It has been a topsy-turvy week for French play-maker Samir Nasri. He won his second Barclay’s Premier League title with Manchester City on Sunday and a couple of days later, he got the ‘expected ’ news of him not being in the World Cup with his French team-mates. People had mixed reactions all over the globe, as France fans were pretty vocal on twitter. In fact Samir Nasri’s girlfriend publicly bashed manager Didier Deschamps and insulted France from her twitter account. Let us have an insight as to why Nasri was dropped from the squad, despite being one of the most talented French footballers.
France has been perennially affected by disharmony within the team
The French team had a miserable campaign in the 2010 World Cup at South Africa, when the players protested against Raymond Domenech. It resulted in a disastrous and disgraceful exit to the 2006 runners up, who couldn’t even reach the knock-outs. It was a case of disharmony in the squad at the most crucial juncture for any national team. Lack of unity and togetherness cost them the tournament where the French were expected to perform better. Nasri didn’t play in the world-cup as he wasn’t called up in a sensational move by the unpopular coach.
The next international tournament France played was the Euro 2012 where the French lost out to the Spaniards in the quarter final stage. It was a weak tournament for the French as there was already hard speculation about hints of disharmony in the squad before the tournament itself. Samir Nasri was then reportedly in the heart of the unrest in the team, as France slumped in the middle of their run with two consecutive defeats to Sweden and Spain. Later, we saw Samir Nasri in a foul mouthed clash with a journalist that further tainted his “troublemaker” image.
Problem Child Nasri
There is absolutely no doubt about his quality. Samir Nasri is a very talented player in his prime footballing years. But here, for the French team, he doesn’t make the cut. There have been statements from him like “You cannot be friends with all the 23 men in the squad.” and then rumors from the media that “He isn’t sporting when he’s on the bench.” This obviously shows lack of emotional maturity to be playing for a national team. A player, who weighs his talents more than his team, may find it difficult to empathize with the national aspirations of the team. There have been ego clashes between the manager and the players before, but as the rule goes that the manager is the boss and he has full rights to have a team of his choice and execute his tactics without being bullied by a player.
The issue here is that, Didier Deschamps is not even an unpopular figure among the players, unlike Domenech who was not respected among the French ranks. It was a strong comeback from France in the qualifiers that ensured their place in the world cup. When we consider the fact that the French team in recent years was never in the same spirits like the 2006 squad, the 3-0 result in Paris against Ukraine was a refreshing change and a display of heart by the Frenchmen. Coincidentally, Samir Nasri wasn’t included in the team that time. It’s about the temperament of the star which has let him down in the eyes of the coach.
Deschamps makes a tough but understandable decision
Nasri has rubbished rumours about him not being a team-player or having bad behavior. He had been previously banned from the French national team for 3 games following bad behavior at the Euro 2012, as mentioned earlier when he had a confrontation with the journalist, following which Nasri failed to make a claim for himself in coach Deschamps’ eyes. France, as a team have always had the disharmony in the recent years which has been the reason for their under-performances.
It is understandable that the coach wants to exercise full authority and ensure that no player is bigger than the team. France would look to have some harmony in the team, without which their World Cup hopes would surely diminish. If again, they fail to perform to the expectations of the media and the supporters, the omission of a world class player such as Nasri may look to be a grave mistake from the side of the manager as it would look as if both the parties failed to negotiate and arrive at a positive conclusion about a player who could have made a real difference if he was possibly handled better. But till now, Deschamps has made a strong choice and has stuck to his principles.