Samir Nasri One, Arsenal Nil, But Round 2 Beckons
In this summer’s transfer window two teams dominated the headlines but for two very different reasons. Manchester City and their high spending was nothing new since the 2008 Abu Dhabi Group takeover, but the Arsenal saga was very new. The departure of Cesc Fabregas to Barcelona had been the worst kept secret in football for quite some time and the only real surprise was that it took most of the summer for him to finally return to the Catalan club. The Samir Nasri events on the other hand had plenty of ups and downs, including City boss Roberto Mancini even claiming that City wasn’t doing enough to bring the French international north to Manchester.
However, the transfer window has been closed for a while and those two names are probably not going to be stealing many headlines in January. Samir Nasri is now officially a member of the Premier League’s top side and although he is still adjusting, it is clear that his reasons for leaving are now beginning to be justified.
When Nasri eventually left the Emirates for the Etihad there was an immediate emergence of upset Arsenal supporters. In fact, before Nasri had been signed by City he was actually booed by Arsenal fans. So why did the young French international decide to leave the comfort of Arsene Wenger’s side? Well in his words it was very simple and clear. He wanted to win trophies and he didn’t think he could do that at Arsenal. Tuesday finally brought Samir back to the Emirates for the first time since his controversial move and his welcome was nothing short of what was to be expected. The Arsenal fans booed him, chanted that he only left for money, and Emmanuel Frimpong made it very clear to Samir what his feelings on the situation was.
But it seems that round one’s winner was Samir Nasri. Despite a post-match bust up with Frimpong where it was clear that Nasri’s frustration was showing, City still walked home with a win. Even though the Carling Cup is probably the least popular tournament that Premier League teams play in, it is still a trophy. A trophy that Arsenal absolutely should have won last year. Losing 2011’s final to Birmingham City was a huge blow to Arsenal and to Wenger. It was also decisive in Nasri’s decision to go to City, it was not just for money by any means.
What is now important is the date of 18 December 2011. Arsenal makes the trip north to the Etihad and round two of Nasri vs Arsenal will commence. This time the stakes are much higher though. Three valuable points in December will be at stake. These three points could be very decisive to where these teams finish in May which makes this game quite appealing. Nasri should now know what to expect from Arsenal, Frimpong, and the AFC supporters.