I revealed to her that I was getting very excited about the start of the season and was quietly confident that the combination of Tomas Rosicky and Eduardo’s respective returns, the failure thus far of any English rival to substantially strengthen and the exit of “rotten apple” Emmanuel Adebayor meant we were in with a very decent chance of lifting the trophy next season. I added that this would be improved further by the signing of a central midfielder and that if one did come in, I would really struggle to keep a lid on my excitement for the new season.
However, I also included a little disclaimer to AG about my feelings towards Arsenal’s chances. Word for word I said:
“I don’t want to get ahead of myself because one of the other teams could bring in new players or we could lose a key player or two to injury. Until we get to the first game of the season I don’t want to get excited.”
And so it has happened. Samir Nasri has broken his leg and according to the Arsenal website will be out for 2-3 months. That means we’re likely to only see him in October, eight games into the new season and with no pre-season under his belt. Not good at all.
First things first I should send out a message to Nasri that I hope he gets better soon and doesn’t get too knocked down by the injury. He’s only 22 and has plenty of years left in the tank so hopefully he can take things in his stride and come back into the team stronger than before.
I see the loss of Nasri as a big one, primarily because of his versatility. Whereas other attacking midfielders like Tomas Rosicky, Theo Walcott and Andrey Arshavin tend be uncomfortable outside the final third, Nasri’s big strength is his ability to be effective in any position from defensive midfield right up to a support striker role. Additionally, the Frenchman’s injury puts pressure on the squad from the very start of the season and with Rosicky still yet to prove his fitness it’s something of a concern, particularly if one or two more were to take a knock.
I have an inkling that although Arsene Wenger’s interest in Felipe Melo absolutely proved he is looking to bring in a new defensive midfielder, the manager may have given up on a signing and come to the conclusion to rely on Alex Song and Denilson as first-choice options and Nasri as a back-up. Now, with that option gone, I feel he MUST act.
If it was Rosicky or Arshavin who went down injured I would not be making such a bold declaration but I believe Wenger cannot afford to go into next season without another defensive-midfield option. The past few seasons have shown that we cannot rely on the notion that our squad will remain fit and I think failure to add to the squad would be a grave mistake.
The good thing is that the timing of the injury means the manager has a fair amount of time to act. I don’t think we need a top, top class player just a player who can get the job done and with Mahamadou Diarra still available from Real Madrid, he’s probably the best choice. Underrated, inexpensive and has experience as well. There are other options out there but I think he’s probably the best one. I’m just hoping Wenger thinks the same.
Anyway, amongst the terribile news about Nasri was a very comfortable 7-1 win over Austrian side SC Columbia. Nicklas Bendtner, Aaron Ramsey and Robin van Persie each scored two while the scoring was rounded off by William Gallas. I didn’t get to catch the game but I’ve included video highlights below – including a fairly monumental cock-up by Manuel Almunia (LINK):
Anyhoo, I’ll leave it there for today in a pretty disappointing post. Get well soon, Baby Nasri!
Have your say on Samir Nasri’s leg break and the impact it might have on the team by leaving a comment.