Wenger prepared to pick Nasri
Published 19/08/2011 | 14:12
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger would have no problem picking contract rebel Samir Nasri against Liverpool tomorrow and urged Gunners fans not to jeer the France international.
Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini today remained hopeful a deal to sign the midfielder could be tied up "very quickly", with discussions between the two clubs believed to have been going on for some time.
However, Wenger maintains while the 24-year-old - who has yet to sign a new deal and could leave for nothing next summer - is still an Arsenal player, there is no reason to leave him out now he is fully fit after a bout of illness.
Nasri, though, could be in for a hostile reception from some sections of the home support, with the midfielder using his Twitter account to hit out at the "disrespectful" chants during last weekend's game at Newcastle.
Nevertheless, Wenger - who this week saw captain Cesc Fabregas sold to Barcelona - told a news conference: "One thing I don't question is the commitment of Samir Nasri to this club.
"Every day since he has arrived here, every day in pre-season, he has worked with a fantastic spirit in training."
Wenger added: "The fans will want Arsenal to play well and win the game. They do not make an individual case of each player in each position.
"They want good players and to win the football game."
Wenger maintains the views of a minority of hard-core supporters grabbing headlines should not be taken as the general stance from the stands.
"You have to be careful," the Arsenal manager continued.
"We live in a modern democracy where everybody has a right to have their opinion, but it does not mean always that a few opinions represent the majority.
"The unfortunate thing is that the extreme opinions get more media attention than people who have normal common sense and intelligence.
"Because a few people have a bad opinion of one person, it does not necessarily represent the majority of our fans.
"The majority of our fans are behind our players and I think they will show that tomorrow."
The expected sale of Nasri would bring in around another £22million to add to the £30million Barcelona paid for Fabregas.
Arsenal have been linked with a string of players this summer, including the likes of England defensive duo Phil Jagielka and Gary Cahill.
Wenger accepts given injuries his squad are now a bit light in midfield, as well as at the back.
However, the Arsenal manager said: "We have lost big players, but number-wise we should be capable of doing well. If we find quality we will add quality to our squad and we work very hard on it."
Wenger, however, maintains not signing proven Premier League talent is "nothing to do with the money", and again urged Arsenal supporters to keep the faith.
"I believe I have shown in my 15 years here I am capable to make the right decision for the right players - you have seen more world class players here, or as many as anywhere else," he said.
"You have to trust my judgement - one day somebody else will make the decisions in my place and we will have to trust him."
Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish, meanwhile, has certainly been busy in his rebuilding programme at Anfield - spending millions on Englishmen Andy Carroll, Jordan Henderson, Stewart Downing and Scotland's Charlie Adam.
"They were hyperactive in the market," Wenger said. "They bought many players. You can basically say it started in January - they have bought eight or nine players since so they fight very hard to come back to the top four, that shows you it is not easy as everybody thinks."