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”

Nasri is now an Arsenal player. What does this mean for the team?

The biggest news of the close season has emerged; Samir Nasri has actually signed for Arsenal. He reportedly signed for £15.8 mill on a 4 year deal and is joining Arsenal for pre-season training on July 21st.

Arsenal’s style of play and the fact that Wenger gives young players a chance in the team encouraged him to join he said. Nasri should bring us some more versatility on the wing and will probably replace Hleb, who looks like he is definitely leaving. He can also play in the centre too.

This is a great boost for the club and shows that people should have faith with the club and our transfer policy. You can read Arsenal’s interview with Nasri here.


“We are delighted to be signing Samir Nasri. He is young, quick and technically an outstanding player. He has shown great potential with his performances for Marseille and the French national team over the past two seasons and he will add great quality to our squad.”


“I’m very happy to become an Arsenal player, it means such a lot to me. This is a very important step in my life as a football player because Arsenal is a massive club. I really hope everything will go well for me here. I will do my best for Arsenal and its fans and I am honoured to be part of such a great football club.”

Great to hear that Nasri has finally signed up, it looks like he will get a starting berth in midfield. It puts Eboue further back in the queue, as a fit Rosicky will always play. The fact that Gilberto is probably leaving too means we might see Diaby in midfield too.

Watch Nasri’s Goals for Marseilles and France

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 deal confirmed by Marseilles

Marseilles President Pape Diouf has confirmed that Arsenal and Marseilles have reached a deal over Nasri and that the player is completing a medical with the Gunners.

“There is an agreement between Arsenal and Marseille but Nasri is not officially an Arsenal player, he must first complete the medical.”

This is the first official news we have heard out of either club, so surely as soon as Nasri passes the medical he will announced as an Arsenal player.

Who is happy?

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!

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!

Wenger and Ribery say Nasri will sign

Wenger said on Telefoot that we are probably going to sign Nasri

“It is likely to happen, and if it does happen, it will be before the start of the European Championship.”

Ribery backed this up here

“It’s good for him. This is a good club with a lot of young players, but the English Premier League is completely different, difficult to adapt to.

“It is a pity that Samir left Marseille, he’s been there all of his footballing career. But it was important for him to see something else.”

So still nothing totally conclusive, but I think we will get this chap now. He has been the only thing the press are talking about now, compared to a few weeks ago when we were linked with everyone and anyone!

Samir Nasri signs for Arsenal

Samir Nasri will play for Arsenal next season according to L’Equipe. He should be signing his contract today.

Marseilles and Arsenal have apparently agreed on a transfer fee of 15 million Euros. Nasri, has been at Marseilles for four years, this season he has had viral meningitis, but is a top quality player.

If we have got him he will be an excellent addition to the squad. Probably playing on the wing in the style of Hleb or Rosicky. Just better hopefully!

To read the L’Equipe article click here.

Update: 12.47 pm. The Independent says here that he was in London for a medical last night.

Update: 16.50 – It seems Nasri is in Clairefontaine with the French Squad, no news on the transfer front…

Nasri on his way to the Arse for £13 million?

More and more speculation in the papers about who we’re going to sign. Nasri is a name which is coming up quite a lot.

Nasri is 20 and won the Young Player of the Season Award last year in Ligue 1. He has a buy-out clause of €17m (£13.5m).

Apparently representatives of Arsenal and Marseilles have been talking and it’s likely that he will join us. Nasri did say that on Saturday he might have played his last game for Marseilles.

He is our sort of player, fast, agile with good passing skills, he could replace Hleb. The only problem is that he isn’t that experienced, and is a little weak. But when has that stopped Wenger before!

Two which I don’t think will happen are Frey and Aquilani, these are both just randoms I guess. Aquilani isn’t a likely target, and Wenger won’t be signing a keeper I don’t think.