By Randy Osae
With numerous Franco-phone personalities in the Arsenal squad, it’s hard not to see them meld.
It’s been the pivot of Arsene Wenger’s reign and despite the highly French-accustomed dressing room neglecting the English sense of the club, new boy Samir Nasri is not complaining at all.
It’s still home sweet home for the Marseille native – even with Theo Walcott’s British alliance divided by Hoyte’s exit – Nasri sees the club’s atmosphere as the best he could ever ask for.
“Everybody speaks French, with the Swiss players, the Africans, the French lads and Arsene Wenger all in there,” Nasri said.
Walcott is one of a handful of British players in Wenger’s squad and Nasri added: “It is not easy to speak English in the Arsenal dressing room.
“The boss talks in French when he has discussions with players and only speaks English in team meetings. I do not feel that I am in a foreign country with all the French speakers around I am not in unknown territory. I have settled in very well.”
And what else but England’s weather could be his little bother, but Nasri adjusts to it well and appreciates the cordiality of people in England.
“English people don’t invade my privacy. If they see me in the street, they’ll just make a small sign of recognition. The weather in London is pleasant, even though you don’t get the same sunshine they have in Marseille.”
With his early English career blazing, it couldn’t have gotten better for the 21-year old.
Indeed, had it not been a few shifted circumstances weeks ago, Arsenal would have been the club enjoying the investment of Middle East’s riches.
Reportedly, the Gunners were on the Abu Dhabi United Group’s shortlist before the Arab based investors, lead by Dr Sulaiman al Fahim, decided to switch interest to East Lands with a heavy £210 million takeover.
While Hill-Wood stressed that the current board of directors at the Emirates do not wish to sell their shares, particularly to fellow shareholder Alisher Usmanov, he did concede that a serious offer would inevitably be considered.
That can only mean one thing – sooner or later, as Wenger prepares to help elect a director of football for the club, Arsenal could be revolutionized by new ownership.
“If somebody came and made a really huge bid then you cannot recommend shareholders turn it down because we don’t like it,” revealed Hill-Wood.
“We want the club the stay in its current ownership and, of course, you have some concern that someone will try to buy the club. The directors don’t want to sell but we are a public company. It depends on the price.”
Arsenal are valued at an estimated £300 million but the club’s board have a current agreement in place to fend of any interest from Uzbekistan billionaire Usmanov, refusing to sell any further shares to the oligarch until 2012.