Why Samir Nasri’s Omission From France’s World Cup Squad Makes Sense

Samir Nasri’s omission from the France World Cup squad caused great surprise among many fans and pundits during the past 24 hours. However, for a nation that has had its share of player revolts and theatrics over the course of the last four major tournaments, head coach Didier Deschamps cannot be faulted for his desire to weed potentially divisive influences out of Les Blues’ dressing room.

Nasri’s disruptiveness to his club side Manchester City was so apparent last season that former manager Roberto Mancini once said “I wanted to punch Nasri” in regards to the player’s indifference during matches. But this season, under Chilean manager Manuel Pellegrini, Nasri has been one of the most creatively influential players in England’s top flight, and scored the goal on Sunday that clinched the league title for his club.

Deschamps’ formation of choice is a 4-3-3, which also makes Nasri’s tactical influence negligible. The likely three man midfield for France will feature former Newcastle man Yohan Cabaye, his current PSG teammate Blaise Matuidi and Paul Pogba playing in a more defensive role. In the attacking end, European Footballer of the Year Franck Ribéry and Mathieu Valbuena will flank Karim Benzema in the middle.

Nasri’s Manchester City teammate Gaël Clichy, a left-back has been in and out of the Blues lineup all season, was also omitted in favor of young PSG starlet Lucas Digne who has just one senior national team cap currently.

France’s 23-man World Cup squad is as follows:

Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris (Tottenham), Steve Mandanda (Marseille), Mickaël Landreau (Bastia)

Defenders: Mathieu Debuchy (Newcastle United), Lucas Digne (PSG) Patrice Evra (Manchester United), Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal), Eliaquim Mangala (Porto), Bacary Sagna (Arsenal), Mamadou Sakho (Liverpool), Raphaël Varane (Real Madrid)

Midfielders: Yohan Cabaye (PSG), Clément Grenier (Lyon), Blaise Matuidi (PSG), Rio Mavuba (Lille), Paul Pogba (Juventus), Moussa Sissoko (Newcastle), Mathieu Valbuena (Marseille)

Forwards: Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Olivier Giroud (Arsenal), Antoine Griezmann (Real Sociedad), Loïc Rémy (Newcastle), Franck Ribéry (Bayern Munich)

Stand-by players: Stéphane Ruffier (Monaco), Loïc Perrin (St Etienne), Maxime Gonalons (Lyon), Morgan Schneiderlin (Southampton), Benoît Trémoulinas (Dynamo Kiev), Alexandre Lacazette (Lyon), Rémy Cabella (Montpellier)

10 thoughts on “Why Samir Nasri’s Omission From France’s World Cup Squad Makes Sense”

  1. Very well said. If people follow the France team throughout the last couple years, it really is not a huge surprise. Like Deschamps himself said: Nasri is not a guaranteed starter in France because his performance been uneven. Since with a player like Nasri it’s either he’s in your starting 11 (and behave) or he’s on the bench and will be acting out, I am 100% behind Deschamps’ choice.

  2. Here is why it makes sense:

    1. He plays the same position as Ribery (at least in a 4-3-3). Never going to start ahead of Ribery.

    2. He is incredibly inconsistent and has a horrible attitude, shown by his remarks about Mancini and also considering Mancini’s remarks about him.

  3. The English newspapers have reported his Spanish girlfriend went on a foul mouthed Twitter rant about his omission. Sounds like Deschamps ruined her holiday.

    Who will be the first to implode in Brazil and start fighting? The French or the Dutch?

    1. That is true. Something to the tune of “f france and f deschamps. S manager”.

      She then repeated it in another tweet.

      Sounds like she is the perfect match for him.

  4. Nasri has been brilliant for City this season and a big reason why they won the title. You have to take players who are playing well at the moment so his omission is a surprise.

    Apparently Deschamps is known to not like Nasri so his omission is not football related but personal. A far as his disruptive influence it wasn’t there this season and even when Mancini was City manager it was for footballing reasons, Nasri was not very productive, that Mancini criticized him. It wasn’t for his off-field behavior.

  5. Can’t believe it but I actually agree with Kartik on this one.

    I don’t care how good you are. If you have a horrible attitude you become a liability in a World Cup scenario. Especially with a squad that was so unstable in the last World Cup.

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