Will Samir Nasri celebrate against Arsenal?

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Manchester City man has had bad blood with Arsenal since leaving but has he matured?

Samir Nasri's departure from Arsenal was as bitter as they get in terms of a football break-up.

He left the down-and-out Gunners while they were reeling from Cesc Fabregas' departure, to move to Manchester City - a switch supporters felt was not in fact for sporting reasons but for financial ones.

Whichever the real case, Nasri was laughing by the end of the season as he picked up a Premier League winner's medal.

He even sought to rub it in the faces of Arsenal fans, who had expressed their anger towards him regarding his departure via his Twitter page.

At the club's trophy parade in 2012 he said:

"People at Arsenal tried to make out that I came here for the money.

"I hope they are watching me now collecting my Premier League winner's medal. I believe they have not won a trophy for many seasons now.

"If all that I was interested in was money, the easiest decision would have been to stay at Arsenal, picking up my money every week and walking into the team - there are many people doing this right now at Arsenal.

"I made the hard choice to come and fight for my place at a big club, where they never settle for second best, and I have proved it correct.

"I now hope the Arsenal fans can get on with their lives and forget me.

"They should celebrate their third-place achievement and I will focus on winning titles."

Nasri was at the time in the midst of a spiky point in his career and personally. His form was mixed during City's title run, and he snapped during France's Euro 2012 campaign, launching a foul-mouthed tirade at French reporters.

Last season was little better, clashing with manager Roberto Mancini and criticised publicly by the Italian. An exit seemed certain until Mancini was sacked, and he has been reborn under Manuel Pellegrini.

This season he has looked like the player he was in his Arsenal days, and has more assists in this Champions League campaign for City than he did in his previous two combined.

With that has seemingly come a new maturity. He recently reached out to the Gunners via Twitter to wish club legend Pat Rice good luck in his fight against cancer.

So how grown up is he really? Does he appreciate what Arsenal did for his career that he would be prepared not to celebrate against them if he scores in tomorrow's match?

Feelings are not at the same tension as they once were, and we can't see Nasri making a repeat of Emmanuel Adebayor's 90-yard dash to taunt Arsenal fans after his goal against them in 2008.

Robin van Persie of Manchester United was widely criticised however by Arsenal fans after heading a winner past them several weeks ago, a club where he spent eight years.

Nasri may feel his relations with Arsenal fans are beyond the point of no return, but he could move to put it in the past by refusing to celebrate as a mark of respect if he scores and write a new chapter.

The Premier League clash is a pivotal one at the top of the table, and it promises to be quite an occasion. Nasri may decide he simply can't restrain himself should he fire in a late winner.

 

image: © wonker

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