Samir Nasri doesn’t deserve the pedestal we put him on.

Posted: December 22, 2011 by oranjesky in Exile in London
Tags: , , ,

While there are very few topics relating to Arsenal that Gooners agree upon, the fact that Samir Nasri is a twat is generally not argued. However, while agreeing with the previous statement I am beginning to suspect that we as Gooners are making Nasri into a bigger deal than he ever really was or deserves to be. Was it unclassy of Nasri to join one of our direct rivals and try to fob off his money-wanting ways with excuses of passion and trophies? Yes, but should we really be surprised? This was a player who signed a contract extension with Marseille to keep him at the club until 2012 then left to come and join Arsenal. Past behaviour tends to be indicative of present choices.

I have been surprised to see people label Nasri as a Judas and speak of him on the same terms as Fabregas. For me the only commonality between Fabregas and Nasri is that they both left the club at the same time. There has been much controversy over Fabregas and I myself have been highly critical of the way he left the club, but the facts remain he was a key player for Arsenal for the better part of 8 years. Cesc was our Captain and a brilliant player; he has the ability to change a game with his mere presence on the pitch and is truly a world class performer. The game against Aston Villa in December 2009 is a perfect example. Fabregas spent less than 20 minutes on the pitch and offered two goals and changed the momentum of the game – all while nursing a hamstring injury. He is a player of proven quality and talent who could have gone on to become an Arsenal legend. Cesc appeared in 303 games for Arsenal, provided 57 goals and 101 assists. Although it was painful to see him go, Cesc left to join a club he has always supported and loved. To compare the proven quality of Cesc to Nasri, a player who sole motivation for leaving was money, is a disservice to both Cesc and Arsenal.

I have read that people are of the opinion Nasri is also a world class player, and while I agree he has the talent and the potential to reach that level eventually, I don’t believe he ever showed it at Arsenal. Nasri’s first season didn’t exactly set the world on fire. In 44 matches he provided 5 assists and scored 7 goals, with his brace against Man Utd in November being his most notable goals of the season. He struggled to find form for the remainder of the season.

After dealing with a broken leg in the 09-10 campaign he returned in October and netted goals against AZ Alkmaar, Standard Liège, and Portsmouth. He didn’t score again until his wonder goal against Porto in the Champions League and continued his decidedly average form by not scoring at all in the last seven games of the season. In 34 appearances Nasri provided just 5 goals and 5 assists.

The 2010-2011 season was when Nasri began to shine and cause others to sit up and take notice. At the time it was widely speculated that his exclusion from the World Cup squad was a motivating factor for Nasri. The man himself said:

“When I discovered that I wasn’t part of the squad for the World Cup, I got a big slap in the face. The next day I had a chat with Arsene Wenger and he reassured me.”

Nasri seemed determined to prove his worth. He suffered an injury on Aug 15th against Liverpool in the first game of the season but returned sooner than expected ,and would begin to turn his potential into good form on the pitch. Nasri scored twice against Tottenham in September and then added another brace in our 3–2 home defeat to West Brom. He went on to score in the next three games and bagged himself the PFA Fan’s Player of the Month in October. Nasri continued his goalscoring ways well into December, earning himself the Arsenal player of the month award by racking up 12 goals and was consequently named French Player of the Year. However into the new year we began to see a dip in his form , with only 3 more goals for the rest of the season, and his most notable contribution being the assist to Arshavin for the winner against Barcelona. Despite this, Nasri ended his breakout season for us being nominated for both the PFA Players’ Player of the Year and PFA Young Player of the Year awards, as well as being selected for the Team of the Year.

The end of the 2010-2011 season had fans and the media excited about Nasri’s game. However, looking back through his performances with a careful eye, it is easy to put Nasri into perspective. That he is a player with potential there is no doubt, but Nasri was never Arsenal. He didn’t grow up a fan of the club, he didn’t fall in love with the Arsenal way and he certainly didn’t achieve anything legendary in his 3 brief seasons with us. He is a football player who came and performed a job for us. By booing him, labelling him a Judas, constantly tweeting him or about him we are raising him to a level that he isn’t worthy of. We are better off focusing on supporting the players that are committed to Arsenal and our fight. We would do well to remember having a fantastic song doesn’t prove anything except that Gooners enjoy a good tune.

  1. Having (too) many Citeh fans as close friends, they always ask me why so much hatred towards Nasri. “We showed motivation, we paid more, he isn’t a gooner, what exactly would keep him?”. Eventually i can see their points now. I don’t hate him, i just simply don’t care about him now.

    Ex skipper, however, is a totally different story. I’m bitter about Cesc because, though it’s obvious his motivation to move wasn’t money, he had Wenger to think about. Someone who trusted him so much he had built the entire team around him.

    I agree with ‘most’ of your points. Nasri isn’t World class, he may be in the future (i doubt it) but he isn’t. And losing him was hardly surprising and the effect wouldn’t seem big at all if we did not also lose Cesc and Jack got injured.

    Nonetheless, if booing him at our matches keeps the spirit of the fans going, then why not? It’s the same with “Evra you’re a cunt” … of course it’s not necessary, but it’s fun … and somehow it’s true.

  2. Bala says:

    I think people were disappointed and angry at Nasri’s departure not because of what he gave for us, but what he could have given us in the future. He has potential and is only 24 and so he could have a great future ahead of him. I agree with the Cesc-Nasri comparison though. It should stop now and never happen again. As you said, we should stop talking about Nasri ( & Cesc ) and focus fully on supporting this new spirited side we have under Captain Vantastic.

  3. hamster41 says:

    “While there are very few topics relating to Arsenal that Gooners agree upon, the fact that Samir Nasri is a twat is generally not argued”


  4. Clock End Mike says:

    Excellent points all. One of the best blogs on the subject I’ve read anywhere.

    I must admit I’ve found it easy to put Na$ri’s defection behind me – I’d have liked him to stay, but frankly I’d rather have Gervinho. Now he shows real potential, he’s a nice guy, and I hope he’ll be a Gunner for years to come.

    As for the loss of Cesc, that still hurts. I don’t blame him personally though. I do, however, blame the twats at Barcelona (not only Xavi, the lot of them) with an implacable hatred, for tapping him up, heaping the emotional blackmail on his shoulders, and putting him in a quite intolerable position where he was clearly torn as to his loyalties. And the press. Always blame the press! We knew Cesc’d go back to Barça one day; we just didn’t expect it yet.

    I don’t wear my shirt with “Fabregas 4” on the back to matches any more. But I do wear it at home occasionally, just for nostalgia’s sake. One day, perhaps, I’ll wear it again as proudly as I do my “Bergkamp 10” shirt!

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