by Adam Bate
Welcome to September. It’s the month in which we say goodbye to summer and football fans everywhere say hello to the squad of players they now know they’ll be stuck with until January. The transfer window has shut but the recriminations continue. And Arsenal fans etch the date of 7 April into their diaries – the day on which Samir Nasri will return to the stadium that he found just a smidgeon too quiet for his tastes.
Nasri is not a popular boy at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium. He didn’t show any loyalty, you see. Oh sure, he spoke of a desire to win ‘trophies’ but in the world of football we are only too familiar with that little euphemism. Let’s assume a doubling of his salary helped smooth the deal.
The Arsenal message boards were suitably apoplectic. Cesc Fabregas had moved to Barcelona for love. That the Catalan giants happen to be the finest team on the planet and not exactly notorious for rewarding their superstars with nuts and berries was to miss the point. The judgement was clear – Nasri’s betrayal was beneath contempt.
Such is the myopia of the football fan that you would be forgiven for thinking every playing squad in the land had been assembled without assistance. But Arsenal’s squad, like others, was not acquired by cherry-picking a handful of talented young scamps found kicking a can in the local park. Instead, their charges were acquired from Southampton, Charlton and Cardiff; from Auxerre, Lille and Marseille.
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