Nasri: Arsenal boss is a magician

Manchester City attacker Samir Nasri has come out to defend former coach Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger.

The 26-year-old France international has been somewhat critical of his former club since making his controversial £25 million move to Premier League rivals Manchester City back in the summer of 2011.

Nasri signed for Arsenal in 2008 as 21-year-old still relatively unknown from Marseille for £14 million and made 125 appearances for the Gunners scoring 27 goals in all competitions across his four terms in North London.

After making demeaning comments about Arsenal since his move, mostly in response to fans questioning his motives for moving to the Etihad, the attacking midfielder has now leapt to defend his former manager and countryman.

"Arsene Wenger didn't have the funds to build the team he wanted. I know him really well and he is not happy when he is not winning so I think it is a little bit hard on him because for me is a magician for everything he has done for Arsenal," Nasri told ESPN.

Wenger is well regarded as one the finest coaches in his native France for whom Nasri is expected to be selected for the World Cup this summer in Brazil. Wenger transformed the youngster’s career in much the same fashion as with previous France legends Thierry Henry and Patrick Vieira in years gone by.

"Look in the league. They are there and they will be there until the end. They were unlucky like us to draw a team like Bayern Munich. In the FA Cup they are still there so they spent some money and they have a good team," he added.

Perhaps Nasri is attempting to make amends for his previous comments about his former club – back in 2011 he described his frustration with the manager whom he told in no uncertain terms that he wanted to leave the Emirates and spoke of his relief at being a Manchester City player. He also criticised the fans, stating his belief that they were not as passionate as the fans at the Etihad.

Nasri had formerly stated Wenger had been his second father and his comments this week seem to be in correlation with the image many former Arsenal players have of the 64-year-old who has been at the club since 1996.

images: © wonker, © Brad Tutterow

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch