Manchester City: Why Samir Nasri No Longer Deserves to Start
Poor team and individual performances so far this season has put Manchester City in the position they are right now.
The Citizens are seven points behind Manchester United in the title, out of European competition and out of the Capital One Cup.
With the number of quality players within the squad it's not unusual one or two players may stand above the rest in the majority of games.
Similarly, when one or two players fail to perform it's plain to see.
It's normal for a player to deal with an occasional dip in form during the long season. In such instances its harsh to immediately hook the player from the starting 11.
That's not the case with the player in question here.
Samir Nasri has been the chief underachiever for Manchester City this season, and it's time he loses his spot in the starting lineup.
There are plenty of reasons for such an action to be taken. His lack of production, inability to fully takeover a game when necessary and his poor work ethic are just a few of those.
Other players have had to deal with criticism during the season with Joe Hart responding to some of his own personal critics. (via ESPN.co.uk)
His situation is different than that of Nasri's, though.
Joe Hart is still one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League and the best goalkeeper in the City squad by far.
Nasri does not have the luxury of weaker in-squad competition and there's no shortage of creative types in the football world who would rank above him.
Should Samir Nasri lose his starting spot?
The defending Premier League champions have more than enough outlets in that department, and Nasri's flaws make him the first one in line to lose his spot.
Roberto Mancini's chopping and changing of formation hasn't helped the player, but his teammates have had to deal with similar actions.
Nasri has contributed to 20 City goals in his two years at the club, but his lack of production is highlighted when compared to some of his teammates.
His two main midfield rivals, David Silva and Yaya Toure, have contributed 32 and 27 respectively. Even James Milner has just over half his total, 14 goals produced, in that time.
That's without counting the free-scoring forwards in the squad, some of whom are capable of creating as goals as well as scoring them.
Moving past the statistical outlook, it's still clear that Nasri is better for Manchester City coming off the bench. At least until he proves particularly productive.
The City squad has plenty of leaders who aren't afraid to take the game by the scruff of the neck. That is necessary if one player has a bad game or is unavailable. In that instance others can step up.
Nasri is not one of the players capable of stepping up.
In David Silva's absence he had some decent games but wasn't particularly effective in directing play. His average WhoScored rating during that time? A solid but unspectacular 6.9.
Players like Silva, Toure, Sergio Aguero, Carlos Tevez and, when he feels like it, Mario Balotelli are capable of winning games by themselves.
Nasri seemed to show that attribute in bits during his last season at Arsenal but has since regressed. It doesn't help when he does not work as hard as the players mentioned above—minus Balotelli.
Add to all this an attitude and ego that has been problematic through his career and you get a player who may end up being more detrimental than helpful to the team.
Though the options on the bench may not be the most glamorous or most skilled in some cases, some time on the bench may give Nasri a wake-up call.
His team is trying to defend its title and push for silverware in a tricky cup competition.
At the current moment, Nasri no longer deserves a starting role. His production hasn't been good enough and City has more than enough talent to cope.
For the club's benefit a change is needed, and when he returns to the fold after his suspension Nasri must begin his next game on the bench.
*Unless otherwise stated all statistics courtesy of ESPN Soccernet.
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