SPORT

Samir Nasri Unhappy With Roberto Mancini 'Punch' Remark

02/04/2013 08:31 BST

Samir Nasri has spoken of his disappointment with Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini's quip he wanted to "punch" the French playmaker due to his inconsistency.

Nasri's popularity has nosedived amongst supporters following his half-hearted attempt to block Robin van Persie's free-kick in December's Manchester derby, which resulted in him deflecting home the stoppage-time winner for United.

The Frenchman was instrumental in City's 4-0 weekend win over Newcastle in the Premier League, however he has struggled to re-create the form he exhibited at Arsenal two seasons ago, which compelled City to part with £24m for the 25-year-old.

And after the Newcastle win, Mancini bemoaned: "I would like to give him a punch. Because a player like him should play like this always."

Mancini also said he felt certain City players were only playing at 50% of their ability this season.

roberto mancini samir nasri

Mancini is unhappy with Nasri's second season at Eastlands

Speaking to French sports broadcaster beIN Sport, Nasri swiftly retorted: "Mancini has shown a little proof of bad faith when he said he wanted to punch me.

"I've not had a good season, I know it, I'm aware of that. I am the first to be self-critical. But it's not true that I'm playing at 50%.

"I think the coach still doesn't handle English very well and sometimes uses expressions that aren't really suitable."

In February, Mancini told the Guardian he thought Nasri had become complacent.

"I think Samir has fantastic qualities," the Italian said. "With his quality, he should always play well. Every game he could be the difference. A player of this quality could be one of the best players in Europe. But it's not happening.

"Sometimes a player thinks it's enough what they did the year before and doesn't understand that every day they should improve. If you are a top player you know you can improve until the last day of your career but sometimes you get players who think it is not important to work and this is their worst mistake. Samir can do better than this year. He is a top player but he has not been playing at his level."