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Friday, July 25, 2008

Nasri v David Silva - plus Hleb will be better to watch at Barca

Samir Nasri is Arsenal's most expensive signing this summer. His arrival, as of that of Robert Pires - who also joined from Marseille - has been treated as low-key by the media. My hope is that Nasri can similarly become as effective and influential a player as the most underrated player in football in recent years.

I also hope that Nasri can be as good to watch as a player of similar slight physical stature who was part of Spain's magnificent technical midfield in Euro 2008 - David Silva.

I have been really impressed with Silva over his last two seasons at Valencia and given his excellent technique I had little doubt he could translate his play at the international level - which was proven this summer.

Silva is a superb creative midfielder, loves to take on a player, very rarely loses possession of the ball, and is happy to get a shot in on goal. His link up with Cesc Fabregas was great to see and had me thinking it would be nice to see them together in the Arsenal midfield.

But with the arrival of Nasri this is not going to happen. So my question is: can Nasri be as impressive looking a player as Silva?

I don't watch French football and therefore have very little observation of Nasri. Two things however gives me a lot of hope about the young French-Algerian.

First is that Arsene Wenger has selected him as a player he wants - and there is not a much better judge of a great footballing talent than Wenger.

Second is that from what I have seen from various YouTube clips he possessess similar-looking ability to that of David Silva - and I particularly like what appears to be an ability to shoot hard with both feet (which after the frustration of the 'Hleb-years' is something I look for from a potential replacement).

If there are any Nasri-watchers reading this article that can tell us about his potential and similarity to David Silva that will be great. This will be what I look for when I watch Nasri next season and I wish him all the best in the Arsenal shirt.

P.S. A couple of lines on Alex Hleb's departure to Barcelona.

He is a player that is excellent to watch and I will enjoy seeing him in the Barca shirt. Ironically, I will enjoy this more than seeing him in the Arsenal shirt because for all his magnificent close control and ball skills in the midfield area his reluctance to shoot and lack of shooting ability was a source of frustration for even the most sympathetic of supporters, as was his evident mental fragility when playing a pass in the eighteen yard box.

For me Hleb will come to symbolise the last few years when Arsenal played great-looking football but lacked the added killer instinct to achieve tangible success - and now that he is gone I hope this image/reality will depart with it.


Anonymous Spike said...

I don't rate Silva at all. he seems to be this years Reyes. In fact i'd say reyes had more to his game before he drifted away.

7/25/2008 1:53 pm

Anonymous Nturtle said...

Well...I think Nasri at least has the right attitude...and doesn't seem to mind the weather yet!! Vela will be the one I have hopes for as well to have some impact.

7/25/2008 2:57 pm

Anonymous Ryan said...

Samir nasri and fabregas all the way

7/25/2008 3:35 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Samir Nasri is a quality close control player, who can run as fast with the ball, as he does off it. He keeps it close to his feet and doesn't run in straight lines, for a player of his size he is relatively strong and holds onto the ball well under the feircest of challenges, I would say give him the usual 6 months to settle into the midfield, and we will then start to see the best of him. He is like a young overmars, with a bit of pires and maybe a little bit of messi in the way of his skills and tricks. I look forward to him helping us win many trophies, for many many years to come.
Gunner #1

7/25/2008 4:31 pm

Blogger T said...

Anon - thanks for your summary of Nasri's footballing persona and I will be watching out for aspects of Overmars, Pires or Messi when watching him in the next few weeks.

Spike - Reyes had so much ability and I am really disappointed to see him not exploit his talent. Silva does not have the explosive aspects to his game that Reyes possesses but his close control and team play is outstanding.

Nturtle - I am really looking forward to Vela's arrival and am happy to hear Wenger's intent to play him as a centre-forward and not follow the Walcott model of playing him out on the wing while he develops his game. Vela has been bought up as a centre forward and has the attitude to be a killer striker - that is what I want to see him bring to the team.

7/25/2008 6:26 pm

Blogger MeteorMonster said...

IF RVP is healthy Vela will play on the left wing in a 4-4-2 formation. We need to have him on the field but he certainly will not start over a fit RVP.

7/25/2008 11:02 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pires was signed from Metz, not Marseille.

7/26/2008 2:06 am

Anonymous remigarde said...

started his career at metz, but we signed him from marseille. he was their captain.

not sure it's been said, but nasri's best asset is definitely his vision, rather than his shooting or skills.

if anything he reminds me most of rosicky (who, incidentally, shits all over hleb, and always did.)

7/26/2008 3:23 am

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Pires was signed from Metz, not Marseille."

First senior club was FC metz you div, then Marseille from who we signed him from. Do you even know the price we paid for him, or is that even too much for you??


7/26/2008 6:34 am

Anonymous Nturtle said...

Good to see EFT being active debate on Gareth Barry is HUGE! I'm very impressed & I think that sums up the spirit of EFT - Redsman has been quite accepting of some ideas, rejected a lot, but been quite forthcoming in his view - this is what is all about!

RE: Hleb...well..I thought he was always a great player, but also the type of player that "doesn't give his all" in some ways. I miss that and our full backs Clichy and Sagna really show determination, composure etc...if our forward line could also do that, no idiotic shinnanigens between forwards, chase all balls, etc...we'd have a great chance of winning something. I'd rather have the never say die Keane, the stoic Barry etc. HA!

Flamini was a shame, Hleb can be replaced and hopefully has been with Nasri, Vela combos. It'll be good to see how Barca gets on this time round.

7/28/2008 4:16 am

Blogger T said...

Ha ha ha - Redsman has come back with a bang - I'm reminded of a phrase about not being able to keep a good man down!

My brother tells me that Vela has scored again tonight - adding to his hat-trick a couple of days ago. The signs are promising - and looking forward to seeing him live at the Emirates Cup this Sunday.

7/30/2008 11:00 pm


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