Gooner of the Year #4; Samir Nasri

Nasri picks his post

He started the season in the best fashion possible: he scored a goal in his very first game. It wasn’t a spectacular goal, not the kind he scored against Man U, but it was a goal and a goal in his debut. And given the fact that he was brought in to replace the Catalonian Dreaming Hleb who, in fact, never even took a shot at goal in the three years that he was at Arsenal (all 10 of Hleb’s goals were actually missed passes or deflections*) a goal in his debut was about as good a haul as any could hope for.

He followed that debut goal with a goal in the Champions League against minnows FC Twente, then one against Everton, and just as Arsenal supporters were starting to wonder if he could keep up the goal scoring pace, he scored a brace against Man U. It was a moment of majesty and led many to early speculation that Nasri would be player of the year, that he was the next Pires, and so on.

The first goal was a speculative shot, for sure, but the second was a goal of pure beauty. Watch it again here, it could be Arsenal goal of the season.

Unfortunately, that brace would be the moment of the season for Samir as after that his form slipped a bit. It could have been the demands of the Premier League, the fact that he was required to play more defense than at Marseilles, defenders figuring out his moves, or some left over effects of his battle with meningitis, it was clear that his form had dropped off a bit at the end of the season.

Still, he managed 43 appearances in all competitions all the while putting in wherever the boss asked — defensive midfield, attacking midfield, off the striker, on the left, on the right, floating… hell, let’s try him at right back! And jaded or not, 43 appearances will just make him stronger next year, and bodes well for his strength and stamina.

Personally, my second favorite moment of the season was when Arsenal hosted Coca Cola side Newcastle. The game was over with Arsenal sitting at 3-0 when Newcastle brought in recently paroled Joey Barton, who’s very first action was a two footed tackle on Samir Nasri. This attempt to end the Frenchman’s career was greeted with jeers by the crowd but Nasri just shook off the challenge, got up, waited until Barton was running away from him, and kicked him in the Achilles. Cheap shot, sure, but a cheap shot well deserved.

Nasri bedded in well in his first season and is certainly one for the future.

Anfield ’89, Anfield ’09

You can tell by the blitz of articles coming out of the dot com that the end of this season was always going to have a huge media campaign reminiscing over that magic moment back in the eighties.  There are all kinds of videos and interviews and remembrances from all kinds of participants (fans to refs) and if you haven’t gotten your fill of Anfield ’89 then by all means, go and indulge in the past.

However, if you’re looking forward to the future, you might want to skip that and go on over to Setanta (or your favorite ‘feed’) and watch the second leg of the FA Youth Cup. Gunnerblog has a companion piece about the night, you should read it.

Diego off Arsenal’s list

At £22m I doubt Diego was ever going to be an Arsenal player, but that didn’t stop the press speculation last season. Anyway, he’s now a Juve player and goes the way of Ricardo Quaresma as yet another player that Arsenal supporters begged Wenger to buy who went somewhere else to fail miserably.

For me, the important thing about this story is that Diego represents the first big signing of silly season. It’s on now.

Oh, and you can start speculating about which Newcastle player Arsenal will not sign, they are having a fire sale. I think Obafemi Martins will be linked non-stop until he signs for Manchester City, and I think Arsenal supporters will be begging for Bassong non-stop until he signs for some place in France.

See you all tomorrow!

*not true


14 Responses to “Gooner of the Year #4; Samir Nasri”

  1. 1 uncle mike
    May 26, 2009 at 8:03 am

    he got 7 goals . our highest scoring midfielder. what does tha ttell u.

  2. 2 Gareth26GOONER
    May 26, 2009 at 8:19 am

    We need more goals from midfield?we should have conceded less?

  3. 3 CaribKid
    May 26, 2009 at 8:31 am

    I really do like Nasri’s “bad ass” attitude and his skill set. Considering he normally played as an AM before coming to us only serves to show his versatility intent to be a team player. We heard no complaints about being played all over the park, and if Fab ever gets injured or leaves he is the perfect replacement.

    Good buy and we should see better from him next season.

  4. 4 Gareth26GOONER
    May 26, 2009 at 8:37 am

    He has been impressive for his age and first season,although i think the first 4 months were his most effective. His move to a deep lying midfield position was a bit baffling. He promises a lot,i have no doubt he will deliver

  5. 5 nycgunner
    May 26, 2009 at 11:05 am

    That Joey Barton moment was definitely one of the highlights of this season. It was good to see that the little guy can dish out as good as he gets it. He is also probably our most versatile midfielder. We all knew he was a good attacking player but I was most surprised to see him tackling well when he played deeper. I hope he can build on his first year performance as I definitely see him as a player of the future.

    People wanted Diego? How many CMs do we need? and Diego isn’t the best at tracking back either.

    • 6 CaribKid
      May 26, 2009 at 12:05 pm

      Agreed. I was soliciting for Diego last year before we got Nasri. Add Arshavin to the mix and Diego is redundant to our needs.

  6. 7 WC
    May 26, 2009 at 12:09 pm

    I love Samir and what I really hate is that he never had his own position all season which I think contributed to his dip in form. He has done extremely well to play wherever the boss asked him to without question: left win, central mid, right wing, behind the main striker, the Cesc role. I think he’s a splendid winger who can cut in and his delivery is certainly better than Theo’s has been all season.

    He’s played so many games for us this season, he was bound to get tired and with injuries, he could hardly ever be rotated. I hope when we strengthen the squad next season Nasri will have adapted to the long season and the demands of the Prem and begin to express himself even more. Lord knows the midfield has the most competition if the squad was ever at 100%, though perhaps if Arshavin can make his move in the hole behind the striker then an attacking force of Cesc, RVP, Arshavin, Walcott and Nasri would scare just about any team. Mate them with someone like Song or any top notch CM we get and a reliable back four and I can’t see why we cannot be title contenders again.

  7. 8 gooner sems
    May 26, 2009 at 12:39 pm

    don’t you think you should put videos for the winners

  8. 10 Matt
    May 26, 2009 at 1:14 pm

    If possible, go watch Nasri’s tackle on Barton. It was a complete dive on Barton’s part, Nasri did not even touch him.

    The Arsenalist has it: http://arsenalist.com/2008/08/30/arsenal-vs-newcastle-highlights-english-premier-league/

    • May 26, 2009 at 1:43 pm

      First of all, Matt, thanks for reminding me of what a cunt Barton is. Arsenalist has his “tackle” on Nasri and it’s actually more appalling than I previously thought.

      Second, Nasri sure looks like he kicks out at him, or at the least like he ran across Barton’s legs. He knew what he was doing it was a cheap trick. Just letting Joey know that next time he’ll give him a flat tire.

  9. 12 CaribKid
    May 26, 2009 at 3:39 pm

    Just watched the 2-1 defeat of Liverpool youth side exactly 20 years to the date of clinching our league title against them at Anfield.

    Beautiful thing was that the Arsenal Youth had balance, direct passing, speed, creativity, good in the air and were strong on the counter. All the things our current team lacks.

    Maybe we should have the 1st team watch the lads play to see how it’s supposed to be done.

  10. 13 str8goon
    May 26, 2009 at 3:51 pm

    Love Samir Nasri. The guy has done very, very well for his first full season in the prem. And judging from his skill set, experience, talent, and potency he will be a major force for Arsenal in the future; as long as he’s allowed to play in his natrual positions. For example, LM, RM, AM, CM. He will be much more effective for us next term because he will have fully adapted to the pace, pressure, technical level of the Prem.

    For some reason Arsene usually seems to buy players who adapt to the pace and Arsenal with little/no effort. Such as Nasri, Arshavin, Sagna. Just can’t wait for next term. We will be seeing something special boys, something we’ve all been waiting 5 years to see again….


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