I’ll start with a little bit of a shock today with the news that Samir Nasri is likely to miss the next three Arsenal games for stepping on Richard Garcia’s foot in the win over Hull.
Although Nasri received a yellow card for the incident the referee on the night, Steve Bennett, has indicated that the booking was given not for the original stepping incident but for his involvement in the scuffle that followed. That means retrospective punishment is sure to be forthcoming which is extremely likely to see the Frenchman hit with a three-game ban for what was a red card offence.
I can’t see Nasri getting off this charge however if the Frenchman does get suspended then Bennett must deal out the same punishment to Nicky Barmby for pushing him in the face. My feeling is that the pair will both get bans yet if Barmby is not punished then Arsene Wenger and the club will have every right to feel aggrieved.
A ban to Nasri would see him miss our next three games against Aston Villa, Portsmouth and the FA Cup tie with West Ham and would stretch our offensive problems even further. He’s had a very decent last couple of games and seems to be finding his feet again following the injury, so the likes of Theo Walcott and Carlos Vela will have to step up in his absence.
Confirmation of Nasri’s ban will follow shortly.
While I was away over the weekend on a little break the Champions League second-round draw took place – with Arsenal paired with Portuguese champions and perennial European performers Porto*.
I think it’s safe to say that it’s a fairly comfortable draw and a tie that we should win. When you consider that Chelsea drew Inter Milan, Manchester United drew AC Milan and the likes of Bayern Munich and Lyon were both avoided, you could even say that we were a bit lucky.
With all respect to Porto they don’t appear to be the team they were last year without Lucho Gonzalez and the man with the finest beard in world football, Lisandro Lopez, and we will certainly be favourites to progress. And just for the record, yes, I do have a man-crush on Mr Lopez.
For the record we were paired with Porto in the group stages of last year’s tournament beating them 4-0 at Emirates Stadium and succumbing to a 2-0 loss in Porto after progression was already assured. They’ll be a good test for our boys but in all honesty I’m thrilled that we have avoided one of the heavyweights and if we can get through there’s a decent chance we could go further with a number of the bigger teams set to go out early.
Many people have been wondering just where the heck Philippe Senderos has been in the past couple of weeks after his consistent omission from the team sheet.
While I can’t answer the question of why he hasn’t been playing I can confirm he was alive and kicking at the Arsenal Christmas party. The always excellent Kickette has a brilliant photo of him looking just a bit sneaky with a ridiculously attractive young woman right here. It’s an easy life sometimes for these footballers. It really is.
I’ll be back tomorrow. Have a lovely Tuesday.
*Enough alliteration for you?
Have your say on Nasri, Senderos or the Champions League by leaving a comment.