KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - JULY 13: Arsenal fans during the pre-season Asian Tour friendly match between Malaysia and Arsenal at Bukit Jalil National Stadium on July 13, 2011 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (Photo by Stanley Chou/Getty Images)
The Short Fuse's player reviews continue today with midfielder/winger Samir Nasri.
Samir Nasri was a bit of a Saturday night out for Arsenal in 2010-11; up until 2 AM (February) or so, all was spinning wonder. After that, it was a bit of barf (maybe an exaggeration), followed by a steady grey steely resolve not to do anything too quickly in the light.
But enough silly metaphors. Samir Nasri scored 15 goals this year for Arsenal in 39 starts and 7 substitute appearances. His goals against Fulham and Manchester City in the league were tremendous and important, and he provided constant threat running both with the ball and off the ball from the left and right forward positions in Arsenal's 4-2-3-1 system this year. In combination with Cesc Fabregas, Marouane Chamakh (and then Robin van Persie), Andrei Arshavin and Theo Walcott, Nasri enjoy his best run of form of his career. Chants of "Na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na...Samir Nasuhri, Nasuhri, Sammiirr Nasuhriiii" rang out for most of the autumn and winter.
Although his goalscoring dried up after the new year, Nasri's play on the wing kept Arsenal's attacking play running, most notably against Barcelona at the Emirates, as his sprinting run up the right and cutback for Arshavin was the outlet for Arsenal's second goal.
March was a little slow for Nasri, but he did score a cracker against Tottenham in April in the North London Derby, which objectively was among the most exiciting matches of the season. After tweaking a hamstring against Manchester United in May, he didn't figure in Arsenal's plans until the draw with Fulham to close the year.
Of course, now Nasri is holding out for a new contract, and rumors fly in all directions (mostly towards Manchester) about his future. The general feeling on the blogs is that Nasri is a good player, but not irreplaceably consistent. If Arsenal cannot negotiate a new contract with him, and he leaves for free next year on a Bosman, they will have missed a potential 20 million pound fee that could be used to draft in replacements. The club are surely aware of this, but it is surely stressful for supporters not knowing where he is going to be.
Ted's season grade: :) ----> :/
Beltrans' grade: B+