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Thursday, 18 August 2011

Why Arsenal fans are wrong about Samir Nasri

Samir Nasri will be missed…

Many Arsenal fans are stating on twitter, or in the more traditional discussion forums such as the pub, that Samir Nasri only had 6 good months with them out of three years, and they’ll be selling at a profit – so good riddance. Add an unhealthy dose of abusive chanting at a Newcastle away game, and you’d start to think that Nasri was the worst player ever to have pulled on a red and white shirt.

He’s certainly not that. He scored 4 minutes into his debut in 2008, and in November that year displayed his technical ability by scoring both goals in a 2-1 victory over rivals Manchester United. Seven goals and five assists in a season isn’t prolific by any means, but for a young winger/attacking midfielder adapting to the English game, it’s quite impressive, and hinted at greater things to come. A bad leg break in pre-season scuppered the start to his second term at the North London club, but he still managed to score 5 goals.

Last season was his make or break year at Arsenal, after being left out of the French World Cup squad (Probably no bad thing in retrospect) his form improved and he scored 15 goals including a brace against North London rivals Tottenham. Not a bad return for a midfielder.

Nasri is still only 24, not yet at his peak, and had his best season last year. So, is it a case that he’s only had 6 good months in three years, and the club are right to take big money from Manchester City? Or is it the case that his breakthrough last term has propelled him beyond Arsenal’s level? – Let’s not forget that Arsenal haven’t won a trophy in 6 years, and whilst not exactly spend-thrift, have not strengthened their squad in the way that the clubs above and just below them have. Like the already departed Fabregas, has he grown weary of underachievement in terms of silverware, or is he a greedy bastard who wants the ludicrous wages Manchester City are sure to offer him?

Arsenal fans might be saying that the last 3 years of Nasri aren’t worth crying over, but at 24 it’s the next 3 or 4 that will matter in his career. He’s a gifted footballer, technically excellent dribbler or the ball, with an eye for a great pass, good strength, and a fearsome and accurate shot. And the best way for Nasri to hit back at the Arsenal fans belittling his contribution to their club, or singing abusive chants about him, is to look back on those events in 3 years time whilst polishing his medals and smiling.

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