The Frenchman has none been shy in the past of speaking his mind on matters relating to his former club, former manager, former teammates and former fans, nor has he been shy on the pitch this term with some on-field outbursts and indiscipline.
It would seem, judging by his recent comments on Mancini who, in fairness hadn’t been all that kind about his player either recently, Nasri will be on his way out of the Etihad this summer.
He only arrived in 2011, amidst what can only be described as a bizarre and controversial transfer, which, at the time, it was believed he had engineered himself.
He was labeled a ‘mercenary’ by Arsenal supporters who also lost captain Cesc Fabregas that summer, as it was believed the then 23-year-old Nasri had gone to Manchester for more money.
He has since revealed, after winding Gunners’ fans up about his title win with City last season, that it was in fact Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke who ‘wanted the money’ and engineered his sale, against Arsene Wenger’s wishes. Although, who knows whether that is actually the case?
It seems strange to me that Nasri himself would be privy to knowledge of private conversations between his manager, the club’s owner and or chief executive and I have my suspicions as to whether he’s just trying to further complicate the relations between the manager, the board and already discontented fans over Arsenal’s transfer policy.
He did, however, say that Arsene Wenger is the best coach he’s worked with which seemed a bizarre thing to say, considering his poor relationship with his former club now. It contradicts everything he's said since he left North London and it’s an odd time to reveal such grandiose admiration. The timing, in my opinion, is of key importance here though.
"Wenger is the best coach I've worked with. I only regret not having more discussions with Arsène Wenger when I left. He's the one who understood me the most and made me the player I am. I'm thankful,“ he gushed after firstly digging that “Arsenal have difficulty finishing fourth,” of course. That train's never late.
His recent spat with Mancini is likely behind all of his sudden respect for Wenger, in my opinion. Mancini said that he would like to ‘give [Nasri] a punch’ after a recent decent performance, amongst numerous inconsistent and lacklustre ones this term.
Nasri responded accordingly:
"I think the coach still doesn't handle English very well and sometimes uses expressions that aren't really suitable."
I know footballers aren’t exactly renowned for their respect of authority and ability to keep their gobs shut but this guy is something else entirely. He now appears to be engineering his own transfer away from City by mocking his manager’s language skills and flattering his previous mentor.
He’s behaving like a jilted ex-lover ardently trying to make his recent partner jealous by publicly reconnecting with an old flame. It’s a very bizarre way to go about handing in a transfer request. I can’t imagine many other industries where quitting your job would entail so much premeditated public relations manipulation.
Surely it would be much easier to just knock on Mancini’s door and say, “boss, I want to leave.” Then again, maybe he’s tried that and Mancini just couldn’t understand him. Or maybe he did understand and threatened to punch him.
Your guess is as good as mine. Alas, all's fair in love, war and football. And nobody really knows what goes on behind closed doors. I guess this one just wasn't meant to be. Ah well, plenty more fish in the sea.
image: © wonker