Every so often a player crosses the divide and causes uproar, Cantona joined Manchester United from Leeds and went on to become a legend at Old Trafford, years later Alan Smith made the same move despite being ‘Leeds through and through’.
Smith forever ruined his reputation with Leeds fans and there were grumblings from fans when it was rumoured he could be making a move back to Elland Road this summer.
Gallas has probably been in more London postcodes than a black cab having hopped from Chelsea to Arsenal to Tottenham and Luis Figo was pelted with a pig’s head during an ‘El Clasico’ game in 2002 for jumping ship to Real Madrid from Barcelona.
No matter how much we frown upon it, players do cross enemy lines and it looks like Samir Nasri is ready to join the ever growing list as it is being reported that he will tell Arsene Wenger that he wants to move to Manchester United later today.
In the Premiership players moving between the top teams has become quite a trend; Carlos Tevez swore he would not join United’s rivals Liverpool but instead opted to join Man City whilst Fernando Torres’ move to Chelsea from Liverpool was quite a shock even if the rivalry between the two sides was relatively new.
Previously I looked at the Nasri transfer as a knock to Arsenal fans but in all honesty it is the natural progression of a player who wants to better himself, Nasri has stated that he wants to move to win trophies and further his career and sees United as the place to do this.
United have gone from strength to strength whilst Arsenal have faltered and stagnated in recent years, failing to win a trophy in the last 6 years so the fact that the Telegraph are reporting that Nasri will meet Arsene Wenger later today to announce that he wants to move to Old Trafford should not come as such a surprise.
How many times in the past 2/3 seasons in match previews have we written that games between United and Arsenal lack the spark of previous games due to the absence of players like Roy Keane and Patrick Vieira? Whilst this is a major factor, another reason for the decline in the rivalry between the two teams is because Arsenal are falling away as rivals.
In footballing terms too Arsenal seem to be falling behind and have lost a number of stars in recent years and with Wenger’s reluctance to bring in new players the gap is widening. It isn’t being helped by the fact that they are selling players to teams that are looking to usurp their place in the top 4 in Man City let alone to teams who they consider title rivals.
If Nasri moves to Manchester United it will be more of an embarrassment to their fans. As Scholes said for all their ‘pretty’ football it is the more ‘functional’ United that have turned his head. For United we will be gaining a top player and again a chance to hold one over Arsenal that one of their best players wanted to and subsequently joined us.
In terms of Nasri not joining a ‘rival’ team its laughable, the rivalry has been dying for a while and selling him to Man City to ensure he doesn’t end up in Sir Alex’s grasp as is being reported could prove a worse move for Arsenal.