Samir Nasri has done nothing wrong. The Arsenal “supporters” who directed insulting chants at Nasri during their goalless draw with Newcastle on Saturday are a disgrace. The fans are obviously frustrated with their club’s lack of spending over the summer (and lack of success during the past six seasons for that matter) but they should still be getting behind their team, of which, as Nasri pointed out on Twitter, he is still a part.
He has given three years to Arsenal and after showing some impressive form last season, other clubs have understandably shown an interest in the player. He has not publicly bitched and moaned trying to engineer a move away from the Emirates, like some players do. He has not attempted to bully Arsenal into submission in the way that Cesc Fabregas and Barcelona have done this summer. The only thing he seems to have said that approximates a desire to leave is that he wants to win trophies and awards like the Ballon d’Or. How dare he?
Yes, Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini and Manchester United defender Patrice Evra made some comments regarding Nasri that they shouldn’t have. But the situation with Nasri is far from rivalling the ridiculous Cesc Fabregas transfer saga or the circus surrounding Carlos Tevez’s move away from Eastlands. He has one year remaining on his contract and Manchester City – or any other potential bidders – will make a very generous offer for the player this summer or sign him next season on a free transfer. Players are forever being panned for not honouring their contracts but if Nasri ends up doing exactly that, he can’t win either. If he lets his contract run down only to leave on a free, he’s an abomination again in the eyes of the supporters.
If he doesn’t want to sign a new deal with Arsenal – for whatever reason – he does not have to. Of course fans want to see their players proud to wear the shirt and committed to the club. But Nasri hasn’t exactly been slagging off Arsenal publicly or tried to bully the club into letting him go. If he remains at the Emirates, he’ll give all he can for the team and judging by that shocking performance against Newcastle, Arsenal could do with someone of his ilk, with that creative spark that can unlock stubborn defences.
But, after being treated that way by the shower that is the Arsenal faithful, would anyone be surprised if Nasri doesn’t want to turn out for the Gunners again? The fans may well be frustrated by the lack of spending and lack of silverware at the Emirates these days, but before feeling sorry for themselves, they should remember there are plenty of football fans out there who would swap places with them in a second. These guys think poor old Arsenal have it bad? Do me a favour and spare a thought for the folk at Elland Road, Hillsborough or the City Ground, who followed their teams down to the third tier. What they’d give to have European football back.