Individual Player Analysis: Samir Nasri

Nasri shot into the limelight straight after his debut for Arsenal as he scored in that game and as he’d replaced Hleb in the starting line up it was seen as a massive improvement by many fans. Two goals against United enhanced his reputation even further and the fandom considered him to a successful signing. It’s a different matter that some of these fans have made a u-turn and now consider him among the flops!

I think this season his game suffered quite a bit due to two factors, injury and frequent change in positions. Last season he played in wide midfield and holding midfield roles. This season he missed a fair bit of the pre-season and then played on the flanks for large parts before filling in through the middle as the injury ravaged squad struggled towards the end.

When I look at Nasri I see a player who has a lot more ability than what we see on the field. It seems he plays a lot within himself and is quite conservative on the field with a focus on possession and safety rather than creativity and flair, which is not beyond him by any means. Those who watch the games closely and observe the details must have surely seen many glimpses of his talent, but for large parts his contribution is rather mundane.

I don’t know if this is down to some instructions given by the manager or something else. It could be that we try to free Cesc and Arshavin so the others are given the role of keeping the ball. If you watch Cricket you might have noticed that when Sehwag has a go at the bowling even Tendulkar doesn’t mind playing second fiddle. It’s not that Sachin can’t do the same but it makes more sense for one player to be stable while the other explodes. By the same logic I can understand if Nasri has been given instructions to play the supporting cast.

Some might argue that he should have done better when he was the main player but I don’t think it’s easy for players to switch on or switch off their A-game, especially if their positions keep changing and so do their team mates.

Let’s consider his strengths and weaknesses,


  • Versatile
  • Can dribble
  • Comfortable with either foot (to a large extent)
  • Can keep the ball when under pressure
  • Decent tackling skills
  • Good creative awareness
  • Good work rate
  • Fantastic touch and technical skills

Areas of Improvement

  • Can improve his defensive contribution
  • Needs to take/create more chances and express his talents better
  • Scuffs many chances
  • Doesn’t get into the box often enough (whether playing wide or in an advanced midfield role)

To be frank, I find Nasri a very peculiar case. In a way, his weaknesses are pretty much the same as his strengths! What I mean is that he is very good at many things but just doesn’t do enough. I consider him to be a big challenge for Wenger because he has all the skills needed to be a world class player but needs a little bit of fine tuning, proper guidance, and the right kind of chances.

Can Arsene polish him into a magnificent gem or will he end up as just another percentage player? The answer to that will have a significant impact on the coming seasons.

13 Responses to Individual Player Analysis: Samir Nasri

  1. kim says:

    Good article 🙂

  2. wenger says:

    he is lazy, the nasri at marseille is very differnt from nasri the gooner

  3. Turtle says:

    I love Nasri he’ll be an arsenal legend

  4. Lebenglese says:

    Spot on analysis, I think he is a fantastic player that was robbed of a solid pre-season with that leg break. Being left out of the world cup is a golden bonus and we will most definitely see a different player next season. He has a lot to prove and the skills to execute, in my opinion he will be one of our top players next season.

  5. supasam8 says:

    he’s shown us what he can do. i’m convinced the next season will be his best in an arsenal shirt

    as for his defensive contribution, i tend to believe he works extremely hard to win the ball back. he might not always win it back, but he fights alot harder than many of our players, certainly a helluva lot more than cesc (still hope he stays though)!

    • desigunner says:

      I think it’s unfair to compare him with Cesc. Fabregas does a lot more in the advanced central role when compared to Nasri but that could be because the Frenchman hasn’t played in that role long enough.

      The reason I mentioned better defensive contribution was because I feel Nasri tends to switch off at times or, in other words, is unaware of the threats. It’s very rare but sometimes it can be critical, especially if he is playing through the middle.

  6. Wenger is the problem with some of these players. His own philosophies get in the way.\\Players play as Wenger wants. Wenger does not see the strengths and play them

    • george says:

      i think we know what your problem is

    • desigunner says:

      I think it’s a lot more complex than that. At times, even I feel a player could be used in a different way but if you watch closely over a period of time, you’ll see Wenger thinks about a lot more issues and a lot farther into the future than the likes of you and me.

      Of course there is room for improvement. Arsene isn’t perfect by any means but I’m happy to respect his choices. And I definitely don’t see how his “philosophies” get in the way!

  7. gadis says:


    I want to exchange link with you blog, if you interest you can exchange link with watch world cup 2010


  8. Chebongikenyan says:

    That goal against porto shows what he is made of. I like him to the bone.

  9. Jonny says:

    He’s said himself he is a confidence player and it is unsurprising the injuries have dented that a little.

    I feel he’s at a critical juncture – he could spin on to become an extraordinary player but I could equally imagine him being like Reyes and failing to find the extra level to unlock his all too apparent talent.

    The early comparisons to Zidane didn’t help but then they never do…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s