Why Nasri should learn to keep his head down

France's Samir NasriSamir Nasri’s latest petulant outburst could land him in hot water with the French Football Federation (FFF) after he reacted angrily to reporters’ questions in the wake of his side’s Euro 2012 quarterfinal defeat to Spain. The Manchester City midfielder has earned a reputation for voicing his opinions but may have taken things a step too far amidst reports in the French media suggesting he could face a ban of up to two years from the national side and potentially miss the 2014 World Cup.

This is not the first time Nasri has caused controversy with his comments but given there’s so much attention on professional footballers nowadays, wouldn’t it be more sensible for Nasri to keep his mouth shut and focus on his football?

After all the playmaker is particularly talented but he seems to be letting himself down with his insensitive reactions. While many will understand his emotions were high after being knocked out of the Euros, surely he can appreciate how tactful players have to be considering their comments can be so easily misconstrued. He recently tweeted an apology but it remains to be seen how remorseful he truly is.

“Too many false truths are circulating at the moment. I want the supporters, particularly children, to know how much I sincerely regret that my words could have shocked them.

“I love the French football team, football and I have a profound respect for the public. For the rest, it was a personal issue between me and a few journalists. I will explain myself when the time comes”

A public apology is always the most sensible response but Nasri’s decision to delay any explanation of his behaviour is typical of a player who is far more comfortable playing the victim. He may have accepted responsibility as a role model for youngsters but he’s also cleverly sidestepped the issue by insisting he’ll explain himself at a later date. It’s this sort of insincerity that confirms public opinion of him as a provocative character. His emotive response in Donbass may have been understandable but he still told journalists:

“You are looking for s***, you are looking for trouble, f*** you”

This sort of reaction is completely unacceptable from someone who is already the focus of so much media attention. He’s not the first outspoken sports star nor will he be the last but it’s vital he learns to pick and chose his words more carefully. If a player shows genuine regret for his actions and admits the error of their ways then few will deny them a chance at redemption, unfortunately Nasri’s reputation means he’s unlikely to be forgiven so quickly. Last season the midfielder launched a verbal attack toward Arsenal fans upset by his decision to defect to Manchester City.

“I hope they are watching me now collecting my Premier League winner’s medal, I believe they have not won a trophy for many years now.

“I now hope the Arsenal fans can get on with their lives and forget me, they should celebrate their third-place achievement and I will focus on winning titles.”

His tactless comments didn’t go down well in North London and while Nasri’s newly polished Premier League winner’s medal justifies his decision to change clubs, he must appreciate the unnecessary controversy he causes and how damaging it can be. Considering their position in the public eye, professional footballers have a responsibility to censor themselves, especially given the oversensitive nature of the media. FFF president Noel le Graet dismissed Nasri’s behaviour insisting he must hold himself to greater standards when representing Les Bleus.

“You can do what you want when you play for Manchester City but not when you wear the France team shirt,”

It would appear that at the no longer tender age of 25, Nasri still has a lot to learn about public relations. His inability to curb his opinions has not only overshadowed his obvious talent but has also tarnished his reputation. While his childish behaviour may be dismissed as entertaining at domestic level, there’s a certain standard to International football that supersedes one player trying to be the centre of attention. A two year ban may seem a bit harsh for someone whose emotions got the better of them but since this is far from his first offence, Nasri could well be made an example of and given his disrespectful actions, it’s about time he learned his place in the football machine.

Do you agree with Nasri’s comments? Should Nasri be punished for his actions?

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