Saturday, 18 May 2013

How Pellegrini could save us £20-odd Million

During the long, long-running saga that was the purchase of Samir Nasri from Arsenal, not wanting us to be ripped off by Wenger & Co.; I wanted the attacking/creative midfielder-come-winger in a blue shirt. I knew that he was a very good player indeed – claiming many assists for the Gunners – but knew nothing of his personality at the time, for whatever reason.

In his first season, for the most part, he didn’t disappoint either. And at the end of 2011/2012, he of course went on to lift the league title with us; playing a big part in City obtaining what was…is…sure to be the first of many trophies/titles to come.

He could only get better, I said to myself. That was just his ‘settling in’ season, I thought.

Balotelli MkII

Then, this season, he suddenly turned into the midfield version of Mario Balotelli – all the talent but no application OF that talent. Overnight (over the close season) he’d turned into ‘Le Sulk’. Whereas Mario would give us about 1 good-performance game in 8; Samir wasn’t far behind with about 1 in 6.

He was starting to look like a bullied child at school and even appeared in a couple of YouTube ‘incidents’; where he was being jeered by Liverpool fans whilst in his car on a Motorway and Arsenal fans as he walked to The Emirates.

In between all of that, he looked like a frustrated kid who was totally fed up and wanted to lash out…and so did just that by getting himself sent off against Norwich City.

Then, in the Semi-final post-match interview, he knew all too well what the interviewer was alluding to when asked about his ‘return to form’.

It might not have been a very nice way of putting it (but most of us, I’m sure, agreed at the time); but Samir’s ‘return to form’ came shortly after Roberto said he felt like punching the French international because of his inconsistency and all-to-often languid displays.

Why didn’t Roberto beat up Mario more often then?!

Samir needed to be loved, it transpired; he NEEDED a father figure as a Manager. Wenger was that father figure at Arsenal and what he got at City - as we all know all too well by now - was a cold, heartless fish!

Eureka! Nasri’s unenergetic performances and lack of consistency explained!

Now some would say he should be professional enough – and gets paid enough – to rise above not liking his boss and should play his heart out for the club/shirt regardless. I wouldn’t disagree with that whatsoever.

But in the real world most modern footballers just don’t have the same mentality as you & I. In fact a few weeks back I wanted him out of our Club ASAP! Let PSG have him in the summer, I thought, and we can put £20-odd Million to good use to get a much better replacement.

Arrival of ‘the daddy’

All too soon (most likely anyway - I don’t want to tempt fate) we are going to see the arrival of that very father figure Samir has been longing for. Roberto & Manuel, in terms of personality we are told, are as different as Italian parmesan and Chilean salsa.

To quote Diego Forlan, who worked under our potential-future manager,

“He’ll speak to you and take an interest in your life”.

“If things are not going well, then he’ll talk to you and lift your confidence”.


Other comments, from other people, in other articles, also have the ex-Villarreal & Real Madrid Manager down as a bloody nice bloke when it comes to his players & staff. Apart from, we’re told, him-being a good tactician who likes his teams to be on the ‘front foot’ AND provide the paying fans with good entertainment to-boot; he makes a particular point also of concentrating on the ‘human side’ when it comes to his players & staff.

Is all of that possible?

The arrival of Manuel Pellegrini may well also see the arrival of Isco from Malaga and I wouldn’t argue with that at all. We are told that the Chilean Manager prefers his midfielders to be mobile and attacking (goodbye Barryand Yaya?) and so the prospect of David Silva, Samir Nasri AND Isco is mouth watering to say the least.

But should he wish not to bring the 21-year old, Spanish, creative midfielder with him from Malaga, I have no doubt whatsoever that under Pellegrini we would see a Samir Nasri absolutely flying again! If all the Frenchman needs is a father figure, then perhaps Samir’s season will be even better than his first in a blue shirt! The Club could then, in theory, save themselves £20-odd Million to plough into another area of the pitch.

Either way, what a nice position to be in hey?

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