Arsene Wenger has refused to be drawn about the futures of midfielders Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri. Despite intense speculation that both players are on their way out of the Emirates, the Arsenal manager deflected questions about their sales.
He confirmed that neither player was in the squad for tomorrow’s game against Newcastle, ruling Fabregas out because of a lack of match fitness while claiming Nasri has a ‘sickness’. When questioned about their possible departures, he said, “I expect nobody to leave the club. At the moment there is no news. What we want today is to focus on the players who can help.
“I have not been disappointed by Nasri or Fabregas’ attitude. They have been professional”.
The manager’s focus is rightly on the players he has available to him for tomorrow’s game and must surely have been taking the mick out of the press corps when, after more questions about the two players, he said, “I have told you Fabregas and Nasri are not in the squad. I do not understand why the press conference is about them”.
Arsenal fans looking for some clarification about their team, just over 24 hours away from the new season, will have been frustrated at the lack of clarity. They might ask why it is that information regarding the possible departures of Eboue and Bendtner is fit for the public domain while different rules seem to apply for Cesc and Nasri. However, if injudicious words might scupper these deals as we head into the final stages of negotiations then Wenger’s stance is sensible and understandable.
And with the focus on tomorrow’s season opener at Newcastle, Wenger said, “At the moment we have too big a squad. We are not in a position where we are short of players. We want to have a fully committed squad on the pitch. What is important is that the players who play give 100 per cent.”