Its been a great week and a half, and I'm happy to say though all the trials and tribulations Arsenal has gone through, they've become stronger for it. Mentally as well as physically.
After a spanking by Chelski (lucky though) and a bit of verbal abuse by our favorite gaffer, our boys seem to have clicked something on inside. Does anyone see it too? Alright then on to the man in the spotlight.
Samir is a player I really, really rate. But to be honest, when I heard Arsene was looking to get either Nasri from Marseille or Ben Arfa from Lyon, I wanted Hatem.
I watched him play more, and I thought we could use the pure winger's ability. He's quick, short in stature but not ability, great footballing mind and he's technically at a high level...and, oh, he's French.
Clicks all the boxes for Wenger right? Well, what I didn't see in Samir is his unique technique, his ability to connect with other players, and his interchangeability. The guy is so form fitting: he can play left/right/central attacking mid, and lets not forget he had a bit-part role at CDM. For me his best position is either on the right or CAM, but that's for another day.
One thing I see in our petit prince is the positive nature of his attitude, play, and all around game.
Which is of course something Wenger loves to see. Nasri is always looking forward, looking to connect with other players and keep the ball. Once again while going forward. With his ball retention skills, balance, technique, vision and link-up play he is simply another perfect cog for Arsenal's Wengerball.
Interestingly enough although Nasri is a smaller guy, from day one when Joey Barton tried breaking his leg, he showed he was not going to let anyone push him around. And when he had the chance to get his own back on Barton he gave him his with a cheeky clip on the heels.
It was from that point on I knew I was going to love this guy. Samir's proven himself to be not only strong mentally but physically as well. His shielding, turning, and balance have given him the ability to hold of defenders, turn his opposing or shrug off tackles.
I, for one, haven't seen him shy away from a challenge yet, and against Hull City, he proved to be a fire-starter. Samir's got a mean streak to him and that's something Arsenal have been missing for quite some time.
Although the stomp on the bum's foot was stupid, I, for one, am glad he did it. It lit a fire under Arsenal's arse's and the shot of adrenaline proved to me what our boys need in every game...AGGRESSION!
We may be a small-ish squad but if we're up for the game with a fire in our belly then no matter who it is the boys will play the way they were trained to, the way they were taught to, the way WE were meant to.
Nasri is a player which Arsenal are lucky to have and that the rest of the Arsenal squad can look at and emulate. For his guts, determination, and tenacity. For all the talk about technique there needs to be even more about fire and aggression. So to Samir and all who chose to follow in his positive, fisty attitude, I salute you.
Long may you play at Arsenal.
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