Tuesday, 23 August 2011

RVP and Wenger clash over transfers -Nasri to sit out Italian job

Morning Gooners.

Arsene Wenger will this morning put his squad through it's final preparations on English soil for tomorrow's crunch game with Udinese for a place in the Champions League group stages. It's an open training session so all members of the media are allowed to stand at the touchline and watch the players be put through their paces.

The most interesting aspect for me will be who will be fit enough to train. Will Jack Wilshere be there? How about Johan Djourou? Are we likely to see Sebastien Squillaci in his training kit? What about having a recognised  left back being put through his paces? Will Armand Traore have recovered from his groin injury?

According to the official site, there are seven players who are registered as being injured. Of those I believe only Kieran Gibbs and Abou Diaby are definitely out of the tie.

Tomas Rosicky should be back after being rested at the weekend after his thigh injury. With the Czech international's return, you can see why Arsene Wenger would decide not to pick Samir Nasri for this tie.

The Guardian report that Nasri has asked to be omitted from the squad which travels to Italy later because he does not wish to be cup tied should his move to Manchester City go through. On one hand you have to question his commitment, which the manager praised only last week. On the other you have to look at the bigger picture, the one where we could lose out of a £23m transfer fee for a player who will not sign a new deal at the club and will leave for nothing next June.

Personally if Nasri doesn't want to be in the squad we should leave him out. I only want to see 100% commitment from the players who take to the field in Italy tomorrow night.

Will the manager be on the touchline for this game is the other big question that will be answered later after the idiots at UEFA handed Wenger a two game touchline ban for breaking the rules of his first ban. It's absolutely ridiculous that he's been charged for a second time, especially as Arsenal had cleared what they were planning to do with European football's governing body prior to last week's match.

Hopefully we'll find out later they've postponed the punishment until after this second leg, when Wenger will be able to appeal properly.

You'd think UEFA would have better things to do. Looking at more important issues in the game. But instead they are concerned about a manager talking to his first team coach who in turn is talking into a mobile phone in a directors box during a game.

I bet like many people who go to the Grove regularly will confirm, getting a signal in the stadium is a nightmare. So it would be hard to imagine that Boro Primorac's calls were all getting through.

The Daily Star run a very dubious story about a meeting between Robin van Persie and Arsene Wenger in which the manager informed the captain he was happy with his squad and isn't planning to make any major signings before the end of August.

Which is completely untrue as Wenger has made an improved £15m offer for Phil Jagielka, as reported by the Daily Mail. The manager has also sounded out Lille about their asking price for Eden Hazard and they've said they'd do business with us if we offered £26m.

Personally I don't believe the Daily Star article. The manager is keen to strengthen his squad. He's said so and all the noise coming from the club is that it will happen. And news of a meeting between the manager and his captain is unlikely to leak out on the same day as the discussions took place. For me, the story doesn't ring true.

According to reports from Germany, Per Mertesacker has ruled himself out of a transfer to Arsenal.

Juan Mata has said he turned down a move to Arsenal to sign for Chelsea in an interview with The Sun. It always amazes me that footballers think we're that dumb. He was no where near a move to Stamford Bridge until they came in with a late offer, one which we weren't prepared to match.

If you've yet to read it already, check out the latest Inside the Formation piece which looks at unsung hero Bacary Sagna's role at left back against Liverpool.

Follow Ashburton Grove on Twitter, chatting Arsenal throughout the day. To receive the blog everyday you can subscribe via e-mail or take the RSS feed to your favourite reader.

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