Malaysia XI vs Arsenal – Match Preview – Van Persie – Nasri – Theo News

I often wondered why news headlines and blogs sometimes had just the name of a player in their headline, but today I understand… the headline of today’s blog is really: “A preview of the Malaysia XI vs Arsenal game, a listen to what Robin has been saying in the press, a review of comments from Nasri’s agent and a discussion around Theo’s desire for new faces in the squad…”, but that would have been a seriously long title.

Malaysia XI vs Arsenal

So let’s kick off with the game which is going to kick off at 13:45 UK time; it’s our first pre-season friendly and will give us a few insights…

  • Who will Vermaelen be paired with?
  • How will Gibbs fair at left back?
  • Who will play on the left wing?
  • Who will play in the Cesc position?

I for one, think we’ll play the following team:


Sagna – Koscielny – Vermaelen – Gibbs

Wilshere – Song

Walcott  – Ramsey – Nasri

Van Persie

I think the formation will continue as 4-2-3-1, despite it’s failings last year and I think Ramsey will be given a chance to shine in midfield. Carlos Vela has returned to join pre-season, we have Miyachi, Chamakh and new boy Gervinho (eventually) replacing Bendtner – so the question is – how do you accommodate all 4 strikers when you only play one? Last season, we saw Bendtner play left and right wing, and I suppose Vela can play left wing – but I secretly hope we’ll be more adventurous with our formations this year… I would mind season a bit of this in pre-season:

Walcott – Wilshere – Ramsey – Miyachi

Van Persie – Chamakh

or even this:

Miyachi – Wilshere – Ramsey – Nasri

Van Persie – Walcott

Would love to see what we can do with the Wilshere – Ramsey combination – as we all know what Alex Song offers us. I think for 2011/2012, we need to be able to play 4-4-2 at home and 4-5-1 away and / or mix both formations up as much as possible. Last season, we were simply too predictable.

Theo: We need new players!

It was very interesting to see what Theo Walcott had to say on Sky Sports News when interviewed on tour with the team. He was quite honest:

“It’s important to keep all of our best players and it’s important for players to come in as well. Knowing that we were nearly there (last season), the last couple of months it went away from us, we need to know what we did wrong there. The boss will see what the players have got in pre-season matches and see what they have got to offer this season. The boss knows what he’s doing, he’s done it year after year. Us players need to go on and win something, because it’s been a long time. I don’t like to get into talks about other players, they make decisions by themselves. You just want to keep your best players and attract players as well. Only time will tell what’s going to happen. We are just looking forward to the pre-season matches and getting the season up and running. If players come or go, we just have to go on and try and win something.”

There was an element of understanding that the players need to win something soon – they need to perform better. There was also an honesty about where we were last season and a realisation of the hard work going required – listening to him further on Sky Sports News – it was clear that the players feel they’ve underperformed – he talked of the guaranteed third ending up in fourth and the disappointments around that.

It will interesting to see Theo in action in pre-season – where will he play and how will he play – as he will be the first to admit, that his second half to the season was pretty poor!

Nasri: Should we sell?

So, now let’s discuss the Nasri situation… we all know that the player hasn’t signed a contract. We all know that he has one year left on his contract. The big question… do we sell or do we keep him for another year… or will he sign? Most people seem to think we should sell – as if he doesn’t sign, we’ll lose a very good player for free next summer.

“Samir’s situation is clear for me – he stays. I’ve told you that we are in a position where we can say ‘No.’ And we will [in the case of Nasri]. It was put to Wenger that keeping Nasri with no guarantee that he will sign a new contract represents a £20million gamble – the fee his suitors are reportedly prepared to pay. You are the same people who reproach me for not spending money and now you reproach me for wanting to spend it! It is in the interests of the Club. Imagine the worst situation – we lose Fabregas and Nasri – you cannot convince people you are ambitious after that.”

I think there is a hidden message in that statement – and that is that we are going to lose Fabregas if the price is right. If he was really confident that we were going to keep Cesc, then surely he’d sell Nasri and then use the money to replace him with a similar player? How on earth Nasri was allowed to enter the last year of his contract, I don’t know… and in addition, Arsene doesn’t need to be stupid to prove that he spends money – if we sell now, we can get a replacement, if we don’t sell, we won’t get any money to replace him.

Of course, perhaps there is a slim possibility of him signing a new contract – but surely he would have already done so if he was going to. I hope Arsene isn’t being stubborn for the sake of it. Nasri’s agent has confirmed that United enquired and City have made a serious offer – Alex Ferguson seems to think Nasri is off to City too. We’ll have to keep our fingers crossed and see what happens in the next couple of days…

Van Persie: Invest!

Van Persie has called out to Arsene Wenger to invest (just like Theo and Sagna have done)…

“These days, proper players cost money. Sometimes you see players go for loads of money and you think, ‘Is he that good?’ It needs to be seen. Most of the time, they are. You need investment to keep up because, when you look around, Man City is buying loads of good players, Liverpool are doing it now, Man United have been doing it for years.”

When all the players start calling for investment and the manager isn’t investing and the players are being sold every summer, then eventually, we will drop down the league… and players will lose heart… and we will stop being able to attract players.

No matter what people are saying – Arsenal are more in need for a marquee signing – a big name – than ever before – for the players sanity more than anyone else!

  • Domhuaille MacMathghamhna

    Rubbish article from start to finish!

  • Kuka

    I haven’t commented on this blog for a while now, though I have been Reading keenly.

    My view is that we have to be careful not to fall in the same trap the the media, their reporters and journalists find themselves in. The essence of this blog IMO is not to create a news item, rather to share with the fans info within the club that is worth discussing and engaging with:

    I take issue with the following:

    1. Can you show any evidence that SAF said that Nasri has signed for City? If I am not wrong, he said Nasri has signed elsewhere! Is our role to speculate and fill the rumor mill? Isn’t that being done already by BBC, Skyports, ITV etc?
    2. Theo’s Interview: You place your focus on the players call for players, but for me, what was extremely important from Theo’s comments from a fan’s perspective was the statement: players staying or leaving is one thing, the task ahead is much bigger. Theo went ahead to say, it’s important to concentrate on the task ahead. Of I am not wrong, Van Persie also mentioned that it’s time to win trophies. So let us leave the politiking and speculation to the media and focus on dialogue that is useful for the club.
    3. I used to think Arsenal is much bigger than any individual? That includes Cesc, Nasri, etc. Everytime I read this blog, I get a feeling that we are a begging club almost like we can die at the thought of loosing Nasri or Fab. The last time I checked, this players have not helped Arsenal win anything! They are just as responsible as as fans, the manager and board. Van Parsie was spot on in rallying players to win trophies. I think that should be the focus.

    And by the way: Arsenal is much bigger than all of us. Cesc, Nasri and anyone else can leave, I do not see Arsenal crumbling. And those thinking that Arsenal will be battling at the relegation end, watch this space! Won’t Happen

  • Berth

    Arsenal should go for Dawson he is a better player than Cahill.

  • afc4life

    @ Domhuaille MacMathghamhna:

    Bit harsh! Thought it was a good overview of the game today and some good comments on players comments.

  • yemi

    @ Kuka:
    I agree with ur comments and views totally. Sometimes we assit the media in throwing up dust where there is none.

    Having said that, it will be very foolish of arsenal not to sign at least 3 experienced players. That should include a CB and a CF. So far we have a Winger (Gervinho). i am not counting Jenkinson and miyachi. I also think we need an experienced GK but i dont see arsene bringing in 4 players.

    I also don’t know why B52, Squillaci, and Denilson are still at the club.

  • agentsmurf

    wenger aint going to sign simples. expect a revolt from the fans and players – cant believe the manager has gone insane

  • yemi

    I have been trying to subscribe to the arsenal player but i am getting a “gateway timeout” error, any ideas ? or does anyone have a streaming link/url to the match ?

  • yemi

    2:0 to arsenal, who is watching the match ?

  • rado

    wicked 2-0 agaisnt ranodms

  • afc4life

    Final score – 4-0

    Ramsey (pen), Theo, Vela and then Rosicky!

  • Gooner Get Ya

    @ Domhuaille MacMathghamhna:
    That was a great critique. If you are going to complain at least make a point why you think it’s a bad article.

    I agree with RVP though we do need a couple of marquee signings to boost us as fans and also the players.

    Denilson had a strop today as he came off. I can see his point though as he only came on at half time and was subbed off.