One part Pires, one part Overmars, and a sprinkle of Zidane

Not much going on today.  It’s a slow news Monday, I have a bit of a hangover, and my pub team lost in the first round of the playoffs yesterday.  So, there’s a short blog in store for you.

According to Gilberto Silver over at Gunnerblog, Arsene Wenger’s promised signing looks like it may be off.  I’ll save the “I told you so’s” for the day the transfer window officially closes but I still firmly believe that the club isn’t really looking too hard for that signing that the handwringers (like Piers Morgan) want so badly.  I believe that because I keep seeing the boss say things like “Absences make the squad grow stronger” and “Not only do we make results but we develop players as well.”  Not exactly the kinds of statements you hear from a team looking for a big signing.  In fact, Man U reportedly put their desire to sign a “quality striker” right into yesterday’s match program, no wonder Looney was so pissed off yesterday.

Regardless of signing or not signing, the positive news stories this morning are all about Samir Nasri.  The boss likened him to Pires and I have to say that Pires was the first person that popped into my mind and probably a lot of yours as well.  Robert was a major contributor to the last double Arsenal won and it wouldn’t surprise me at all to see Nasri put in the same type of contributions.  I mean, imagine if Arsenal could get 15 goals from that spot: that would be 30 more goals than we got from Hleb.  Already Nasri has shown a willingness to shoot and so while he may not be as dribbly-steppy overy-pass the ball into the defense- as Hleb  (who Piers Morgan laughingly called “our best technical player”) I already think he’s a marked improvement over the Belarussian.

But for Wenger, Nasri also draws comparisons to Mark Overmars as both players were a gamble by the boss in that they were coming into the team after a poor season at their previous club.  Maybe so, but in order for the comparison to be apt, the boss will have to sell Nasri for ten times his purchase price — after they win the double.  Sorry but I can’t see anyone paying £110m for Nasri — well, Tottenham would if only he were English.  No, I’ll stick with the Pires comparison for now.

Maybe a little bit like Ljungerg? Let’s wait and see if he dyes his hair a red streak.

Oh and finally, I’d like all the handwringers and people who think they know better than Arsene Wenger to have a look at what Tony Mowbray (West Brom’s manager) had to say about Arsenal after their so called “pathetic” display.

Quality players cost money but I think the biggest factor is the mental capacity to take in what you are trying to teach. Once we get players who can do that, we will have a team which follows that philosophy — a passing, moving, thoughtful team. The secret is the way Arsene Wenger has done it. You don’t pay £30m for a player, you identify the talent very early and nurture it.

Look at that, someone appreciates Arsenal for what they are doing.  Must not be a “true” Arsenal supporter.


4 Responses to “One part Pires, one part Overmars, and a sprinkle of Zidane”

    August 18, 2008 at 7:58 am

    i’ve been having troubles thinking right as to why arsene is not signing big players despite the fact that he’s selling our bests but after reading that comment from mowbray i think i’m cleared head at least for now.

  2. August 18, 2008 at 8:23 am

    Yeah, it’s really all about a system of play and if you’re going to play a system like Arsenal’s then getting in kids who can be molded into versatile, intelligent footballers is crucial.

    It’s why, when the press were saying that Arsenal would drop to 5th place after losing Henry, Arsenal came within just a few points of winning the whole thing.

    It’s really an audacious plan by Wenger and I know that a lot of people will say “it can’t be done, you can’t win with kids.” But I would say, “it hasn’t been done, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.”

    Besides, as I said last week, Fabregas may only be 21 but he’s got more experience than most men twice his age.

  3. 3 jonnyz
    August 18, 2008 at 8:46 am

    like the blog. we just need a better mix of age/youth and quality in depth. i’ve maintained we finish third this year but with little meaningful cover in crucial areas it’s hard for me to see titles and trophies very soon. as far as vital new signings, all eyes on denilson. he is quite good and hugely improved but i’m not yet convinced as i was hoping for a real step up on what flam provided.

  4. 4 Josh
    August 19, 2008 at 12:49 am

    Whilst I will concede that Nasri looks a gem and he had an excellent debut, it is still quite early to be calling him the next Pires/Overmars/Zidane or whatever. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a massive fan of Nasri; he’s in every one of my footballing teams, Pro Evo, all the manager games, etc.

    Let’s see how he progresses over the season. I really want to see him get a lot of game time, but I’m anxious to see what happens when (hopefully) Rosicky comes back. Nasri has said he’s comfortable playing a central attacking role, or on either wing, but he seems more Pires than Ljungberg. Ljungberg was all about (well, in his heyday anyway) racing to the byline before cutting it back for Henry/Pires/Bergkamp to slot in, and Nasri doesn’t seem like that sort of player. But, who knows? I have complete faith in Wenger and am eagerly anticipating seeing more of Nasri.

    Also, very few if any people mentioned Denilson’s performance. He looks really solid this season and at least we have someone who can fit the holding role.

    One more thing, why did Wenger put on Toure on the right wing? I honestly can’t see why he did that. And, did anyone notice Toure’s hair? Me and my mate couldn’t stop laughing at his hair, which looked like Toadsworth from Mario.

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