Arsenal after Taarabt? Or Nasri? So Easy to get these things wrong…

Save the vitriol over another misleading headline. This article has a point: Live with it.

Some time ago I was lambasted for ‘not rating’ Samir Nasri, which apparently is a grave mistake on my part as he is, afterall, ‘the next Zidane’.

It was here that I was thinking that perhaps we’ve been misguided by Arsene Wenger’s uncanny transfer smokescreens, who is actually going after that other ‘next Zidane’. You know, that awful step-overrated neighbour on Seven Sisters. Oh come on, what is his name?

The point of the matter is…Samir Nasri has been labled ‘the next Zidane’, mainly because he is of Algerian decent (like Zizou), plying his trade for Les Bleus. That. Is. It. That’s where the comparison comes from. Yes, he’s got some skills, but Zizou was one of the greatest players of all time. Nasri can only hope that kind of fortune comes his way.

To put it into perspective, consider how many ‘Next Maradona’s have come along. Aimar (could score, once upon a time), Tevez (because of his stocky build), Messi (will come close, but Maradona is still Maradona), plus many, many more that I am forgetting at present. Nasri’s tag of ‘Next Zidane’ by a – let’s face it – French press with a bit of patriotic hope instilled in the lad, is not a reason to sign him.

The reason we want to sign him is because he is a skillful player, with a bit of a reputation. Justified? In the end, it is up to Wenger to decide (or, before I get accused of anything childish, whoever happens to manage Arsenal) whether the player is worth his spending money, or not.

One player who I definitely cannot get excited about is the following below here. Consider the hype, consider the amount of people who have never seen this man play, and temper that all with the fact that he’s probably going to Paris St Germain, anyway. Ben Arfa is the man I’m talking about, and no-one has looked this easy-to-deal-with on youtube since…that Niang kid that Myles Palmer alerted us to a while back.

My analysis of a little youtube video:

  1. (0:06) A fancy flick, and then a brilliant, world class manouvre in which Ben Arfa PASSES TO THE LEFT. (wow!)
  2. (0:14) Outside the box, Ben Arfa SHOOTS FROM DISTANCE…spiralling it about 50 metres above the cross bar. (Ah, but I am Ben Arfa. I get a replay of that. Look at the technique! Phillipe Senderos…screw that, Johnny Wilkinson would be proud of that punt).
  3. (0:31) Drag back, followed by an Eboue-like pass to the midfielder in front of me. (We should be signing up the guy who recieved the pass! That’s a first touch, he has there. Kill it!)
  4. (0:36) Some direct running – which is great – including bamboozling Man Utd’s Anderson – which can only be expected – and the Malouda impersonater BOOMS the ball over the bar. Again. (But I am Ben Arfa. I get a replay for that.)
  5. (0:59) Ben Arfa…well, we’ve all messed up a one-two now and then…(finally, this guy relents!)
  6. (1:04) Ben Arfa…likes to be selfish with the ball! (But it’s MY ball! I am Ben Arfa!)
  7. (1.20) Ben Arfa can…hit a short pass! (At this point, Wenger raises an eyebrow, at least)
  8. (1.23) Ben Arfa…loses the ball! (again?)
  9. (1.27) Ben Arfa…passes the ball backwards!A

And yet, after all that, the comments (on the youtube video) still food in. I quote:

I still want this guy at Arsenal. Just see how he played Anderson

My friend, Quincy Awousu-Abeyie did the same stuff. It didn’t get him very far. Besides, Anderson is still a young’un. All that I can conclude is that people are just overly-desperate for signings. Perhaps not as Freddy-Mercury as I may have guaged yesterday, but desperate nonetheless. They want signings, and they want cash to fly! Doesn’t matter that we only have £25million to spend (reportedly), and that we really only need three players (that’s about 8million each, then). No, we are Arsenal! We have a divine right to win everything. Screw the manageable debt we’ve balanced, I want results NOW. Screw the future. The future is red and white.

But only as long as we splash out millions on a striker we dont need (it’s all about INTENT, people!), and wingers who ‘apparently’ are awesome. I’m happy with Nasri. But heavily undecided on others.

Disclaimer: This is a blog. A place for opinion. While I may be a journalist by trade, working in Australia, I am not a news-source, and have never claimed to be one.

Another Disclaimer: ‘Misleading Headlines’ are the ones frequented by Caught Offside, whereby they twist the words of a manager or player we’ve all read a million times (hence the waste of time), to imply something completely different in a headline. Claiming we’ve signed three pop stars as a parody of our desperation to sign ‘anyone, for the love of God’, is exactly that. Parody. On a blog. Which is not a newsprovider.

Tirade: Hitting F5 (refresh) on newsnow is a major source of RSS.

One more disclaimer: I have better things to do with my time than watch the French League over players we will not sign (other than, perhaps, Nasri). If you want someone who has spent their time productively watching a player who will be involved with our First XI, read Sanderson’s excellent review of Mexico vs Argentina in his ‘tele-scouting mission’ of Carlos Vela.

Play safe, now.



Filed under Arsenal

20 responses to “Arsenal after Taarabt? Or Nasri? So Easy to get these things wrong…

  1. David

    Shit article

  2. AusGunner

    I haven’t really got caught up in the whole Nasri saga, well aware that the deal’s not done until it’s on the official site, but in my opinion, regardless of the new zidane label, he is one of the most exciting young players in world football at the moment and could be huge. I think he’d be an excellent signing.

  3. London Tom

    Oh no, third gen have become what they hate! Hit seekers!

    Some truly great points.

    Nasri won the under 17 championships with France and scored the winner. A competition notorious for producing some top talent.

    You haven’t actually seen Nasri play, I find it amazing you can comment. You seem to be very good at forming an opinion without base. Arfa was French young player of the year, hardly average? Wenger said he was a top player and players like him should be at Arsenal. Does Arsene joke about his skills? Wenger also said he want to tie up the Nasri deal after the Euro’s. Doesn’t sound like a player we are not signing?

    I remember someone else who was compared to Zidane. Robert Pires by Wenger.

    Short memory.

    £25million to spend, again, get with the times and catch up on the news.

  4. AusArsenal

    Good article, the main point is that so called Arsenal blogs are nothing but wish lists of players they want to sign based on their transfer fee and their incessant need for Arsenal to signal their ‘intent’ by wasting 20 million on some guy just so he can play backup to the great talent we already have at Arsenal.

    You know the blogs i am talking about ‘FFS, ARSENE PROMISED US SIGNINGS, VILLA IS A BARGAIN AT 17m, ADD IN (3 ‘major’ names or so) to signal our intent AND SELL RVP THE SICKNOTE AND WE WILL WIN THE LEAGUE’

  5. Bone

    Ok, so you put up the worst video you could find of Ben Arfa to underline a point…
    Well done.
    I bet i could find a few videos that would make Messi look average.

  6. Lova

    I totally agree with you! A lot of fans are influenced by the star transfers of other clubs.
    Its a pity that they cant see the value of our current squad. Its true that we could use a signing or two, especially in the Center back. but other than that I think we are pretty ok. Wenger should just consider using a few players in other positions. Im talking about Eboue. Use him only as a back up for Sagna. Im talking about Song. Use him before Senderos. Im talking about Denilson and Diaby. Give them more appearances. Dont wait for Fabregas’ and others’ injuries to give those guys a chance. Im talking about Walcott. Put give him a more play-time. Im talking about using Bendtner. if Adebayor seem unmotivated, arrogant he should be benched. to me Ade is ‘already’ thinking he’s a new TH14.
    Wenger can actually learn a bit from Benites on the rotation policy.. not that much, but a little. Traore, Diaby, Denilson, Bendter, Song, Walcott, Djourou & Gilberto are all Premier League quality. If Wenger keep insisting the same 11- start ups, fatigue and strange injuries will occur. And when these injuries do occur, the back-up guys will not have enough experience to fill the void. Im not saying that e.g Djourou must play as many matches as Csec. But I think that we can spare “La crême de la crême” against teams like Hull, Fulham etc..
    Re-ignite the competition within the squad!!!
    Re-ignite the desire to give their best performance. Sometime it looks like Adebayor thinks that he has a season ticket for the start line-up..
    Thanks to those of you that took the time to read my opinion!

  7. I pity the frool

    The fact is any young french attacking midfielder is just giving the tag of ‘The New Zidane’ which I find rather annoying. It is highly unfair to for the lable to be pushed upon them. Zidane was one of the greatest and to expect players to get close to what he did in his career is asking abit to much.

    The tag of the ‘new zidane’ is too easily banded about. Ribery, Nasri, Ben Arfa, Tarabat, Yoann Gourcuff, Clement Grenier and even Benzema have all been billed as the new zidane in the last year. The press need to get of their lasy arses and come up with a better discription for the next generation of french attackers.

  8. London Tom

    AusArsenal, in case you missed it, Hleb is being lined up for a move to Barcelona and Flamini left for Milan.

    Are fans allowed to talk about replacements, or is our squad good enough to deal with the losses?

    Also, you might like to remember Arsene said he would sign 2-3 world class players and Arsene said signings would be tied up soon (3 weeks). I agree though, it is incredibly frustrating when blogs report on things they’ve read on They should take a leaf out of Jammathon’s book and just report on a gut feel or a poor you tube video.

    ‘I pity the fool’, I think you have just thought of as many French players you can to labour your point. Journo’s are lazy (Read the above blog), but not lazy enough to say a striker/winger is the new Zidane.

  9. AusArsenal

    I don’t mean to say no signings are needed, but no overhaul is needed, and especially not this major player naming, squad overhaul.

    In the case of flamini, i think no replacement is needed, as we have many players who can take that position, and try to make it their own(diaby,denilson etc) . Hleb, if he does go, is a big loss but i assume Nasri is/was meant to replace or bolster that position.

    ‘I agree though, it is incredibly frustrating when blogs report on things they’ve read on’

    The blogs i am referring to do nothing of a sort. They read off a bunch of 15milion+ transfers linked in the media to a variety of clubs and say we should sign these immediately with no thought whether we need them or can afford them. Then they say they’re great arsenal fans and we should show we mean business by signing them. Of course all these points were raised by this blog previously so i’m not saying anything new.

    I just wish people would stop panicking and falling into the media trap that Arsenal is falling apart and losing its key players (this happens to us every year, remember!)

  10. 100% Gooner

    Good article.. I agree with most of what you have written but Ben Arfa is a good player, no one can judge his skill and play from a minute long video not even le boss, Arsene himself has said that this player is a good prospect and over the years I have come to trust him when he says that. He has a good eye for talent and no one can deny that not even the Spuds.

  11. Danish Gooner

    We are Arsenal and second best wont do.Nasri is the bomb coming from someone who has seen a lot of him on terrestial tv.

  12. I pity the frool

    ‘London Tom’.

    I named those players because over the last year I have read articles in which they have all been linked (bar Tarabat) to arsenal where the reporter has discribed them as the new zidane.

    If it was just a case of naming as many french players as I could then I would have name a hell of a lot more!

  13. London Tom said he would only come one time but he repeatedly comes back. You must be doing a hell of a job Jammathon. Good article. Glad you’re posting again.

  14. London Tom

    Arsenole, I had a blog dedicated to my comments, how could I not post here!

    This is my favourite place to blog now.

    I hear you are doing well ArseNole, 1 comments today?

    ‘Morning all. A special shout out to Dr Whiff today for being such a cunt. Thanks. Top bloke there.’

    Classy post, I must sign up to your mailing list.

    Anyway, if you want to take this further, please drop me a mail on:

    Marathon, sort it out buddy. With my comments, I think we could one day be as big as your favourite site down the road! Hey, you should ask them for a link.

    Well, enough fun has been had by me.

    Over and out.

    Celebrity Commenter – London Tom

  15. wondrinfree

    Good article. It is getting very tedious the daily tantrums of some gullible fans. I thought it was just me getting fed up with them all.

    I don’t know why people are getting all steamed up about Ben Arfa. We don’t need another striker. The 2 or 3 players we’ll get are the ones Arsene said we’d go for. A creative player – this now seems most likely to be Nasri, and a defensive player (hopefully) with premiership experience. The possible third player I guess could be a goalie to replace Jens if Arsene can get one (if not he won’t bother – he won’t compromise quality my guess he’s hoping for Frey).

    Surely if there’s anything to get exited over its who the defensive player will be. All other signings will be a few unknown academy players, and not many of them as we need a large clear out.

  16. col(arsenal-viper)

    fuckin class article so many opinion’s out there, based on virtually 0% fact or truth. thats wat i think anyway

  17. jammathon

    All the tantrums will hopefully go away once the transfer window closes. For the record, no sites other than my own have been mentioned in my articles. Also consider that sites like Sportingo get plenty of comments. Third-Gen has never been about the ‘hits’ or comments that come along with it. It has always been about my passion for Arsenal FC. End of.

  18. harper

    “Journo’s are lazy (Read the above blog), but not lazy enough to say a striker/winger is the new Zidane.”

    Incredibly ignorant comment. Anyone who reads the French football press regularly (which I do) knows how many times French journalists have called the likes of Nasri and Gourcoff “the new zidane.” Argentine journalists do it all the time with the “the new Maradona.” It’s a CONSTANT. It’s basic stuff from the press, obviously you don’t read enuf.

    As to that quote from Arsene promising transfers in “2-3 weeks” — that’s what’s gotten everyone so hysterical. Those of us with a more rational bent saw that quote of Arsene’s at the time and thought “wait, that’s very optimistic, that’s not like Arsene to make an explicit promise like that, is he just feeling the pressure to reassure fans after all the bad press and disappointment with our season?” Arsene came out with that promise right in the middle of all the bad press we were getting once we were out of all competitions, when fans were still reacting to the disappointment. He felt the need to calm everyone down. He shouldn’t have given in to all the drama and hysteria but I understand why he felt the need to do it. It doesn’t surprise me at all that he couldn’t fulfill his promise, esp. because of the Euros when agents will advise their players to wait before committing. Circumstances beyond his control intervened.

    Of course rational arguments like the one above will never work for those who believe that Arsene Wenger sits in his office, rubbing his greedy, stingy hands alongside a gigantic treasure chest firmly locked shouting “mine! mine! mine! off limits to any player who wants more than I’m willing to give him!” Wenger really enjoys watching Ferguson winning the double and getting his 2nd CL. In fact, he wouldn’t mind seeing Ferguson do it all over again. He prefers to sit on top of that locked chest and think of all those millions hidden away from all those next zidanes and maradonas.

    Have Man United confirmed any signings before the Euros? You’d think we were the only clubs in the PL who hadn’t confirmed any transfers before the Euros.

    Good post Jammathon. Except I disagree with you about Ben Arfa–I do watch Ligue 1. He’s a fine player, except he is very selfish and hasn’t yet learned to be a team player. Which is why he’s been on the bench so much.

  19. London Tom

    Hi Harper,

    Please show me the last time someone said Ribery was the next Zidane (Position wise, not to a generation)? Show me and I will eat my words. Ribery is a winger, Zidane was a centre midfielder. They don’t compare. It is like saying Vela is the new Cesc. Maybe your French isn’t that great?

    ‘Those of us with a more rational bent saw that quote of Arsene’s at the time and thought “wait, that’s very optimistic, that’s not like Arsene to make an explicit promise like that, is he just feeling the pressure to reassure fans after all the bad press and disappointment with our season?”’

    Ahh, so you understood what Wenger was feeling? Great, so those of us who understand Wenger’s inner most thoughts understood why Wenger lied. What a load of rubbish. If Wenger couldn’t fulfil a promise, he wouldn’t make one, he certainly never bows to media/fan pressure.

    ‘Have Man United confirmed any signings before the Euros?’

    Did Man U promise any signings before the Euro’s? Does it even matter if they did, they just won back to back titles and the Euro Cup.

    I will agree with you on Arfa though, a fine player. I won’t agree with you on why he has been dropped.

    He was dropped because of his attitude and a bust up with Benzema. You should read the French press a bit more, an incredibly ignorant comment.

    Hey Jammers, where is my thirdgen e-mail addy? Do you have T-shirts?

  20. London Tom

    Hey Jammers, regarding your comment.

    It was implied. Talking about an acronym, I can only think of one hot acronym.


    Am I far off?

    Sportingo has plenty of comments. Just like your site, plenty of idiots.

    Le Grove remove the idiots and still get loads, same with ACLF.

    It doesn’t matter anyway, I love your site now. Fuck Le Grove!

    Do you do pens? I heard you already do 3G phones, you must have made a shed load!