by K-PO Hardcore Member of the Goonerforum, Blog Manager
Today, French starlet Samir Nasri has confirmed that he has signed for Arsenal. Other reliable sources such as Sky Sports News and the BBC claim he has signed a four year deal for around 15 million pounds.
For the past three years Arsenal have been in transition. This year, we saw a little tiny beam of light at the end of the tunnel. In 2008/09 it would be a crime not to think that Arsenal will challenge for titles on every front until the final day if necessary. Now that they have the experience of being in a title scrap, which most of the squad has never been involved in before, they will now know what will be asked of them and will do everything that is asked of them from the fans, their teammates, and Le Boss.
Now, who are the players you can expect to be in our starting line-up next year? Adebayor, van Persie, Bendtner, Eduardo, Nasri, Rosicky, Walcott, Fabregas, Diaby, Denilson, Toure, Clichy, Sagna, Ramsey, Almunia and many others.
So what role will this Nasri play? He is a natural playmaker, more of a play maker than Hleb or Rosicky, who many Gooners have been complaining that they are being played out of position by Wenger. But I doubt such a talent as Nasri will be played out of position, especially with the promise of Walcott on the right, and now Rosicky’s injury problems have apparently been cleared up by his recent surgery, and he should be back mid-pre season. So Nasri I think will start in the hole in a 4-5-1.
Now, with Hleb set to leave, Walcott should be gifted a starting birth. Walcott is statistically better than the Belarussian anyway. On the right should be Rosicky, and Cesc in the middle.
This brings me too the second of three issues. Who should partner Cesc next year? I don’t think another signing will be made so for me the options are Djourou, Gilberto, Song, Denilson, Ramsey, and Diaby.
I would want someone whose tall, with at least a little Premiership experience, but is still young. That basically narrows it down to Diaby and Djourou. Between these two I would certainly chose Diaby. He has a bit more experience, bit more composure, longer passing range, but my favorite attribute of his are his long dazzling runs from midfield to the by line, and his ability to stop an opposing attack and start one very quickly for Arsenal. I think he should be given his chance next to Cesc. More evidence that this could happen is the fact that he signed a new deal until 2012 a few months ago.
My third issue is the defense. It is what cost us this season in the months of March and April. The weak link of the defense was Gallas. But I doubt Wenger will do anything about that. At the back I really don’t know what will happen. I want one of Senderos/Song/Djourou to start alongside Toure but I think the plan is to play Gallas there until he retires (probably after WCSA 2010) and then put in Havard Nordtveit when he is ready and at the tender age of 20.
Gael Clichy, Bacary Sagna and Manuel Almunia have all recently signed new contracts and with Kolo Toure also under long term contract, it looks like the defense is secure transfer-wise, apart from Gallas.
So this is what I predict the first team will be next season:
—–Adebayor—-*rotating center forwards: Eduardo, Bendtner and van Persie, depending on opposition
Bench: Fabianski, Senderos, Song/Djourou, Gilberto/Ramsey, Vela/Denilson, Bendtner, van Persie/Eduardo
Finally, in the Carling Cup, Arsenal should boost an especially strong squad (for the Carling cup)
I don’t care if we win trophies next year, I just want to see an Arsenal team that plays beautifully and that fights for the title and stays in the race until the very last day. That’s all I want. And if we win it, I will be the happiest man in the world.