Arsenal midfielder Samir Nasri: Win over Barcelona can drive us to glory

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    By Andrew Kennedy

    4 Mar 2011 09:15:00

    Samir Nasri gives Arsenal the lead against Leeds United (Getty Images)

    Samir Nasri gives Arsenal the lead against Leeds United (Getty Images)

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    Arsenal midfielder Samir Nasri has stated his belief that the north Londeners are a maturing side, and that victory over Barcelona in the Champions League could propel them to glory.

    The Frenchman has also hailed the form of team-mate Theo Walcott, whilst allaying fears of Arsenal fans by suggesting he will sign a new contract at the Emirates in the summer.

    Speaking to the Daily Mail, Nasri said: “We said we are growing, maturing. We still need to win a trophy because, if we don’t win a trophy this year, it will be no different to last year.

    “But that win over Barcelona can drive us to glory. We know, after that victory, that we can beat anyone. We have the quality to beat any team and, hopefully, we will show it in Barcelona too.”

    “I think for the team to grow up we needed the players to develop as well,” he added. “If the players develop the team will always be better.

    “Football is really interesting. It’s not like tennis. It is a collective sport. If we all make progress the team will improve. Theo [Walcott] is having his best season. I am too. A lot of players have improved.

    “We have discussed it [a contract] but, like the boss said, we will sort it out in the summer. At the moment what is happening on the pitch is the most important thing.

    “I want to stay here. I feel really good being here. The manager gives us a freedom to play, and everyone has shown confidence in me. If I am this player it is because of the manager and the people at this club.”

    The 23-year-old also discussed his turbulent international career so far with France, highlighting a disagreement with Thierry Henry over a bus seat and his dislike for William Gallas.

    Nasri continued: “When I arrived with the national team Thierry was injured with a back problem. He wasn’t there. So when I came, I was sitting in one place. I didn’t know it was Thierry’s place.

    “Then Thierry comes back and I’m sitting there, and he talks to me like, ‘That’s my place’. And I said, ‘Well, it doesn’t have your name on it’. But then he explained to me that he had been sitting there for 12 years and that it was his favourite seat and I said, ‘OK, no problem’.

    “I said he could take his seat, and he told me to sit next to him. ‘We will watch a DVD,’ he said. For me, there was no reason for it to be in Gallas’s book.

    “When I arrived at Arsenal it was perfect but then the book came out and I told him I didn’t agree with what he had done in the book. We had another argument and we decided not to talk to each other again.”

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    Arsenal midfielder Samir Nasri: Win over Barcelona can drive us to glory