Samir Nasri, a disgruntled former Arsenal player who was sold at a time of great turbulence within the club, yesterday publicly claimed that he didn’t want to leave Arsenal, that he loves Arsene Wenger, and that new owner Stan Kroenke, specifically, forced his move through in order to get the cash. It is a bumptious statement which, frankly, doesn’t hold water even under the slightest of scrutiny.
Here is a simple bulleted list proving that Samir Nasri is a liar:
- Arseblog revealed that Nasri initially agreed to a new deal with Arsenal, putting him among the top earners at the club, but then eyeballing big money deals with Europe’s top paying clubs, subsequently rejected that deal. Thus began the winter and summer of our discontent.
- He played well enough in that fall to garner plaudits from Rio Ferdinand in January 2011 who said that Nasri could be player of the season after a great FA Cup performance against Leeds United
- Patrice Evra revealed that Man U were trying to get Nasri soon after that by saying that should he join Man U he should know that United win trophies every year.
- It’s later revealed that Manchester City’s Patrick Vieira and other former Arsenal players joined the race to tap up Samir Nasri in January 2011
- Nasri finishes the season on a slump and as soon as the summer kicks off he demands a trade “I was frustrated because I said to the manager I wanted to leave. I wanted to do the pre-season with City so I could know my team-mates.” (link above)
- The deal with City starts to break down, reportedly because Nasri is demanding too much money. Too much money from Manchester City.
- In August, Nasri shops himself around to other clubs, including PSG “I talked to Leonardo (from PSG) because he wanted me at Internazionale, but the situation was a bit more complex because I told him about my choice for Manchester City. He had already signed Pastore and it was a little difficult to find funds to invest and be able to sign me.”
- The 2011-12 season kicks off and Nasri refuses to play for Arsenal against Udinese in a Champions League qualifying match because it would cup tie him for that competition.
- Nasri finally agrees to play for Arsenal against Liverpool. A game in which he is dispossessed an astonishing 9 times (I haven’t seen another player achieve that since) and which sees him stand stock still as Raul Miereles drifts past him twice and Liverpool score. A shocking match from a player who clearly had no desire to stay at Arsenal.
- Four days later, he begins his campaign of blaming everyone else for his departure, calling the Arsenal fans substandard, revealing it was Vieira who convinced him City was the right choice, and more.
It’s pretty clear that Nasri initially wanted to go to Man U. He was drawn by the allure of titles and a pay rise. But when Patrice Evra started talking about all the hard work Nasri would have to put in and the demands on Man U players, Nasri’s bollocks sucked back up inside his body and he looked around for another team to take him.
Man City offered this grifter the perfect pace to hide. He would be well compensated, he would probably win trophies, and he wouldn’t have to carry a team (like at Arsenal) nor be expected to even really perform admirably. I feel confident in that claim because judging by Mancini’s public statements about Nasri’s training habits (that he’s a 50% trainer) it’s true.
In fact, I would go one step further and say that this whole Nasri statement smells like cover for the pressure Mancini is putting him under. Nasri has been a failure at Man City so it’s no coincidence that Nasri says Wenger was the best manager he ever trained under, that he didn’t leave for the money, and that someone else forced the sale through. Despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
But let’s just say for a minute that Stan Kroenke did force the sale through. Well, frankly, that just makes Kroenke a genius. He got £24m for a player who played a grand total of 6 months of good football, and who clearly didn’t want to play for Arsenal any more.
Albeit a year late, that £24m was earmarked and used to bring in Santi Cazorla. Cazorla is Arsenal’s first ready-made star signing since Dennis Bergkamp and a player who (all joking aside yesterday about him being the next Ronaldo) has been one of the best players in the Premier League all season.
And we have Samir Nasri’s greed to thank for that. So, thanks Nasri!
But in all seriousness, Cazorla seems like a bellwether signing to me. I could be wrong but a shift in transfer policy seems afoot at Arsenal and even Arsene Wenger is slyly having a dig at the old board and their parsimony with his statement that “now” there will be transfer funds available. I don’t think that means Kroenke is going to pour billions of pounds into the club but I do suspect that Kroenke’s goal is to build a stronger club through sustainable investing for the future. And that long haul investing started with the stabilization of the squad and settling the ownership issue two years ago.
Sorry to disappoint those who want a sugar-daddy owner (or really just the promise of a sugar daddy) but I suspect that Kroenke is in this for the long, long, long haul. Kroenke is not selling any time soon (Usmanov has offered to make him a tidy profit) and probably thinks of this investment as his legacy. As in “leave Arsenal to my kids” type of legacy. Is it any coincidence that rumors abound he will appoint his sports-savvy son to the board next year?
I don”t think so.