Fixture List, Nasri Defeats His Own Wage Demands & More

2011/12 Fixtures

So there you have it, REDaction’s information about Newcastle being the opener was correct. A shame that no-one foresaw that it would be followed by Liverpool at home and a visit to Old Trafford. Each of those surrounded by Champions League fixtures. Yes, Arsène, fourth place very much feels like a trophy won.

There is little point in deciding that a run-in is better than someone else’s or worse. We know that Arsenal are capable of screwing up a relatively straightforward set of fixtures. Perhaps we would have been better served by a tough run-in? Anyway, you can decide which is best here.

By the time Premier League fixtures being in September, the squad will have faced 3 EPL matches, 2 Champions League Qualifiers and 3 internationals. Eight games in the space of three weeks is an intense schedule at that stage of the season. Arsène will need his squad fully fit and everyone in place, ready to go by then. The demands of the season are unyielding in the opening stages and muscular injuries are a real possibility. At least for part of it, the transfer window remains open and new purchases can be made if anything long-term arises.

Starting at St James Park is the best place in some respects. It prevents pressure building for the clash if the defence is misfiring and offers an early opportunity to put right one of the wrongs of last season. The same applies to Liverpool at home. But we’ll forget that Arsenal have never won at St James Park in August. And have lost four of the six opening day fixtures against the Barcodes. Or that we have never won at Old Trafford in August. Still, there is always the fact that we have lost three of the four games against Liverpool if it is the second league match of the season…

New Signings, Old Signings, Anyone Re-signing?

On the transfer front, the potential signings of Christopher Samba and Gervinho remained potential signings, the speculated announcement of at least one of them as an Arsenal player never arrived yesterday so they drag on into next week.

Most importantly Samir Nasri is meeting to try to resolve the differences between himself and the club. The sticking point is money with the rumoured demand of £6m per year fast becoming fact, despite no evidence being offered to prove it is the case. But that is the sort of money that a great player will earn. Samir knows he is not yet a great player,

I don’t want last season to be just a one-off. I want to continue playing at my best and be consistent at the level I was at the start of last season. This is the difference between a good player and a great player – and I know the expectations will be higher on me too.

That is very self-aware of the player and one reason the club will not cede to his demands – if they exist – and nor should they.

If he is the best player, like everyone else he should be rewarded as such. But it is not just proving it this coming season, he has to do it in the next one and the one after that. He has the potential to become the star of the team but he is not yet.  A great player has the ability to shine consistently, to lift a team that is limp of performance and drive them to a win. Too often Nasri was dragged down to the lower level in the seond half of the season.

If he becomes the star, I will champion Samir Nasri to be paid a lot more than £6m. But he is not there yet. And has some way to go.

Gary Cahill is still mentioned as a possibility but deemed too expensive at £17m. Even Ray Parlour thought that and being as English as English can be, champions anyone can vaguely run from our nation. For all of his attempts to bring finesse to Bolton’s playing style, Owen Coyle is still a little rough around the edges, offering to fight anyone who tries to buy Cahill. Presumably with a can of Special Brew in his hand at the same time. You can the boy out of Govan but not Govan out of the boy.

Elsewhere, Arsène might be keeping his defensive options open but surely Sol Campbell is a little too much of a retrograde step whilst Blaise Matuidi is rather blase about being linked with new employers but a bit, well, CBA, if truth to be told when it comes to Rumours. And I have to agree, I’ve always found it to be an overrated album.

Christian Zapatta is ‘snubbing‘ Arsenal at the same time Sebastian Larsson is rightly miffed that his Mr20%s attempt at drumming up interest failed miserably and now he has to put up with a bleak future on Wearside. Who has snubbed whom first as Arsenal were never interested in either? Finally, the weekend after the week before, and José Manuel Jurado is the replacement for Cesc. When a holiday / promotional trip to the Far East makes the basis of a story, you know that the bolt is shot on that one.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on June 18, 2011, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 42 Comments.

  1. First…… ur face u fat scum

  2. I can only wish wenger signs 5 players this summer. We need to get reid of the weak players like denilson, bendtner, rosicky, eboue, clichy.

  3. * spelling very weak
    * grammar rather uncultured

    could do a lot better

  4. Any news on the transfer front

  5. Tom

    It is good to recognise your own weaknesses but next time try to make a comment about Arsenal rather than your shortcomings.



  6. U and me yogi….u and me

  7. I must confess,YW, to feeling more confident about next season, even before the Summer Window closes. There is the distinct likelihood that Fabregas AND Nasri will both stay and there is the promise from Arsene Wenger (not given in past Windows) that new blood will be arriving.
    We have to have patience over the next few weeks before the new signings are confirmed but for the first time in many a year I’m happy about the emergence of New Arsenal next term. Join me?

  8. Just finished reading yesterday’s comments.

    Somehow I suspect that “cuervo” moron is not a “Cule” at all.

    If you ask me, he smells suspiciously like a spud.

  9. Yeah me too….nicky. With the imminent arrival of both samba and cahill. I think cloggers will actually think twice before kicking us off the pitch….I can’t wait to see the look on pulis’s face when his stoke team gets kicked all over. It will be priceless….bring it on

  10. To nicky

    I have good faith in Christ but for Arsenal to buy any players of quality this summer I hesitate to share in your optimism. Here my faith is weak and I will tend to say, ”Seeing is believing”!!

  11. Göteborgs Gooner

    Do we know what was our ratio of number of set pieces conceded in the final third to the number of goals conceded from those set pieces. And how does it compare with our other title rivals. I have a feeling we concede more free kicks than others which increases the probability of conceding goals from them. I don’t know the numbers but maybe we also need a more disciplined team defending and fewer cheap free kicks from lazy defending especially from our wide men. I also have a feeling that its not just our lazy/unclever defending, the referees also tend to give more cheap free kicks against us which, if true calls for our team to be more intelligent in the way they tackle opponents. I might be wrong but I’d love to see some stats related to this aspect of our game.

  12. My choice for a new midfielder would be Vieira! He is out of contract at City, has loads of experience and his presence on the pitch will inspire the lads!! 1-2 playing seasons playing a similar bit-part (but still important) role, followed by a coaching job, would be a coup!!

  13. Unlikely you’d find Own Coyle with a can of Special Brew in his hand. He is teetotal.

  14. Goteborgs

    Check the EPL official site they have loads of stats. Otherwise ask @Orbinho on Twitter.


  15. A bit of discussion yesterday about Vermaelen at left back. I believe the general consensus was he wouldnt be suited to it. How about as a DM? Hes good on the ball, likes to get stuck in and has good anticipation. Hes no slouch, hes a cracking shot on him too. Any thoughts?

    A few questions answered on Gervinho –

  16. Footage is tough to come by, but if you’re incredibly bored/desperate you could google each game in which he scored to get a video. Second goal against Nice below. What a snide twat in that article by the way, DG; for the dig at Arsenal’s “level” and Walcott, who has about the same amount of goals and assists per games as Gervinho. Arsenal also played a 4-3-3 all season, and the fact we’re signing another winger suggests that we’re sticking with it.

    I don’t doubt that he’s seen him play a bit, but he just sounds like a bloke with a Canal+ subscription to me.

    Whatever, it sounds like he’s going to start on the left side of attack or is cover for Walcott.

  17. yeah OneOfUs, his insight into Arsenal and Theo suggests hes just french league orientated, to be expected i suppose, but he pointed to Gervinho being more productive that Hazard even though Hazard seems to be held in higher regard….interesting

  18. I think Philippe Auclair said the same thing recently – bodes well.

  19. Please Wenger do something and take LORIK CANA because he is leaving from Galatasaray. Lorik Cana can play as e DM and in the center of defense. For 5 milion pounds and Cana is in Arsenal’s hands! He has experience and was captain of Marseille and Sunderland! Don’t forget to ask Samir Nasri for him if someone doubt on him! Have a watch on this clip:

  20. “it sounds like he’s going to start on the left side of attack or is cover for Walcott”.

    I think you could be right OOU – we really missed Theo’s speed as an outlet against BBB at the nou camp, and more speed plus finishing is a good combination to add to the mix.

  21. Biggest plus for me will be that Andrei can go back to playing around 30 games per season and that should bring the magic back.He has been over played since his arrival.

  22. Good article about Sol in the Mail.He talks about how different the atomoshere was at the club was when he can back for a 2nd time.A bit like Lehmann bringing Bendtner down a peg for wearing a hat in the dressing room.Too many players think they have achieved something when they havent achieved nothing at all.

  23. Miami Arsenal

    Cahill may be over priced at 17 million, but the issue again is that he is English. Look, I appreciate that prices are down right stupid at the moment for untested English young players but Cahill has more experience and maybe worth the punt. I would prefer a price around 10-12 million, but the lad does have experience and is also young.

  24. Thank you for being so consistently great, Yogi! You fit the bill, as Nasri describes it, of a great player!

    I have always thought that an early run of tough fixtures suited Arsenal well as the squad seems to come flying out of the gates. Of course that has preceded the crash the last few seasons so perhaps more of a balance needs to be found. The PL is a grind, a long, long, long grind, and it takes a suitable mindset to negotiate it successfully. Still, I see two benefits to the preseason tour of Malaysia this year: 1) the squad will be forced to take it easy in order to avoid burnout yet still get playing and practice time together that they did not have last year prior to the season starting, this can only help them work on new things and put them into practice in match situations (regardless of opponent, match situations are just different); and 2) they will have a run of games under their belt other than the Emirates Cup before the season starts so they should be more match fit than in prior years.
    Hey, it is clear that some things need to change relative to the last few seasons, I don’t think doing anything differently this year will hurt the squad as whatever the reason for the late season collapses if you’re not trying something different then you will never know what might help shake them out of their malaise.
    Along those lines I really don’t care who Wenger finds in the transfer market. It doesn’t really matter. New signings are needed to give the squad something other than their sadly tragic collapse at the end of the season. Change, any change in this case, is good in my opinion.

  25. OOU

    Yeah, that french dude has little clue about Arsenal in general and Theo in particular. Theo’s returns last season; goals and assists were very similar to Gervinho’s and in a better leaue, so what the fuck is he on about? As for us not being at a level for Hazard? Ha! Thats a hoot, he makes Hleb look prolific! :ast thing we need is an attacker who doesnt like to shoot! Gervinho would be cover and a good option from the bench and at certain away games for me.

  26. Fukin atmosphere is shit in ere tonight!

    Anyway you gotta love Wilshere….urging Modric to join Chelsea. a true gooner that never misses an oppotunity to piss off them yids. love it. cant ever see him doing a Nasri to us.

  27. @Finsbury,

    Damn, those are some of the fastest stepovers I’ve seen!

  28. Bet you thought that about Cashly as well, but in Jack’s case I think you’re right.

  29. Maybe I’m just very biased, but I’m thinking that Gervinho is coming in for Nasri and that Bendtner is staying.

  30. ma2aaditya

    You’re the only one who thinks NB52 is staying. And I don’t think that Nasri is going. A lot of posturing.


  31. He got his mate to check opta stats. What a liar. opta proves Cesc is far far better.


    A link to the above article isn’t going to be appearing tomorrow but its a load of old bollocks. Nothing unusual for Rob Draper then.

  33. YW ~~ why is that article called news. It’s old regurgitated stuff.

  34. I’m not convinced by Gervinho. He’s fast and all but I just don’t see the spark there to suggest he’s Arsenal quality. Better than Theo? You’re having a giraffe. Funny how doomer talking points make it over to France, isn’t? This scout, Bixente Lizarazu and the twat who heads the French Arsenal supporters club all seem to deal in doomerish.

    Lorik Cana? No thanks. He was out suspended most of the time and we don’t need that. He’s playing in Turkiye for a reason. I’d sooner get Muntari or Anan from Ghana.

  35. G69

    Not seen much of Gervinho but what I have seen I like. Very direct and likes a shot on goal. Maybe needs to become more of a team player but RVP was like that to.

    IF he signs I expect Wenger will soon have him playing as part of the team and not as an individual.

  36. I suggest you watch clips of of him at the world cup so you can perhaps see what I’m talking about. I recommend the world cup since I’ve watched a lot of him at Lille (Ligue 1 is shown here on saturdays after the EPL on and on sundays) and it encapsulates what kind of a player he is.

    The scout I was refering to was comparing him to Pires. The only problem with that is that Pires was incredible even when was playing at Metz. With Pires it wasn’t a matter of if but when he would become a superstar. I just don’t see it with this guy.

  37. I really enjoyed that. Nice work Yogi.

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