Date: 10th September 2013 at 5:18pm
Written by:

David Silva, unfortunately injured on international duty might be out of the weekend clash at Stoke, but one man in particular is on standby to take the game to The Potters…

Samir Nasri might not have been on the list of favourites under Roberto Mancini’s City reign but whilst he may not have been punched by Mancini, even though the former Blues boss said he felt like punching him, Nasri certainly must have kicked himself this past summer for one the worst season’s of his career. The last campaign was a hard one for Nasri and failure to secure a regular starting place did not help the 26 year old midfielder’s plight either.

The crunch came for Nasri when he ducked away from THAT goal by Van Persie in a hotly contested Manchester derby; certainly, the queue of City fans wanting to be the first to punch him, me included, was quite extensive. After that howler, Nasri found it a long hard climb to get back to the top.

Le petit prince de Marseille himself admitted that he had failed to live up to his own expectations and on one occasion, blamed events surrounding his own national team for contributing to his demise…what’s that saying, ‘A bad workman always blames his tools.’ Blaming Les Bleus was a bit low especially after a foul mouthed rant led to him being shunned by the French Federation previously. It’s been time to repent for Nasri who stated in a French interview that he was ashamed of himself and had by his own hand tarnished his image both in the eyes of English and French football.

Now it seems that after his contrition, Nasri is chomping at the bit and ready to score goals and play football like the professional we know he can be.

New City boss Manuel Pellegrini boosted Nasri right from day one by picking him out and having a word in his ear, letting him know he is going to be an important player. At times Samir can be a little like former City firebrand Mario Balotelli in appearing to be childish and sulky. Then the next time you see him he will have that fantastic beaming smile. From what I can make of Pellegrini so far he has more man management skills than Mancini. Mancio had no time for diva dramas and rarely spent any quality time with the players. Basically, the players were there to play football and not to be socialised with.

Highlights for Nasri with City that prove he can do the job are him scoring a brilliant goal at Ajax, a fine d├ębut against Spurs and fine performances against Chelsea, but he remains inconsistent.

Even when he played for Arsenal he was pretty much the same, shifting from brilliance to ‘Nasri who?’ The problem with Nasri at City has been that those periods of being ‘off key’ became longer and the moments of sheer brilliance became very far and few between. By Pellegrini stepping in as, shall we say, a ‘father figure,’ this just may be the boost that Nasri needs to kickstart his career to the level where it should be.

So far this season he has not yet started a game but when he has been brought on as a substitute he has looked the part. Sharp, decisive and energised, particularly in the season’s opener against Newcastle.

This campaign promises to a long one for a strengthened City squad and there will inevitably be times where Nasri will be benched but this is something all City players have to take in their stride and must adopt a philosophical approach towards. A bit of competition for places never hurt anyone and at the end of the day freshness is what counts at the highest level. If you are to spend time on the bench at least you will be fresh to have your say in proceedings when called upon.

I personally like Samir Nasri and I am glad he has not left us this past summer. I am one of those fans who remembers what Nasri was like when we first signed him and I know he can be like that again. He has confirmed he is eager, he has been welcomed back into the fold by Didier Deschamps and his fellow French Nationals and has been admired with kind words from The Engineer. Let’s hope Samir proves a man of his word and is one of the first to out of the starting blocks at Stoke.

all times East Manchester BST

Sa 14 Sep 15h00 Stoke City, Britannia Stadium PL
Tu 17 Sep 20h45 Viktoria Plzen, Doosan Arena, CLGS1
Su 22 Sep 16h00 The rags, The Etihad PL
Tu 24 Sep 19h45 Wigan Athletic, The Etihad LC3
Sa 28 Sep 15h00 Aston Villa, Villa Park PL
We 2 Oct Bayern Munich, The Etihad, CLGS2
Sa 05 Oct 12h45 Everton, The Etihad PL
Sa 19 Oct 17h30 West Ham, Upton Park PL
We 23 Oct 17h00 CSKA Moscow, Arena Khimki CLGS3
Su 27 Oct 16h00 Chelsea, Stamford Bridge PL
Sa 02 Nov 15h00 GMT Norwich City, The Etihad PL
Tu 05 Nov 17h00 GMT CSKA Moscow, The Etihad CLGS4
Su 10 Nov 1405 GMT Sunderland, Stadium of Light PL
Su 24 Nov 13h30 GMT Spurs, The Etihad PL
We 27 Nov 19h45 GMT Viktoria Plzen, The Etihad CLGS5
Tu 01 Dec 16h10 GMT Swansea City, The Etihad PL
We 4 Dec 20h00 GMT West Brom, The Hawthorns PL

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