Tuesday, 23 August 2011


The EUFA Champions League; to be in this competition is to guarantee a lucrative revenue stream, just from the group stage alone.  In London, our nation’s capital, corporate events and schmoozing are big business. Arsenal at the Emirates against Milan, Real, Barca, United is blue chip; this is why from a financial reason qualification is something of a necessity. Thursday night against Steau Red Lion from Kazakhstan in the Europa League does not carry the same cache.

Therefore Wednesday’s game in Italy carries a great deal of significance. A must win game and a game in which you need your best players. Given the injuries and general lack of quality you would think that Samir Nasri; who is under contract to Arsenal Football Club, would be part of the team. Playing him allegedly reduces his value; this seems an unusual consideration given that the planet’s richest club wants him. If he plays and we qualify surely the finances then generated off set any dip in value and if Wenger leaves him out because ‘the player’ wishes to be left out and Arsenal fail to qualify, what does that tell the football world about our priorities?

I have my own views about us having to, yet again; go through a qualifying game given our League position in March/April. One can talk all day about Man Utd. Chelsea and City’s money but that was not the cause of Arsenal’s plummet from the top of the table last season. Be that as it may we face a must win game on Wednesday and need the best eleven available. In my view that includes Samir Nasri.

Player power, commerce and the needs of a football Club can make strange bedfellows.

Things are getting Shakespearean at Emirates

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