Nasri: I'll prove I'm no £24m flop
Published 22:30 21/02/12 By David Anderson
Samir Nasri is determined to prove he is not a £24million “mistake” at Manchester City.
Nasri admits he has failed to reproduce his sparkling form from last season when he was nominated for the PFA’s Player of the Year since his summer switch from Arsenal.
The French midfielder has struggled to hold down a regular place in Roberto Mancini’s star-studded side and has managed just four goals in his 31 appearances.
He revealed he has had to get used to defending as Mancini demands that all his creative players track back when City lose possession.
Nasri, 24, says he is adapting to his new role at City and aims to show his critics he is not an expensive flop.
“It’s always tough when you change and when you go to another team,” he said. “You have to be involved 100 per cent and at some points, I wasn’t.
"Now I have started to be settled and now we will see a better Samir every week.
“You have to work when you don’t feel well and not producing what everyone expects. But I was always confident about my quality and you will see that.
“It’s not the same here as Arsenal. At Arsenal, I was playing a little bit higher and here we are 4-4-2, so you have to work more defensively.
“So it’s difficult, but it doesn’t matter if I play in a 4-4-2 or 4-3-3, I want to show everyone it wasn’t a mistake.
“I never asked City to pay £24million so it’s not down to me. It was a lot of money, but every transfer now is a lot of money.
“What you want to do is to give something to the team and the people who brought you here and who trust you. The money and everything else isn’t my problem. After one year, it won’t be a problem.”
Nasri has featured in City’s last nine games and Mancini is happy with the progress he is now making.
The City boss feels he is settled at the Etihad Stadium and is improving the defensive side of his game.
“With Samir, I think that when you change teams, you can have some problems in the first three or four months,” said the Italian. “But Samir is a high-quality player.
“He has improved a lot in the last two or three months. He’s young and he brings a lot of quality to the team.
“I think that Samir is an offensive player, but it is important that every player works defensively, even the strikers.
“He has improved a lot in this and against Porto, he worked in the defensive phase. If we want to play with Samir, Silva, Aguero and Balotelli we need the four of them to work when we defend. Otherwise it is impossible to win the game.”
Nasri hopes to continue his run against Porto on Wednesday and City fans are already getting excited by the possibility of an all-Manchester final with the Blues and United well placed to make the last 16.
But even though City lead 2-1 from Thursday’s first leg and Porto have never won in England in 14 attempts, Nasri refuses to look that far ahead.
“United is a contender for sure, but it isn’t just about Man City or United,” said the former Marseille star. “There are plenty of other teams.
Atletico Madrid have good experience of this competition.
“For us, a derby in the final would be good, but we’re not there yet. We have to beat Porto first and then we’ll see.”
Mancini will again field a strong side because he is taking the competition seriously and Nasri claims they want to win it and the Premier League.
“We want to win everything at the start of the season,” he said. “Now we don’t have the FA Cup or the Carling Cup. But we have the Premier League and the Europa League, so we will be focused on these competitions to try and win them.”