Manchester City’s Recruitment of Samir Nasri is a Backwards Step

This appeared on SB Nation a couple of weeks ago (the tense has been changed).

The Abu Dhabi United Group like statements. Since buying Manchester City in 2008, they have spent an estimated (probably conservatively) £75 Million in transfer fees plus several million more in wages on two of them.

The first of those statements was unashamedly brief. Robinho who joined on deadline day 2008 for a reported £30 Million did so as the transactional equivalent of the pronoun, which according to de Saussure has no meaning except in the moment of its utterance. Valuable at the time, meaningless thereafter, Robinho, perhaps uniquely in the history of football transfers, was signed because he cost a huge amount of money and that, more than a tricksy wideman, was what the City of September 2008 required.

With the exception of a very cute dink over Manuel Almunia in a 3-0 victory over Arsenal towards the end of 2008 and a couple of nice tricks, though, Robinho was a failure in Manchester.

In hindsight, this seems to have been inevitable; he started that game in an attacking trio completed by Darius Vassell and Benjani Mwariwaru. A £35 Million strike-force is unlikely to make a sustained impact on the Premier League in any circumstance, but it is untenable when 85% of the value resides in one third of the talent.

The €18 Million City eventually secured from Milan, then, for Robinho represents a significant return on a player whose lot was always that of damage collateral to City’s aggressive expansionism.

Statement number two, Carlos ‘Welcome to Manchester’ Tevez, has proved/is proving more successful on the pitch, and his contract (which reputedly guarantees his ongoing status as the club’s highest earner) would suggest that the owners are intent on keeping the captain at the club.

Still, 43 goals in 63 games looks, like €18 Million, satisfactory compensation for a player whose primary purpose was to establish his new club as players in Manchester.

Nonetheless, since it turns out that Tevez hates the City for which he was made a rather dubious face in 2009, the Argentinean has not been an unqualified success. His teammates have complained to Mancini consistently about his captaincy and his apparently perpetual complaints about the meteorological and cultural ambience of Manchester still reach the English media only via translation.

Since then, City’s market strategy has become more measured.

The acquisitions of Adam Johnson, David Silva and Edin Dzeko make sense, in part because they represent a viable forward line in themselves, but also because they are young players whose reputations are still to be made – as opposed to the statement signings, who were purchased because of their reputations.

Samir Nasri’s finally realised move to the ‘United’ Stadium, however, represents a return to the old recruitment model.

Nasri is undoubtedly a quality player (although a doubling in his market value seems like a generous review of his three years at Arsenal), but it is hard to see what City, or he, will gain from the move.

In the context of Premier League football, it is hard to think of two attacking players more similar in style than Silva and Nasri. Nasri had a better season last time around, scoring ten league goals to Silva’s four, but the Spaniard will be better acquainted with the English game next time around and will perform better as a result.

Not only will the two playmakers be competing against a version of themselves for the same position, they will be competing for a position that Mancini seems to regard as a luxury (at best, a liability at worst). Nasri, pivotal to Arsenal’s big match plans, is unlikely to be trusted in Ctiy’s big matches; Silva isn’t.

The value in City’s acquiring the Frenchman lies, then, in the statement that acquisition makes. Nasri, unwilling to commit to indispensability at Arsenal, were he to sign up for dispensable status in Manchester, would symbolize his new club’s superiority over his old: exactly the sort of statement City are (still) wont to make.

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18 Responses to Manchester City’s Recruitment of Samir Nasri is a Backwards Step

  1. baz says:

    what a stupid silly rant,rag by any chance?

  2. Mark Bodden says:

    Because Silva and Nasri are similiar players, they can’t play together? Xavi and Iniesta are similiar. I think they get on okay. Your argument is invalid.

  3. Sean says:

    It is written by a rag!!!!!!! And he called the etihad stadium the ‘united’ stadium..do ur research u f@@king mong..etihad DOESNT translate to united like all u rags seem to think. Thick t@@t.

  4. El Gordo says:

    What a shit article City bashing again try to think up something more constructive you wanker

  5. Swamp Thing says:

    Oh dear. What a crass, ignorant, clueless, bitter and ill-informed piece of cyber drivel.
    The factually incorrect reference to the ‘United’ stadium is the only clue you need about the motivation of its author.
    Can you share with us which big games David Silva ‘wasnt trusted in’?
    Err, no? Can’t think of one?
    You’ll find that’s because you are talking absolute bollocks, man.
    That’s the problem with the internet. It gives undeserved legitimacy to the unstable ravings of a window-licking moron like this clown. You shouldn’t be trusted with crayons, let alone a keyboard.

    • Calum says:

      ‘That’s the problem with the internet. It gives undeserved legitimacy to the unstable ravings of a window-licking moron like this clown.’

  6. Steve W says:

    “United Stadium” yep you’re definitely a SCUM fan. Crap anti-City rant of an article….get a life loser!

  7. Steve says:

    Rag knobhead

  8. I-h8-MUNICHS says:

    learn some grammar you fucking thick munich prick, and fuck off back to london. cunt!

  9. Calum says:

    Football is fun.

  10. betnod says:

    Biggest load of shite I’ve ever read

  11. Tom says:

    You can tell Citeh are in the bigtime now, their fans have all got suddenly really paranoid. You lot used to have a sense of humour a few years ago didn’t you? Calm down everyone.

    Anyway, re Nasri – I think the two weeks between this being published first and then published again have kind of muted the point (mooted?) It looks like the old #10 role is going to be a much more common position for Citeh this season; although last year I do agree they seemed happy to throw the kitchen sink at inferior sides (eg Fulham away) and then be more cautious against rivals (eg United at home), so whether the playmaking continues in the bigger games we’ll have to see.

    But the point is (I’m getting there…) that if #10 is going to be a near-permanent position in the side, then having Silva as the main man and Nasri as very similar backup makes a lot of sense, no? Especially with a Champs League campaign to get on with, two players for every position etc?

    The other thing is, even if signing Nasri doesn’t bolster their squad massively, it has a big effect on Arsenal – particularly with Fabregas going as well. There was a suspicion when they signed Milner (as opposed to any other centre mid on Earth) last summer that depriving a rival (as Villa were at the time, with Citeh looking at 4th spot) of their best player was of more significant value than anything he’d bring to their side, and that may have been the case here. With CL football to offer and Solomon’s wallet you could pretty much get any playmaker in the world, there must be a reason for going after Nasri specifically.

  12. barack obama says:

    ManUre shithead fanboys are always annoying.. lol

  13. Pingback: Financial Doping: A Far Bigger Problem Than Arsene Wenger Thought (and he’s at it too) | Good Feet for a Big Man

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