buy their products or season tickets.

  52. Red Arse says:

    Off topic, I visited a couple of Citeh and Manure sites to offer an opposing opinion to some of their one eyed, wrong, and insulting views.

    Surprise, surprise, my comments were not published, altho’ no swearing or insults were included. (By me at least) 🙂

  53. harry says:

    Hey red arse I saw your comments on the man city blog, mine are on there as well, i even had to point out he had spelt Hypocrisy wrong………so yours and mine were published……

  54. TotalArsenal says:

    Rasp, great post. I love it. You are the master of producing posts that make others respond in detail with their point of views, leading to quality blogging. Top stuff 🙂 Any post that gets RA in to sixth gear, is by definition a masterpiece.

    I am struggling to add an angle to the debate re Nasri been forced to stay or being sold. For me it is all linked to Fabregas’ situation. We just cannot let them both go at once, regardless of whom we would replace them with. Although we would survive the departure of both players somehow, it would be a setback from a sporting as well as psychological point of view. It would be hell to be a Gooner, having to listen to fellow Gooners and the redtops for months if not years to come.

    Barca are to blame it all of this, as it seems they are trying to get Cesc on the cheap and are therefore playing the waiting game. For me it seems obvious that if Cesc goes, Nasri has to stay, and if Cesc stays Nasri will be allowed to go. Cesc seems to have a gentleman’s agreement with Arsene that he can leave for Barca if the right price is being paid. Therefore, at this stage Wenger has no other option then to say he will keep Nasri for another season, even if Nasri is not prepared to sign a new contract. Nasri and his agent know this of course, and are very happy to play along with this simultaneous chess game that good old Arsene has to play with his players, their agents and clubs alike. So at the moment, I am voting for keeping Nasri, as I don’t think we have any other choice.

    I wish London is right re Arsenal waiting for the right moment to announce Nasri has indeed signed a new contract. Maybe announcing it now, would make negotiating with Barca over the right price even harder…. It will all be revealed in the next seven weeks 😛

  55. oz gunner says:

    Personally i would sell him, a 20 million dollar loss would go against everything wegner stands for. However, surely we could sign him on for longer and sell him next season (he owes us that much considering we did make him). If blackburn can do it with samba how come we can’t get it done?!

    What annoys me most is these players who say they want to win things so they are tempted to leave (nasri,clichy, denilson). Were they not apart of our horrible final stretch?! As far as im concerned only wilshere and RVP have any right to whinge, they stood up tall, and gave it their all while others faltered!

    It’s just disheartening to know that if we got 20 million for nasri that it would not be re-invested. Yes Vermaelan is like a new signing but correct me if i’m wrong but our set pieces were miserable in his first season, he needs a partner who will impose himself

    great post, loved the voting idea

  56. oz gunner says:

    Well said TA, barca need to put up or shut up. I wonder if its their board who tells the players to continuously mouth off about cesc, or whether they do it on their own account. In a market where average players are going for an arm and a leg cesc should be costing 50 million easily. But i won’t go on as its all been said before.

    Loved the jokes and stories in the other post. DanDan your post had me in stitches. As did the electron and neutron jokes (my chemistry lecturer will get a good kick out of those).

  57. harry says:

    Oz gunner, spot on mate, Van persie, Wilshere and I’d probably push for sagna, held their own…….Clichy and denilson were definitely on the wrong side of average at best…….

    Nasri faltered away due to injury, but his 1st half of the season gives him some leeway, but only just and I agree he should repay wenger’s faith……..

    TotalA, i suspect London is on his knees praying, if nasri’s new contract is announced I’ll eat my hat……….

  58. Red Arse says:

    Hi Harry, 🙂

    I went back to have a look at the other sites and 2 out of the 4 did finally Post my comments. And I saw your’s too! 🙂

    All pretty innocuous stuff really, so perhaps the other 2 are just in moderation — I just could not be bothered to go back and look. (And I can’t remember where they are). Just googled Manyoo and picked the Republik of Manure or something. 🙂

    Hi TA, 🙂 You are correct, as usual.
    This nonsense of tapping up players at long range, thru the media, did start with Barca – way back with Viera – Henry – and now Cesc.

    Like all bad habits, that tactic has spread to both Man Yoo and Citeh vis a viz Nasri.

    As a business man, and lining up my assets, I would immediately sell Nasri who will be out of contract next year, on my terms, and keep Cesc for 1 more year.
    That way I would get my Nasri £20m and have the benefit of Cesc for one more season, with a view to another £30m for him then.

    £50m income over 12 months seems like good sound business sense! I would then re-invest the nasri money in Mata and all would be well.
    But then, as you know, I am neither well educated nor intelligent, so what do I know? 🙂

  59. Red Arse says:

    Oz Gunner, 🙂

    Your 3:50 was well said! 🙂

  60. London says:

    My hat will be on my head at the beggining of the season, you wait and see.

  61. oz gunner says:

    @ Harry.

    Agree with the sagna comment, in terms of right backs i don’t think there is a more reliable and consistent one in the world. Carl has his hands full trying to get that spot off of him, just ask eboue.

    How do Barca get away with it though, why are they above reproach?!

  62. Red Arse says:


    I am going to be a Philistine here.

    I know everyone loves RVP, and me too, he is essential for our team, and had a great goal scoring run when he came back from injury, but he is not a Centre Forward, in my opinion.

    He has all the technical skill and composure to be a cracking good No.10, like Denis. But an out and out CF? Not for me.

  63. Red Arse says:

    Hope you are proved correct, London. Yaay for the hat! 🙂

  64. oz gunner says:

    @ RA

    cheers, if someone of your stature on this site thinks so then i’m not doing too bad

  65. London says:

    So why have City announced that they are going to sign Nasri?

    For the same reason they tried without any serious hope of signing Kaka………………………..brand awareness………………..and boy did they put themselves on the global football map with that one.

  66. Red Arse says:

    Oz, make sure you come back often. You are very welcome! 🙂

    Anyway guys, I have to go, hope to see you all tomorrow. (Did you see that we seem to have signed 19 year old Joel Campbell for $1m.) Another Arsene diamond?

  67. evonne says:

    Peaches – can you organise a Hat Eating Do at the Tavern on 20th August? I won’t be going to the game but I would love to see London eating his Arsenal accessories 🙂 Everybody’s invited

  68. oz gunner says:

    originally i thought so too (in regards to RVP), i thought having a partner like chamma or bendtner would be ideal but he leads the line very well and changed my opinion in the second half of the season. On the other hand i think with him alone up top we don’t have that ‘get out of dodge’ option. A cross into the box will be sent straight back out, and a clearance will come straight back (e.g against manu). In a 442 RVP would flourish. I just hope his injury free run continues because all along us fans have said he is world class, now hes proving it.

    What did happen to his free-kicking boot though? There was a time where he was deadly. Oh well can’t have it all i guess

  69. oz gunner says:

    @ RA

    I read every post because hands down there isn’t a better blog or set of arsenal supporters, but uni and work life crossed with the time difference makes it hard to comment.

  70. VCC says:

    Charybdis……….Points taken, “The squad we have in Asia”
    I don’t think we are far away from the finished article once Wenger buys a couple more in this window( which he has promised to do?)
    Szczesny/Fabianski…… adequate to start, we know he will not buy a keeper.

    Gibbs/Traore….sorted, imo I think Clichy was a liability (see earlier posts)

    Sagna/Jenkinson… movement there

    Vermaelen/Djourou… drawer

    ?????????/Koscienly….waiting purchase (please Cahill)

    Ramsey/Wilshere/Arshavin/Rosicky/Song/Frimpong. Maybe one new signing???

    Van Persie/Walcott/Vela/Gervinho.

    Red Arse……. I’m with you, sell Nasri to the highest bidder NOW. My own opinion is that he is not the all conquering player that most think he is. I’m lining myself up to be shot at, but if he stays and sparkles then I will be more that happy to eat my hat.

  71. London says:

    Guys can not see that this — Arsene promised stuff — is nonsense. Any statements he makes in the close season of this nature are not aimed at us the supporters they are aimed at other clubs, players and their agents.

  72. London says:


    My guess would be that you are right when you say there is a lot of love for Van Persie on this site but in the same breath we all well aware that he is not an out and out number 9.
    Just repeat ten times that the Boy Wonder can do no wrong and all these little worries will disappear — it works for me.

  73. TotalArsenal says:

    RA, I know you are gone, but you might read this later or tomorrow morning. I fully agree with your comment @4.35 penultimate paragraph. A business man would sell Nasri now, and keep Cesc for another year. The problem seems to be though, that Arsene has made a gentleman’s agreement with Cesc and nothing is more difficult than combining sound business sense with personal ethics such as trust/keeping your word, if and when the going gets tough. I am pretty sure that this situation would already have been resolved by now if it wasn’t for Wenger’s morals. Wenger wants to keep his word and Fabregas is acting with the highest ethics as well, but Barcalona are abusing this situation and are leaving Fabregas in the lurch at the moment.

    Therefore, I – like many others – believe that Wenger wants to keep his word and let Cesc go, but only for the right price. If he goes, Wenger will want to keep Nasri – at any cost. But there is still a decent chance that Barca are not prepared to pay the market price for Cesc and Wenger will not be held over a barrel. Cesc will then (have to) stay and Nasri situation becomes significantly less relevant. I still trust Wenger will get out of this as the winner in the end though.

  74. TotalArsenal says:

    OZ Gunner, if you hang out here long enough work and uni will easily lose out to what really matters: deliberating about the mightly Arse 🙂

  75. TotalArsenal says:

    RA/London, the thing about RvP is he can play almost anywhere and score goals. I don’t think he is a pure nr9 or nr10, but he can play in both positions really well: he simply is that good. Far more important is to make the right decision who he should play with upfront. I still hope the RvP/Chamakh partnership is the one for the new season, but would also like to see more of Arshavin(nr10)/RvP(Nr9).

    VCC, fully agree with you on your team analysis. We are not that far away from a really good squad. Btw, that is some belly you have got there 😉

  76. TotalArsenal says:

    ok, talking to myself again. Better go and do something useful 😉

  77. VCC says:

    TotalArsenal. LMFAO, that tattoo is on my right shoulder blade, but funny enough, your sooooo right I have got a belly that looks just like that. Don’t worry it’s going down when I get back from my hols next week.

  78. RockyLives says:

    TA and RA
    Excellent, sophisticated points about the business and business ethics aspects of this issue.

  79. harry says:

    Red Arse, I agree and think most would VP fits the No10 role perfectly…..

    There was a couple of games last season when he dropped much deeper and when he did, we played better……

    For me without doubt he is the most important player we have, the closest to him would be jack, then followed by the two amigos…..with Ramsey and Walcott not far behind them……..

    VCC, I agree and have said previosuly we arent far away and only need the odd addition…….

    Looks like we have the young costa rican Joel Campbell in, sounds like a good squad player with some potential, needs a STV though……as hasnt played too many internationals yet…….

    I still want Samba, he is what we need, drive, power, strength and a winners mentality, he throws his body at everthing……..

    If we were to lose the two of them then we would need someone to come in of similar type…….

  80. TotalArsenal says:

    VCC 😆 really thought it was your ‘belly’, at closer inspection I can now see it is your shoulder hahaha.

    Harry, like you would love either Samba or Cahill to come and add another physical option to our defence.

    Did anybody watch the Argentina – Uruguay game yesterday? It totally proved again that a topteam needs a decent defence to have any chance at success. The attacking options of Argentina are second to none across the globe but yet again, their defence was very weak. The goalkeeper of Uruguay, Nestor Muslera had a fabulous game by the way:top class.

  81. harry says:

    Rasp, you better take Joel Campbell off the Transfer’s in list, it looks like it has fell through……..another prem club has offered more wages!!!

    TA, yeah just samba for me, but if not cahill would be a good addition…….

    If at least one of the two amigos stays then just a defender for me and that will do…….

  82. London says:


    RA/London, the thing about RvP is he can play almost anywhere and score goals. I don’t think he is a pure nr9……

    I am bit confused, why am I included in this and what has given you the impression that I differ with your view?

  83. Rasp says:

    That’ll teach me to jump the gun Harry 🙄

  84. Rasp says:

    I bet it’s bloody man city again. Their entire recruitment strategy seems to revolve around Arsenal – bunch of classless mugs, I’m beginning to dislike tham as much as manure.

  85. London says:

    Wasn’t there something about Mancini back tracking over the alleged statement that Nasri will sign for City?

  86. London says:

    When I read it my first thought was Chelsea, funny how we look differently at other clubs.

  87. SharkeySure says:

    Womens World Cup Final – what a game !!

  88. goonermichael says:

    がんばれ 日本 :)

  89. goonermichael says:


  90. London says:

    And the translation


  91. SharkeySure says:

    I was supporting Japan from about the 20th minute.

    Their football has been an absolute joy to watch this evening.

    Best team won – imho !!

  92. London says:

    I wish I had watched more of it.

  93. goonermichael says:

    My in laws have been up watching that. My wife even watched the penalties and phoned home.

  94. harry says:

    Rasp, probably that or the spuds, either way tossers……….

    I hope it still goes through, looks a talent…….

    All, agreed the Womens final was brill and the winning penalty was sublime…….

    thought the amercian keeper was fit……….

  95. TotalArsenal says:

    Evening London@9.21, I didn’t think you were disagreeing with me, but I was just adding my view about RvP’s ideal/most natural position. You had responded to RA re RvP-topic, so I felt it would be polite to include you 🙂 C’est tout. Hope that explains your question.

  96. TotalArsenal says:

    I watched Brazil – Paraguay instead. Neither Brazil nor Argentina have top quality in the centre of midfield (creative role not the DM role) and it just shows again in what a strong position Arsenal are with the likes of Fabregas, Nasri, Ramsey, Wilshere, Arshavin and Diaby available for that very important position. Brazil missed four penalties in a row, an absolute shocker. Looking at this summer’s performances of Argentina and Brazil, the European teams are likely to dominate international football for the foreseeable future.

  97. oz gunner says:

    is it just me or is the media the scouts for other teams?it seems that teams like man city and chelsea just look at the young players we are linked with. If i’m not mistaken benitez did it a few seasons ago when it was reported that arsene made offers on torres and babel but they came in and coughed up more!

    I just think scouts are about as real as the tooth fairy or big foot because even arsene says in the transfer window you have to find quality and it takes time. Then what the bloody hell do the scouts do all year?i would of thought the scouts would front up with info and footage so that once the window is open the business can be done.

  98. RockyLives says:

    I reckon you’re right.
    But I also reckon that the Arsenal hierarchy are smart enough to feed all sorts of red herrings to the journos to send the likes of Mancini off on wild goose chases.

    Another example of the way journos work: Pique’s comments today could either be taken as supporting Xavi (whom AW criticised for mouthing off) or as criticising him.

    Pique was quoted as saying: “Barcelona and the players have always spoken with great respect. Any player suffers when there’s so much talk about his future due to the uncertainty of not knowing where he will be playing. Saying that is not a lack of respect to anybody.
    “I know how the situation is, but I think we must leave Cesc in peace and let things run their course. The summer is very long, there has been a lot of talk and it doesn’t help at all.”

    If you take his first sentence, you can write a story saying Pique backs Xavi. if you take his second sentence you could write stories with headlines like “Pique tells Xavi to shut it,” or ” ‘Give Cesc Some Peace’ – Pique slams team mates.”

    Given that the story-de-jour is Arsenal in crisis, naturally the hacks all took the former course.

    In fact I think I’ll write a short post giving the other interpretation.

  99. oz gunner says:

    I think that agents don’t help the cause also because i’m sure arsenal want to deal with it quietly but they report it to the media so that other teams can jump in with their $$$$

    @ Rocky

    Definently the former, and even if the former existed i’m sure they would spin the comments around so that pique joins alves, messi, iniesta, and xavi. They can use a ‘lost in translation’ excuse (seems to happen to arshavin every time he speaks).

    Pique is right though, the continuous badgering would be very detrimental to ones mind. Am i going or aren’t i?Personally if i was cesc i would be livid that barca seem more intent on getting sanchez and neymar then they are with him. Not to mention valuing him at only 35 million

  100. RockyLives says:

    I have put a post in drafts. Ideally it should run tomorrow, but no problem if you have something else topical – it could wait.

  101. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Morning all,
    I do feel a tad abusive. Soaking up all these great posts and engaging comments while making no contribution whatsoever. My thanks to you all.
    For goodness sake stop threatening to eat everything.

  102. Gooner In Exile says:

    Morning all.

    I’ll admit up until January last year I wondered why RvP was still in the squad. Too many times had I been hopeful of his return to have yet another injury put him out.

    I was really annoyed after Blackburn away as even from where I stood I could see that the way he had dangled his foot in the tackle led to him being injured.

    But any question of him not being a goal scorer or an out and out centre forward should surely have disappeared with his form from January to May. Let me remind everyone that in a team who were apparently awful he scored more PL goals than any other striker in the PL. You don’t achieve that being a No10, they score great goals, Robin was a great goalscorer.

    To top it all he has the skill to move the ball out of his feet in a small amount of space and score, something you won’t see the likes of Darren Bent do, so considering that opposition defences will not change their approach to defending deep in numbers he is the best striker we could have in the league.

  103. Red Arse says:

    Micky, as a matter of balance and for clarification;

    — London has confirmed he will eat his hat (bobble and all) if Arsenal do NOT announce Nasri has signed a new contract.

    — Harry has said he will eat his hat (I’m not sure if that is London’s hat?) if Arsenal DO announce Nasri has signed a new contract.

    Either way, there will be a great hat eating event, in due course. The loser has the right to eat the hat raw, fricasseed or boiled, as is their wont! 🙂

  104. Red Arse says:

    Morning GIE, 🙂

    A nice fiesty comment. As I am here early, and it is aimed at me — let battle commence.

    Let me start by clarifying what my position is on RVP. (no pun intended). 🙂

    — Like everyone else I think RVP is a marvellous player and has an important, even essential, role in our team.
    — He has the ability, skill and technique to play anywhere in the team, including centre forward.
    — I have also acknowledged that he scored a lot of goals on his return from injury.
    — I have not come to my view that he is ‘not an out and out centre forward’ because of his performances in the limited period from January 2011 until the end of the season, but on observing his career over a number of years.
    — Given his plethora of skills, and my comment he has the ability to play anywhere, but, in practice, that would not be viable.
    — Goal scoring is not restricted to centre forwards and it is not unusual for players in other positions to score more goals in a season, so that is not a decisive (altho’ very welcome) factor in arriving at a conclusion as to which position a player is best suited to.

    So, in weighing up which is his best and most effective role, in the team, the questions have to be asked “Can he play at centre forward?” to which the answer has to be a resounding YES.
    “Can he play elsewhere in the team?” again the answer is YES.

    Weighing things up, I believe his best role is to be a superb No.10, because he is not an out and out centre forward.
    What is an out and out CF, in my view? I mean someone who can play excellently in that role but would probably not be effective elsewhere in the team, because his only interest is putting the ball in the net!

    GIE, that is not to deny your right to have a Damascene moment in January 2011, but I do not agree with you, in the nicest possible way, and who knows you may be right! 🙂

  105. London says:

    Morning all

    Guess what I am wearing on my head as I write this? Yes a red and white woollen Arsenal hat and very warm it is too.

    I reckon our chances of winning the league took a step in the right direction today with Mancini confirming that they have accepted an offer to sell Tevez to Carinthians.

    35mil — since when have Brazilian clubs been able to afford that sort of money? Still, no one announces the loss of their best player without it being true.

    How does this affect Arsenal? City will be severely weakened by this sale to the point where I reckon they will be back struggling to get into the top four again. Sure they can buy Aguero but we all know it takes a long time to get into the rhythm of the EPL, I mean look how long it took Tevez at West Ham? He couldn’t even get a place in the starting line up for six months. No, today we took a big step in the right direction of regaining our rightful place at the top of the league.

  106. Gooner In Exile says:

    RA it was not aimed at you, it’s a sentiment often expressed by bloggers and me as recently as probably April. But I have been in reflective mood recently and looking for all the strengths and blindly ignoring the weaknesses as any good AKB should 😀

    I take all of what you say on board, but in effect it is probably because he can play in all positions that AW would not sign the out and out Wrighty-esque forward we all dream of. But as I said I think providing his fitness continues we shall not be wanting that type of player for long. As long as others contribute 30 goals the title is ours! 🙂

  107. chas says:

    Morning all,

    Just a thought, aren’t the terms centre forward, No. 10, DM a little redundant for teams playing 4-3-3?

    For instance, I can see where CF and no. 10 fit in with a 4-4-2. Henry/Bergkamp or Wright/Bergkamp are classic examples (though Thierry did spend a lot of time on the left wing.. 🙂 ).

    Perhaps we need some new names for the 4-3-3 positions. I always liked the Italian “libero” for sweeper. Perhaps some words from other languages might suit?

  108. London says:

    I missed the Malaysia game which I regret because it seems that the most interesting thing that has happened all summer took place in the second half of that game.

    Denilson………is this correct? He started the second half and was subbed 20 minutes later. Incredible, Wenger is so forgiving to his players but it is still really hard to find a less cynical view than if you want to sell a player then step one is to raise his profile and nothing raises a profile and say this player is for sale more than subbing a sub.

    You can tell I have work to do that I would rather not by the fact that I am on here so much this morning.

  109. London says:

    Morning Chas

    Good point about the term CF being redundant and it should be as you say when we are playing a fluid 4.3.3

    Usually in this situation the three are Arshavin, RvP, Walcott

    It seems to me that the problem here is that Arshavin and Walcott cannot switch with RvP and becasue of that he is stuck more in the CF role than he should in a 4.3.3 system.

    Barça as we know have the best top three with Villa, Messi. Pedro these three can switch with each other seamlessly.

    I have hope that we will take a huge step forward this season in improving our own attack with a top three of Nasri, RvP Gervinho.

    Here’s hoping.

  110. Red Arse says:


    I am getting a bit full of myself, again. I made a comment on RVP vis a viz /CF yesterday and wrongly assumed it was a response to that. 🙂

    Actually, I was trying to provoke debate by using the somewhat disingenuous term ‘out and out’ rather than refer to ‘a specialist goal scorer’.
    Of course, RVP is rather more than the sum of the parts, whereas Wrighty was a specialist goalscorer and did not have RVP’s all round skills, much tho’ I loved Ian! 🙂

    That is what I was alluding to, for the sake of the argument. (Only TA took me up on the point and gave a very good and similar response to yours)! 🙂

    London, I dare not ask really, but here goes, — is that the red and white hat the only accoutrement you are wearing? 🙂

    Morning Chas, 🙂 you are spot on re 4:3:3 etc, the footballing roles are becoming more androgynous in nature, so as I said above, I was really talking about a ‘specialist’ goalscorer, who could play anywhere along the front line, like Manure’s Chickpea! 🙂

  111. Rasp says:

    Morning all,

    New post

  112. chas says:

    Morning RA,
    How about “Goleador primaria” for specialist goalscorer? 🙂

    London, this is Denilson apparently going straight down the tunnel after being substituted.

  113. johnny says:

    i think the naris thing is simple. arsene is taking a gamble which he has earnt. the gamble is play naris central make him an important part of the team and then win something and have a great season that pursuades him to sign again. i would take the money and put together a massive bid for someone like hazad, lakuka, matta, big new exciting signing could really help us. fingers crossed.

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