Prior to today’s FA Community Shield, Manchester City midfielder Samir Nasri has given an interview where he shared his thoughts on Premier League title rivals, Arsenal and fan abuse.
Let this be said about the player, he isn’t shy of giving an honest opinion. Which is refreshing.
When Nasri was asked about the title chances of City’s league rivals, the 27-year-old responded: “I think Chelsea will be the biggest threat. For me, Arsenal still have a weakness in defensive mid and at centre-back.”
“Chelsea’s signings have really caught my eye. Cesc Fabregas is a great replacement for Frank Lampard, I know that from playing with him at Arsenal. They had a weakness up front so they’ve signed Diego Costa who was great for Atletico Madrid last season. They lost Ashley Cole but brought in Filipe Luis.”
“They have also done their business fast so the players have had time to spend working together. They will be really dangerous.”
“Liverpool have bought a lot of players but they have also lost (Luis) Suarez and it’s really hard to replace a guy like this.”
Nasri then continued to give his impression on his former club: “For Arsenal, Sanchez has the quality, but the Premier League is not La Liga. It is really, really hard.”
“We saw that with Mesut Ozil last year. We expected a lot from him and at the start of the season he was brilliant. But he found out when every other league has a break in December, you carry on playing in England.”
“It is tough and I think players need a year to adapt. We had the same with Stevan Jovetic at City. He had a lot of injuries in his first year, now he’s come back second time around and is flying in pre-season.”
“The only player I know who came in from abroad and made an impact during his first season was Sergio Aguero at City. The rest at some point have all had their ups and downs.”
After sharing his opinion on his former club’s title chances and telling Gunners fans they would probably have to wait a year before seeing the best of new-signing Alexis Sanchez, Nasri gave his thoughts on the abuse he’s received from Arsenal supporters since his switch from London to the blue half of Manchester in August 2011.
“The abuse doesn’t affect me on the pitch, I just think it’s stupid. I’m not an Arsenal fan, I am not from London. If we want to be honest, we are players who look at what is in the the best interests for us and our career,” he said.
“When Manchester City came, it was the best choice for me to come here. And today I have won trophies, I am really happy, I have everything and I have a better life.”
“If the fans can’t move on then it’s too bad. But me, I am not trying to have a problem with that. They do what they have to do, they love their club, maybe they saw it as treason or that I betrayed them. But it’s not that. I’m not like that.”
“I just look at for what’s best for me; and that’s what Bacary Sagna did, Emmanuel Adebayor, Kolo Toure.”
Five players in all have left Arsenal for Manchester City and Nasri feels that money alone isn’t the reason why players are joining the club, although it does play a part in these decisions.
“Fans think it must be for the money. But it’s not just the money. Ok, it’s a factor, it’s important nowadays. But if someone earns £200,000-a-week or 150 or 100 a week, it’s not going to make a difference or an impact on your life, so that’s not true.”
“I am in debt to Arsene Wenger at Arsenal. If I am this player today, it is because of him. But I don’t need to explain myself, what I have done with Manchester City should be enough and I don’t have to point to it all the time.”
Since Nasri made his £25 million switch from London to Manchester, the 27-year-old has won two Premier League titles and a Capital One Cup in three seasons. So his decision to leave the Emirates has clearly paid off for him in every way.
Lastly, Nasri was asked about Manchester City’s focus heading into the Community Shield encounter with Arsenal, which some have referred to as a ‘glorified friendly’.
“It is not a glorified friendly,” he emphatically stated. “Playing Arsenal is always something special and we need to show we are ready for the start of the Premier League the following weekend.”