I feel the observation that it never rains, but pours is a rather apt one this afternoon.
Yes, I’m talking Arse again.
Yesterday afternoon, we were greeted with the rather ridiculous news that Arsene Wenger has been hit with a two match ban by UEFA for failing to “abide” with the one game suspension they enforced as a result of comments he directed to Massimo Bussaca last season, Bussaca, I’m sure you will remember, was the man who sent off Robin van Persie for taking a shot just one second after Bussaca blew the whistle in a capacity Camp Nou. You’d think UEFA would accept that Arsene had a right to be upset with that one, wouldn’t you? But, no. And so they’re compounding the initial, bollocks, decision to suspend him. Arsenal, however, have asked that the suspension be delayed until after tomorrow night’s make or break match in Italy.
And it’s a make or break match that will take place without our (former) number 8. Arsenal have just confirmed that they have agreed terms with Manchester City for Nasri to go and earn lots of money, win trophies and probably run 80 yards to celebrate a goal in front of an antagonised group of fans that used to support him. Personally, I think that while Nasri was a very good player, and he was very good on his day, we haven’t really seen his best form anywhere as much as we might have- four months last season excepted. Which isn’t to say that he won’t go on and sparkle in Manchester, just that if the right moves are made in the transfer market, the fact of him once playing for us will seem like a poorly remembered dream. Or, depending on your outlook, nightmare.
And that’s all I have to say about him.
Furthermore, the Twittersphere has not been a good place to dwell this afternoon, with rumours circulating that Jack Wilshere has aggravated his Achilles injury and will miss a further two months of the season. I think that anyone reading this will know that, if true, this is even more devastating news than the anticipated departure of Nasri. And it makes you think that, with only Robin van Persie, Szczesny and Vermaelen as genuine top drawer talents, the kind that will win you matches on your own, we could very easily be up shit creek without the canoe by the time he returns.
As it stands, all we know is that he’s had a setback, what that means for his immediate future, we can only speculate.
Also speculation, at least as far I’m concerned, is the Daily Star’s story that Robin van Persie was told by Arsene Wenger after the Liverpool match that he is happy with the squad he had and won’t be adding to it. If this is true, then I think we’re looking at this as General Wenger’s last stand and I can’t believe that. How could a manager as intelligent as Arsene look at the squad we now have, the team he put out on Saturday, and think that it stands a chance against the “petrodollar” teams and Manchester United? The frustrating thing, the thing that truly kills me is the fact that it’s not major surgery required. Really. A top level centre back to come in and partner Thomas Vermaelen, and push Koscielny and Djourou down to the reserves status they currently merit, a central- you what? Fuck it, you all know what’s required, you don’t need me to tell you.
Suffice to say that should Arsene not go out and get what’s required, then it’s difficult to look at anything other than the closing of the transfer window as the closing on one of the most illustrious eras of Arsenal’s history.