Arsène Wenger: The Nancy Years

You’ve heard the story of Wenger’s time at Monaco and some of his transfer tales. Now prepare for the latest in Wenger: The Beginnings, on his days at AS Nancy from Andrew Gibney.

Today Arsène Wenger stands as one of the most respected managers in football. When he moved into the Arsenal hot seat in 1996 no-one could have predicted the influence he would have on not just the Gunners, but the whole of English football.

His managerial career hasn’t always been full of praise and plaudits though. Pundits will always quote his time and France as the seven years he spent at Monaco from 1987, winning the league and cup and the appearance in the UEFA Cup Winners Cup final, but the story starts years earlier.

Arsène Wenger as a young coach, interviewed in 1984 on taking the job with AS Nancy. Interview and translation.

Before being handed the reins at the principality club Wenger had gone through a tough initiation. Starting as RC Strasbourg’s youth team coach in 1981, he spent two years there before joining AS Cannes as an assistant manager to Jean-Marc Guillou in 1983 (later of KSK Beveren). After just a year in Cannes it was time for Arsène to take his first senior job, at AS Nancy-Lorraine, after being offered the job by a certain Aldo Platini.

Continue reading “Arsène Wenger: The Nancy Years”

Diaby fights Ben Arfa: Video Post

In 2002 French director Bruno Sevaistre filmed “A la Clairefontaine”, a documentary series following France’s top young talents during their time at the highly acclaimed French national academy; Clairefontaine. The documentary caught this great moment between a very young Hatem Ben Arfa and Abou Diaby.

Very interesting stuff, I think this gives evidence as to why there are rumours of Diaby disliking Ben Arfa. It’s pretty funny, seeing them having to hold Diaby back from tiny Ben Arfa.

Read more about the documentary on the IMDB page.

View more videos in the Video Post Archive.

Thanks to Tim of Liverpool Talk for the link!

Robin Van Persie, Djourou and Gallas injury update

Robin Van Persie is hopefully now off our injury list. He injured himself during training for Holland ahead of Saturday’s 2-0 win over Iceland, apparently it was his hamstring again.

Now RVP has declared himself fit for the game on Wednesday against Norway. This is good news, it was the same international break last year where he got injured and was out for most of the season.

He has been on form this season, I hope he doesn’t play against Norway though, it will only tire him out and give him more chance of another injury, ideally as a Gooner I’d like to see him only play for Arsenal!

Anyway that’s some good news. Gallas is probably out for Saturday’s game against Everton, as is Djourou, so SIlvestre is highly likely to play, which is great. The press are trying to cast doom and gloom over the matter, but the defence, especially Gallas, haven’t been performing brilliantly so a change could work wonders. It would be nice to see how Silvestre does.

What do you think? Should Silvestre start?

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Samir Nasri: Goals for Marseilles and France – Arsenal Signing Video Taster

This is a video post of some goals and other clips of Samir Nasri playing for Marseilles and France.

Nasri scoring against Sedan:

A goal against Metz:

Tennis Football:

Nasri is an Arsenal player: An overview of the new signing

Samir Nasri has finally signed for Arsenal after months of transfer rumours. It just shows that sometimes the rumour mill does bring up some stories with a real foundation.

Samir has confirmed the deal on his website:

“We inform you with the news that Samir Nasri will not be an Olympique de Marseille player next season.

“We also tell you that he has signed a four-year contract with the London club, Arsenal.”

Apparently the deal is worth £15.8 million, which hopefully will be good business. Nasri has signed a four year deal with us, which is very exciting.

He will take the number 8 shirt, as that one is free at the moment. Whether or not he will replace Hleb or play alongside him remains to be seen, but either way this is a good signing on Arsenal’s part.

The 20 year old played four seasons in the Marseille first team, making his league debut during 2004-2005. He plays as a winger, and can score goals – he got six in 30 games last season.

On an international level he had just two substitute appearances in Euro 2008, but has represented France through their youth squads, starting in the Under-17 European Championship side in 2004. He first played a full France international in 2007, and now has 7 caps. He was also Marseille’s fans player of the year for the 2006/2007 campaign.

We’re still waiting for official confirmation of the signing, but have uploaded pictures of Nasri (here and here), probably whilst preparing the announcement!


Nasri’s official website is down and Arsenal have removed the pictures – the transfer was leaked too early, and the deal is not totally finalised.

Nasri signing with Arsenal after medical

According to La Provence, Samir Nasri is in London for a medical with Arsenal. He didn’t leave the Euros with the rest of the French squad after they got knocked out. Instead he was taken by private plane to Le Bourget at 1pm on Wednesday, and then flew on to London from there, arrving Thursday.

The Grove is waiting expectantly for him as he is expected to complete his medical and finally sign on for the Arsenal! It is thought that the signing may be announced today (Friday), which would bring to a close the biggest transfer saga of the summer.

The financial side of things have been sorted out with Marseilles, and Nasri is expected to sign a five year contract.

After that he’ll be off on a three week holiday to relax before the new season.

Expect an announcement soon Gooners!

Vieira, just how we remember him!

Remember those glory days, when we battled it out with Man Utd evey season for the title and Vieira graced our midfield? Remember the antics of our players, Vieira in the tunnel with Keane, the brawls, Keown on Van Nistelrooy, the pizza incident?

Well it seems the rivalry is for life, as during France – Holland, Vieira, ex-Arsenal, and Van Nistelrooy, ex-ManUre, had an argument in the tunneland ‘traded insults’. Vieira was also spat at by a Dutch fan.

Van Nistelrooy purposely waited for Vieira after the 4-1 defeat to the Dutch in Berne last Friday. There is a video, which I am looking for showing Vieira in the tunnel apparently being pulled away from arguing with Evra, and apparently Van Nistelrooy was waiting afterwards.

Anyone got a link to the video? It would be interesting to see!


Thanks to Dariano we now have a video, this footage only shows a clash with Evra, before the problems with Van Nistelrooy.

Nasri to finally sign after France exit Euro 2008?

According to La Provence, Samir Nasri’s transfer to Arsenal will be finaised in the next few days. I expect this transfer was put on hold for Euro 2008 and it was widely expected that Nasri would sign on for us after France were out of the tournament.

La Provence ran an article about Marseilles transfer ambitions and mentioned this:

“In a few days, the departure of Nasri with Arsenal will be made official, considerably reducing the wage bill of the club.”

This makes sense in the context of Marseilles tranfers, because they are rumoured to be after Ben Arfa, and transfer money from Nasri, as well as a lower wage bill would free them up in the transfer market.

Hopefully this will go through in the next few weeks, it’s always enjoyable to see a new signing, but I won’t be hysterical if it all turns out to be rumour!

Update 0140 hours 19 June:

Even the BBC is running it!

Van Persie on form for Holland – Video of his goal

Anyone watch the Holland vs. Romania match last night?

I did, along with the France vs. Italy game, France have been a shambles this tournament. But that’s another matter. If you missed the Holland game, you missed a great RVP goal.

Click here to see his goal.

RVP wants to play for the Dutch in their EURO 2008 Quarter-final against the runners-up of Group D, which will be decided tonight. He had this to say:

“Of course I want to start the game, every player does,”

“But there is a lot of competition with the strikers here – which you can see from the fact we have scored nine goals already in three games.

“I would like to play but I will trust and respect the decision of the manager. He knows what is best for the team and whatever he decides I will give everything I can to help the team.”

Van Persie scores – Out with the old, in with the new

Yesterday saw Holland continue their good form and thrash France 4-1 at Euro 2008, putting them through to the Quarter-Finals, and France on the brink of disaster. The game itself was a great spectacle, both sides had a lot of chances, but Holland’s counter-attacking play ruined France’s chances of a comeback.

This game mirrored in some ways the transition at Arsenal, with players like Henry playing for an aging France side, while young starlets like Van Persie (when fit!) scoring. The Dutch play a great passing game, and have really stood out for me. The way they have brushed aside the two finalist of the 2006 World Cup is impressive.

I can only hope that we can start getting more results like this next season, and one for the future – I wouldn’t mind seeing Van Basten at Arsenal when it comes to the day that Wenger retires.