Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Arfa, Gomis and Diarra impress more than Nasri
By 1970’s Gooner
Have we been watching the same game last night?
Because if it were not for my satellite installation and some wizardry from some technically minded friends I would have been taken in by what I have been reading in some of the press and most Arsenal biased blogs today.
Don’t get me wrong. I have for a long time now been blowing Nasri’s trumpet (as it were) on this blog. I even went as far as to suggest his transfer to Arsenal on my (and hopefully) Arsene’s wish list.
However I must say that I have seen much better performances from him than last night's showing for a France eleven against Equador.
He was involved in the game a good deal as he is the type of player that would drift from his wide midfield role into more central areas so as to receive and pass the ball.
However although his passes showed that he possesses a good football brain they lacked the precision we have grown accustomed to watching Arsenal.
His wing play did not impress me either. I cannot recollect how many times he got past his marker from the outside. They were not many if any. He preferred to come inside and lay off balls sideways or try and slip someone in the box.
Hleb he is not as he did not show any real trickery or ability to hold off markers through dexterity. And we should not of course expect him to be a copy paste of Hleb, as Clichy is for example for Ashley Cole (and Traore is of Clichy).
He is able though to get past markers through speed, which he posseses in abundance. But his most unhleb characteristic of all is that he is unafraid to shoot!
One shot from outside the area looked venomous as soon it left his foot and the Equador goalkeeper did very well to parry it out of touch giving away a corner.
There are mitigating factors of course. He has been injured and ill (with a viral infection) for a long time and returned only recently to first team action for his Club Marseille.
He also had to play with another 10 players who had little time to train together and get to know each other’s play well. This would account for his unexploited passes and overall lack of cohesion in the team play.
A player that has been on Wenger’s radar is another winger, Lyon’s Ben Arfa. Now he played like a real winger, especially in the second half.
He did get past his markers with ease and he did put the crosses in. He had a very good all round game and was one of three other French players that impressed.
One of them was a Wenger fancy. But he was so impatient he was allowed to flee the nest.
Diarra was everywhere, tackling, passing and probing. He dominated the midfield area. If Domenech has any brains he will give him a starting birth in the France team.
Domenech’s brain seems to be working recently as his choice to drop the aged donkeys, Trezegue and Cisse from the final squad in favour of St Etienne’s Gomis is a sound one.
Gomis is young, hungry and possesses strength and directness which may prove useful if Henry and co fail to unlock defences as seems likely.
Yet Domenech axed Arfa and Flamini from the final squad. Maybe he hasn’t got any brains after all!
Marseille regional paper: Nasri deal to Arsenal as good as signed and sealed! Where will he fit in?