Nasri: Training at City is 'level above Arsenal'
Cahal Milmo is the chief reporter of The Independent and has been with the paper since 2000. He was born in London and previously worked at the Press Association news agency. He has reported on assignment at home and abroad, including Rwanda, Sudan and Burkina Faso, the phone hacking scandal and the London Olympics. In his spare time he is a keen runner and cyclist, and keeps an allotment.
Wednesday 31 August 2011
Samir Nasri has claimed that training at Manchester City is more intense and a "level above Arsenal". The French midfielder, who has been at City for a week, also pinpointed what he believes to be Arsène Wenger's failing in dealing with players, saying the Arsenal manager "doesn't like conflict".
Nasri made a sparkling debut for City on Sunday in their 5-1 win at Tottenham following his long-touted £24m move, and he has suggested a marked difference in how his new club prepare for games. "My integration is ideal," he told France Football. "I know that training with [this squad] every day, I will improve. There is a lot of intensity. It's the level above Arsenal. When we finish the session with a game, it feels like a competition game.
"Today, I feel that I am in a team where I can win trophies. You play football because you like [it], but above that because you want to win trophies. I dream of winning a league, a cup or a Champions League. I finally want to feel the pleasure of having really had a great season. I need to win.
"City spend a lot but they still do it wisely. The club buys a lot of players, but mostly young players. They all can still improve. The average age is 25. At City, this is the high level on every aspect. The staff is very impressive. There is a huge project for a training centre with 16 pitches, fantastic facilities, a hotel for players, and all this very close to the stadium... It will be ready in two years. You feel a real strategy."
Nasri joined Arsenal in 2008 from Marseilles for £15.8m but failed to win a trophy in his time in London. The club offered to extend his contract but the 24-year-old was determined to leave. He said: "The departure of Cesc [Fabregas] to Barcelona was a sign that it was time to go. The end of last season was also one. The defeat to Birmingham in the League Cup hurt us a lot. Coming to City, I chose a club that was on the way up. Arsenal remains a big club, but the building of the Emirates changed a lot of things financially. It's the club politics, the officials, not Arsène. Arsenal don't have the same money to spend. They must sell their best players."
* The Swindon manager Paolo Di Canio was involved in an extraordinary public confrontation with one of his own players, Leon Clarke, after the 3-1 home Carling Cup defeat to Southampton last night. Di Canio appeared to manhandle Clarke, who has only just joined Swindon, towards the tunnel and the pair seemed to be pushing and shoving before being separated. Clarke refused to go to the dressing rooms and went home still wearing his kit. It was Swindon's fifth defeat in six games.
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