• Premier League

Nasri was 'hurt' by criticism at City

ESPN staff
July 22, 2013
Samir Nasri now feels more relaxed at the club © AP

Samir Nasri says he was "hurt" by some of the criticism of him last season and believes much of it was unfair.

Former Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini was frustrated by the Frenchman's loss of form and said in March that he wanted to "punch" the midfielder, suggesting he was only playing at 50%.

But Nasri, who endured an eight-month goal drought in the Premier League, believes many of the things that have been said about him were "lies" and said he has been portrayed wrongly.

He told fifa.com: "I'm feeling more relaxed, but the last few months were very trying for me. Emotionally, I went through several moments of doubt and reassessment. Some of the criticism I got hurt me, and lots of bad things were said.

"I accept criticism as long as it's justified, but there were lots of lies about me. I made mistakes, I know, but I'm not the ugly duckling that some people seem to think."

Nasri also described losing the Premier League title as "a failure" and branded last season "very disappointing" for City.

They were champions of England for the first time in 44 years in 2011-12 but finished 11 points behind Manchester United in the following campaign.

They were also knocked out of the Champions League in the group stages and beaten by underdogs Wigan in the FA Cup final.

Nasri added: "It was certainly a very disappointing season and losing our title of English champions was a failure that was difficult for the whole squad to swallow.

"We didn't manage to win a single trophy, and that's disappointing for a club with the standing of Manchester City. We had a very testing year but we'll learn from our mistakes to have an excellent season next year."

Nasri and City have arrived in Hong Kong for the second leg of their pre-season tour of Africa and Asia without manager Manuel Pellegrini, who returned to Chile for personal reasons.

They will face a South China XI on Wednesday in the Barclays Asia Trophy when three of their summer signings - Jesus Navas, Alvaro Negredo and Stevan Jovetic - could make their debuts.

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