Date: 12th November 2011 at 5:00pm
Written by:

Regular readers will know that the constant criticism of Arsene for not anticipating the departure of Nasri and not buying a replacement by the press and the media in general, really wound me up.

Their ignorance was astonishing given that Nasri had played all last season on the left of our 4-2-3-1 formation and we had signed a player of Gervinho’s quality to play in that position 5-6 weeks before Samir departed.

I for one was delighted at the signing of the Ivorian and considered it excellent business given the huge price differential between the player arriving, desperate to play for Arsenal and the one leaving, seemingly so ungrateful to and our great club.

Given the recent announcement of Gervinho’s listing in the top 10 nominations for African Player of the Year, now would be a good time to compare and contrast the impact on Arsenal and the fortunes of the two players.

Gervinho has truly found his feet in the Premier League in October, and the flashes of brilliance we had seen in August and September, such as the amazing dribble and cut back for RVP in Udinese, are now becoming a regular feature and the final pass more telling. In fact, in October alone our exciting and unpredictable winger provided 4 assists in the league along with a goal, as well as one further assist in Europe. He and Theo have begun switching flanks during matches, which has undoubtedly helped both and the team as a whole. It is abundantly clear for all to see how much our talisman skipper is appreciating playing alongside him. Gervinho already has 2 goals and 6 assist in just 11 matches this season.

Astonishingly, given the competitive nature of our squad in the Ivorian’s position, Gervinho has started every game in the Premier League, for which he has been available for selection, which clearly demonstrates the faith that has in the player. It also illustrates just how wrong the critics were in their continuous contention that Wenger had not planned for Nasri’s departure.

By contrast, our erstwhile hero Samir Na$ri certainly does not find himself so highly thought of at his new home in Manchester.

Was Nasri able to enjoy his teams 6-1 demolition of United from the bench, before he was finally brought on for the last 15 minutes? In reality I am sure he will enjoy his time at City and one has to believe he will win silverware, but what is plain for any observer to see is that he is no longer a go to player for Mancini. Since his ineffectual display in the home tie against Villareal, which lead to a comment from Danny Mills, a pundit for the BBC, saying ‘he may as well not have been on the pitch’, the Frenchman seems to have dropped below the dynamic Milner in the pecking order.

In the 14 games for which Nasri could have been involved since his move from the Emirates, he has started only 9, and been taken off in 7 of those, brought on as a late substitute in 3 and unused completely twice, including the last match at QPR.

Man City have switched to the same formation as Arsenal, so it should suit Nasri, but the harsh truth is that in a 4-2-3-1 it will always be a three of Silva, Toure and Aguero in the big games. Nasri must fight for the scraps of playing time with Milner and Adam Johnson. Meanwhile, Gervinho is one of the first names on our team sheet and seems to be improving week in week out in the position the Frenchmen vacated.

I for one am quite pleased with the lack of foresight showed when he failed to replace Nasri with Gervinho, who I confidently predicted will end this year with 10 plus goals and 20 assists.

A firm single finger salute to the press and I’m sure their apology to will be forthcoming in the very near future!

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