Tag Archives: samir

Theo Walcott agrees deal to stay at Arsenal

Walcott finally agrees new deal at Emirates with forward set to stay at Arsenal until 2016

PUBLISHED:

12:19 GMT, 18 January 2013

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UPDATED:

13:00 GMT, 18 January 2013

Theo Walcott appears to have ended the drawn out contract saga at Arsenal by agreeing a new deal that will keep him at the club until 2016.

After lengthy negotiations the England forward has finally agreed, in principle, a three-and-a-half year deal at the Emirates.

The 23-year-old is likely to join fellow Britons Jack Wilshere, Kieran Gibbs, Carl Jenkinson, Aaron Ramsey and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who all signed five-year extensions last month.

Finally: Theo Walcott has agreed a new deal with Arsenal after lengthy negotiations

Finally: Theo Walcott has agreed a new deal with Arsenal after lengthy negotiations

On alert: Arsene Wenger was concerned that another of his prized assets would leave the club

On alert: Arsene Wenger was concerned that another of his prized assets would leave the club

Walcott was expected to agree a deal
sooner, but he baulked at a deal worth 75,000 per week in
August as he held out for a contract closer to 100,000.

Arsene Wenger has seen some of his brightest
talents leave the Emirates in the past two summers.

Cesc Fabregas, Samir Nasri,
Alex Song and the Premier League's leading goalscorer this season Robin van Persie have
all departed and the Frenchman was desperate to keep Walcott
on board.

Wenger had
said that he was '99 per cent' certain that Walcott would agree terms
before the weekend, and it appears his prediction has come to fruition.

He told The Sun: 'I hope it will be signed before the weekend. There is a possibility. My optimism is at 99 per cent now.'

He added that he was concerned
Walcott would follow the other big names out of the club but it appears
he is set to stay in north London.

Wenger said: 'Yes I was scared at
some stage, that he could leave because it is like that with the
experience I have in negotiations.

'When things last too long, it is never a good sign. It took us some time to get where we want to get. It is still not finalised, but hopefully it will be done by this weekend.'

Walcott joined the Gunners in 2006, when Wenger signed the 16-year-old Southampton academy graduate.

The Englishman is Arsenal's top scorer this campaign with 14 goals in all competitions.

Problem solved: Arsene Wenger managed to convince Walcott to stay at the club

Problem solved: Arsene Wenger managed to convince Walcott to stay at the club

Crisis averted: Samir Nasri moved to Manchester City

Crisis averted: Cesc Fabregas joined Barcelona in 2011

Crisis averted: Samir Nasri (left) moved to Manchester City and Cesc Fabregas (right) left for Barcelona in 2011

Big loss: Robin van Persie left Arsenal last summer for Manchester United

Big loss: Robin van Persie left Arsenal last summer for Manchester United

Samir Nasri red card: Manchester City will not appeal

Nasri will serve three-match ban after City decide not to appeal red card for losing his head

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UPDATED:

15:37 GMT, 31 December 2012

Manchester City have confirmed they will not appeal Samir Nasri’s red card against Norwich.

Nasri was sent off in controversial circumstances for squaring up with his head to Norwich’s Sebastien Bassong in the 4-3 win at Carrow Road on Saturday.

Off: Samir Nasri (right) confronts Norwich City defender Sebastien Bassong

Off: Samir Nasri (right) confronts Norwich City defender Sebastien Bassong

City manager Roberto Mancini was angry at the decision at the time and said this morning that the club had not decided whether to appeal the card and the three-match ban that will come with it.

However, the club have now decided to accept the charge and Nasri will miss tomorrow’s game at home to Stoke, the weekend’s FA Cup tie with Watford and the game at Nasri’s old club Arsenal on January 13.

Early bath: Nasri will now miss City's three games in the league and FA Cup

Early bath: Nasri will now miss City's three games in the league and FA Cup

One of the dangers of appealing a sending off is that the FA can deem the appeal frivolous and add an extra game to the ban. City clearly decided they did not want to risk this.

Roberto Mancini blasts officials for Samir Nasri red card

Furious Mancini rages against officials again after 'incredible' decision to send off Nasri

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UPDATED:

19:02 GMT, 29 December 2012


Head-to-head: Samir Nasri and Sebastian Bassong (left) clashed

Head-to-head: Samir Nasri and Sebastian Bassong (left) clashed

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini hit out at the 'incredible' decision to send off midfielder Samir Nasri in this afternoon's thrilling 4-3 Barclays Premier League win at Norwich.

The champions, beaten at Sunderland on Boxing Day, were off to a flying start when they went 2-0 up inside four minutes after Edin Dzeko's quick brace.

Norwich reduced the deficit through Anthony Pilkington's deflected free-kick, before Nasri was shown a red card by referee Mike Jones on 44 minutes for putting his head into the face of Sebastien Bassong.

Although the decision did not
eventually cost City as Sergio Aguero and an own-goal from Norwich
keeper Mark Bunn eventually saw off the spirited Canaries, the Italian
was left less than impressed by the whole incident.

Mancini
– who is already facing a Football Association probe for comments after
the Sunderland game that referee Kevin Friend had 'ate too much for
Christmas' – felt City were hard done by and will appeal against what is
set to be a three-match ban.

Things got ugly again just before the break when Bassong upended Nasri on the far touchline.

'Incredible': Roberto Mancini raged at the decision to send off Nasri but not Bassong

'Incredible': Roberto Mancini raged at the decision to send off Nasri but not Bassong

The
duo squared up face-to-face, with Nasri pushing his head into the
Norwich defender – which on consultation with the assistant referee
resulted in a red card for the France midfielder, and a caution for
Bassong.

Mancini lamented: 'Both players came forward with their heads, so if you are going to send off one, then you have to send off both, not only Samir.

'Samir said he touched his head, okay, but the other player has done the same.

'The linesman has a big responsibility also, because it was not a good decision, it is incredible.

'You want to send off both players Then, okay, the referee was there, he saw everything. The linesman was behind [the players], he could not see. We will appeal, sure.'

Mancini continued: 'I am disappointed with Samir, and he will pay his fine, but the decision was not correct.

'Samir did a mistake, okay, but after why when the other player did the same thing, does he send off only one

'There are two rules for different teams, and I hate this in football and cannot accept this.

'In life, there is only one rule for everyone. This season, I have seen things which are not good.

'For the referees, this is the most easiest thing to do, but I do not want to talk about the referees too much, because I said last time that they had a big lunch for Christmas, and I don't know what [will happen].'

Lunge: Bassong was booked for this lunge on Nasri which sparked the incident

Lunge: Bassong was booked for this lunge on Nasri which sparked the incident

City have now won three out of their last four Premier League games, but still trail leaders Manchester United by seven points.

Mancini was just happy to get a victory, which was made harder by some poor defending as all of Norwich's goals came from set-plays.

'I am delighted with the result and the performance,' the City boss said.

'In the first few minutes, we played some fantastic football and scored two goals, but after the sending off it was difficult, however, we fought well.'

Norwich, meanwhile, have now lost three Premier League games in a row, having been on an unbeaten 10-match run before Christmas.

Unimpressed: Mancini was upset at what he percieives to be another unfair decision

Unimpressed: Mancini was upset at what he percieives to be another unfair decision

Canaries boss Chris Hughton, though, remained positive despite a second home loss in a week, after Chelsea ran out 1-0 winners in Norfolk on Boxing Day.

'Manchester City showed why they spend the amount of money they do for the offensive players they have, but you cant be 2-0 down so early on and expect to have a good day,' Hughton said.

'However, we displayed great character and certainly at 4-3 it seemed it might be going our way, but again they showed real good quality.

'I cannot fault the endeavour of the players we have got, so now we will look to go again.'

Hughton could empathise with Mancini's complaints on the refereeing.

He said: 'In the build-up to their second goal, there was a foul by Vincent Kompany in midfield, which was disappointing.

'On the sending off, there was certainly a coming together of heads and some movement, now whether that was enough for a sending off… if the referee has given it for that reason, was it a bit harsh Probably yes.'

Norwich 3 Manchester City 4 – match report

Norwich 3 Man City 4: Dzeko and Aguero ensure 10-man champions edge thriller

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UPDATED:

17:38 GMT, 29 December 2012

Manchester City overcame the controversial sending-off of midfielder Samir Nasri to beat Norwich 4-3 in a thrilling Barclays Premier League clash at Carrow Road.

The champions, beaten at Sunderland on Boxing Day, were off to a flying start when they went 2-0 up inside four minutes after Edin Dzeko's quick brace.

Norwich reduced the deficit through Anthony Pilkington's deflected free-kick, before Nasri was shown a red card by referee Mike Jones on 44 minutes for putting his head into the face of Sebastien Bassong.

Star of the show: Edin Dzeko scored within two minutes for Manchester City

Star of the show: Edin Dzeko scored within two minutes for Manchester City

MATCH FACTS

Norwich: Bunn, R Martin, Bassong, Turner, Garrido, Johnson, Snodgrass, Pilkington, Hoolahan (Jackson 74), Tettey (Howson 57), Morison (Kane 45)

Subs not used: Rudd, Barnett, R Bennett, E Bennett

Goal: Pilkington 15, Martin 63, 75

Booked: Bassong, Pilkington

Man City: Hart, Kompany, Zabaleta, Clichy, Nastasic, Nasri, Barry, Silva (Milner 56), Y Toure, Dzeko (Lescott 81), Aguero (Garcia 90)

Subs not used: Pantilimon, K Toure, Sinclair, Tevez

Goals: Dzeko 2, 4 Aguero 50, Bunn (og) 67

Booked: Clichy

Sent off: Nasri 44

Referee: Mike Jones

Attendance: 26,827

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Sergio Aguero's neat flick made it
3-1 at the start of the second half, before Russell Martin's header
reduced the deficit again.

Dzeko put City back in command at 4-2
after his shot cannoned off the post and in off goalkeeper Mark Bunn,
only for Martin's scrambled effort to set up a grandstand finish.

However, Norwich – who had beaten
both Arsenal and Manchester United at Carrow Road during a 10-match
unbeaten run – could not conjure an equaliser as they suffered a third
successive league defeat.

City were ahead inside two minutes. A
long ball down the left was worked back inside by Aguero and David
Silva for an unmarked Dzeko to sweep home from six yards.

The champions swiftly doubled their lead.

Play was allowed to continue after a crunching tackle from Vincent Kompany on Bradley Johnson.
Aguero was away again, darting into the right side of the Norwich
penalty area before drawing the goalkeeper and then cutting the ball
back to present Dzeko with another tap-in.

The Canaries had been thrashed 6-1
here by City last season, and another such defeat looked on the cards as
the Blues continued to press.

Already Dzeko scored his second early in the match

Already Dzeko scored his second early in the match

Game on: Anthony Pilkington scored a free-kick as the sides went in at 2-1

Game on: Anthony Pilkington scored a free-kick as the sides went in at 2-1

There was some brief respite on 13 minutes when Kompany tripped Robert Snodgrass just outside the Manchester City penalty area.

The Scotland international shaped to
take the free-kick himself, but instead ran over the ball, as Pilkington
drove in a low shot which deflected off Gael Clichy and past Joe Hart.

Bunn then needed to be alert to tip
over a spooned clearance from former City full-back Javier Garrido which
was dropping into the Norwich net following another lighting break from
the visitors.
City remained a threat, as Yaya Toure flashed a 20-yard drive just wide following more patient build-up from the champions.

Class: Sergio Aguero lifts the ball over Mark Bunn to make it 3-1

Class: Sergio Aguero lifts the ball over Mark Bunn to make it 3-1

Back in the goals: Aguero wheeled away after his expertly taken goal

Back in the goals: Aguero wheeled away after his expertly taken goal

Get in: Russell Martin heads home Norwich's second

Get in: Russell Martin heads home Norwich's second

Things got ugly again just before the break when Bassong upended Nasri on the far touchline.

The duo squared up face-to-face, with
Nasri pushing his head into the Norwich defender – which on
consultation with the assistant referee resulted in a red card for the
France midfielder, and a caution for Bassong.

The decision perplexed City boss
Mancini, and left him with some changes to mull over at half-time the
rain started to lash down.

Spicy: Samir Nasri was red-carded for putting his head against Sebastien Bassong's

Spicy: Samir Nasri was red-carded for putting his head against Sebastien Bassong's

Oh dear: Nasri was dismissed just before half-time

Oh dear: Nasri was dismissed just before half-time

Norwich made a substitution just
before the interval, with striker Steve Morison hobbling off because of
what appeared to be a thigh problem and on-loan Harry Kane replacing him
for a first appearance since breaking his metatarsal in September.

City were soon back on the offensive following the restart and restored their two-goal cushion on 50 minutes.

Toure delivered a perfectly-weighted
angled ball which Bassong could not cut out and dropped into the path of
Aguero. The Argentina forward produced an exquisite chip to beat the
advancing keeper and put City back in control.

To their credit, the home side
continued to look to get back into the match, as a low shot from
substitute Jonny Howson's was touched wide by Hart.

From the resulting short-corner, it
was 3-2 when Bassong's header back across the six-yard box from
Snodgrass' clever centre was guided into the top right corner by Martin
on 63 minutes.

However, City quickly restored their advantage as the broke away down the right.

Dzeko sprung the offside trap to
burst into the Norwich penalty area to beat Bunn at the near post, the
ball bouncing off the woodwork, then the keeper's back and into the net.

Unlucky: Dzeko was deprived of a hat-trick when his shot ricocheted in off Bunn

Unlucky: Dzeko was deprived of a hat-trick when his shot ricocheted in off Bunn

Squeaky bum time: Martin scored Norwich's third to make things interesting again

Squeaky bum time: Martin scored Norwich's third to make things interesting again

Whack: Vincent Kompany slides in on Bradley Johnson

Whack: Vincent Kompany slides in on Bradley Johnson

Flying high: Edin Dzeko competes for the ball in the second half

Flying high: Edin Dzeko competes for the ball in the second half

A quite amazing match sparked into
life once more with 15 minutes left when another Norwich corner caused
panic in the City six-yard box as Hart could only half punch clear
before Martin swept the ball in again from point-blank range.

Mancini looked to shore things up when he replaced Dzeko with defender Joleon Lescott.

Bunn redeemed himself with a brilliant one-handed save from Aguero at point-blank range.
Despite five minutes of stoppage time, there was to be no more drama as
City closed out what could prove to be a crucial victory.

Taskmaster: Roberto Mancini issues some instructions from the touchline

Taskmaster: Roberto Mancini issues some instructions from the touchline

Goalscorers: Aguero and Martin (right) were both among the goals

Goalscorers: Aguero and Martin (right) were both among the goals

Gary Neville hits out at Manchester City"s Samir Nasri after derby display

Nasri lost City the derby… he went missing at the vital moment, blasts ex-red Neville

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UPDATED:

13:47 GMT, 12 December 2012

Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville has blasted Manchester City player Samir Nasri, accusing the French midfielder of failing to turn up in the big games.

Sky Sports pundit Neville has ripped into Nasri following his disappointing performance in Sunday’s 3-2 derby defeat to United.

And Neville believes that the 25million signing deserved to be substituted instead of Mario Balotelli, who Neville has defended after the Italian also came under fire after an ineffective showing at the Etihad Stadium.

Missing: Gary Neville accused Samir Nasri of not turning up for big games

Missing: Gary Neville accused Samir Nasri of not turning up for big games

Neville told the Manchester Evening News: 'There was another player on the pitch who could easily have been taken off before Mario Balotelli,' he said. 'I think he goes missing in big games for City – and he’s the only one – and that’s Samir Nasri.'

To City’s detriment, Nasri remained on the pitch, and as Van Persie stepped up to take a 92nd minute free-kick, the Frenchman failed to stand tall in the three-man defensive wall, ducking behind City striker Edin Dzeko.

Van Persie’s strike was diverted in via Nasri’s outstretched leg and Neville has claimed that it was typical of Nasri to go missing at the vital moment.

Hiding: Nasri fails to stand strong in the wall as Robin van Persie gets scores a stoppage time free kick for Manchester United

Hiding: Nasri fails to stand strong in the wall as Robin van Persie gets scores a stoppage time free kick for Manchester United

Neville added: 'The football match has been won by what Samir Nasri did in that wall. It really has cost his team. That was the difference on the day.'

'For me, he doesn’t put a shift in. When they play with David Silva and Nasri, you expect the brilliance of Silva and you need somebody more solid on the other side.

'I played against Nasri three or four years ago at the Emirates Stadium and he pulled my pants down for 60 minutes and I got subbed because he absolutely battered me.

My ball: Patrice Evra slides in to take the ball off Nasri

My ball: Patrice Evra slides in to take the ball off Nasri

'This is a player you’ll see when the ‘oles’ are coming out, but when the going gets tough I’m not sure he fancies it that much.'

Despite United’s victory at Eastlands taking Sir Alex Ferguson’s six points clear of their Manchester rivals at the top of the Premier League, Neville still believes that City are capable of catching United to retain the title.

'There’s no way Manchester United will be caught by 18 of the teams, but with Manchester City I would never get carried away at this point of the season,' he said.

'They were neck-and-neck last year and City were five points ahead at one point early in the season, so if you’re a Manchester United fan, manager or player you wouldn’t be getting carried away.'

Carlos Tevez should have been an automatic pick for Roberto Mancini -Martin Keown

Mancini made a mistake by choosing Balotelli over matchwinner Tevez

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UPDATED:

00:27 GMT, 10 December 2012

Tremendous Tevez

I don’t understand why Carlos Tevez is not an automatic pick — he’s City’s matchwinner. His introduction gave us a proper football match and he played like a man possessed. Unlike Mario Balotelli, he chased down everything and gave the United defenders a torrid time.

Tevez would drop off and run wide and they didn’t know whether to stay or go with him. For Yaya Toure’s goal, he showed strength and composure to keep the ball and pick out his team-mate when surrounded by reds.

Not a moment too soon: Carlos Tevez replaced Mario Balotelli in the second half at the Etihad Stadium

Not a moment too soon: Carlos Tevez replaced Mario Balotelli in the second half at the Etihad Stadium

Winner brilliant, but so avoidable

There were two errors with the wall. Tevez walked off the end to close down Wayne Rooney on the edge of the box, but he should have stayed and reacted if necessary.

And Samir Nasri is not the bravest. What was he doing in the wall We often put people there who can’t do much defensively — such as pick up attackers or block. But he hid. If he stands up tall it hits him and bounces clear.

Winner: Joe Hart was beaten by Robin van Persie's late free kick which won the Manchester derby

Winner: Joe Hart was beaten by Robin van Persie's late free kick which won the Manchester derby

Incredible football

Rio Ferdinand looked majestic most of the match, but if I’m being really picky he could have committed more to blocking Tevez’s shot in the lead-up to Toure’s goal.

But that just showed how difficult it was for defenders yesterday. There was so much attacking quality all over the place, producing football of the highest order.

It was incredible to watch.

Rock solid: Rio Ferdinand had an excellent afternoon before being struck by a coin while celebrating the winner

Rock solid: Rio Ferdinand had an excellent afternoon before being struck by a coin while celebrating the winner

United wide men wing it

City dominated possession in the first half and it was largely down to the fluidity of their wingers. Nasri and David Silva like to come infield and that meant they could keep hold of the ball. But United’s wingers stuck out wide and that made them more clinical when they got it.

Space on the left allowed Ashley Young to set up the opener and Antonio Valencia on the right was key to the second. They were ruthless. The structure of the team created the goals but they had the ability in that framework.

Ajax 3 Manchester City 1 – match report

Ajax 3 Man City 1: Dutch destroyers put Mancini's men on brink of European exit

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UPDATED:

20:39 GMT, 24 October 2012

Manchester City are close to being eliminated from the Champions League after being soundly beaten by Dutch side Ajax on Wednesday night.

Samir Nasri gave Roberto Mancini's side the lead but Ajax struck back through Siem De Jong, Niklas Moisander and Christian Eriksen to earn a deserved win.

City have only gained one point from their first three games and are in a tough group which also contains Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund.

More to follow.

The floodgates are open: Christian Eriksen delights in scoring the third Ajax goal

The floodgates are open: Christian Eriksen delights in scoring the third Ajax goal

Match facts

Ajax: Vermeer, Van Rhijn, Alderweireld, Moisander, Blind, Schone (Boerrigter 89), Poulsen, Eriksen, Sana (Enoh 74), De Jong, Babel.

Subs: Cillessen, Sulejmani, Veltman, Dijks, Fischer.

Booked: Blind.

Goals: De Jong 45, Moisander 57, Eriksen 68.

Man City: Hart, Richards, Kompany, Lescott (Kolarov 63), Clichy, Y Toure, Barry (Tevez 71), Milner (Balotelli 77), Aguero, Nasri, Dzeko.

Subs: Pantilimon, Sinclair, Nastasic, Evans.

Booked: Kolarov, Y Toure

Goal: Nasri 22.

Ref: Svein Oddvar Moen (Norway).

Dobule up: Niklas Moisander heads in Ajax's second goal

Dobule up: Niklas Moisander heads in Ajax's second goal

Potent: Ajax took Man City to pieces at the back

Potent: Ajax took Man City to pieces at the back

Roar: Moisander celebrates his important goal

Roar: Moisander celebrates his important goal

Beaten: Joe Hart watches as Siem De Jong's strike hits the net

Beaten: Joe Hart watches as Siem De Jong's strike hits the net

Steered home: Samir Nasri opened the scoring for the visitors

Steered home: Samir Nasri opened the scoring for the visitors

Good work: The French midfielder is congratulated by his colleagues (and below)

Good work: The French midfielder is congratulated by his colleagues (and below)

Well done, Samir

Pegged back: De Jong (left) celebrates his equaliser

Pegged back: De Jong (left) celebrates his equaliser

Leap: Micah Richards strains to head the ball

Leap: Micah Richards strains to head the ball

Blocked off: Nasri is kept away from the ball

Blocked off: Nasri is kept away from the ball

Good start: Nasri sees his strike fly in

Good start: Nasri sees his strike fly in

Concerns: Roberto Mancini will need to solve the problem of his leaky defence

Concerns: Roberto Mancini will need to solve the problem of his leaky defence

Benched: Mario Balotelli was not selected to start

Benched: Mario Balotelli was not selected to start

Ready to go: The Amsterdam ArenA before kick-off

Ready to go: The Amsterdam ArenA before kick-off

Manchester City kit man behind messages worn by Mario Balotelli, Carlos Tevez and Samir Nasri

Why always them City kit manager revealed as man behind players' messages on shirts

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UPDATED:

07:08 GMT, 21 August 2012

Fantasy football 2012

Kit manager Les Chapman can be revealed as the man behind a new trend for Manchester City's stars who want to send messages round the world.

Both Carlos Tevez and Samir Nasri celebrated scoring in Sunday's 3-2 win over Southampton at the Etihad Stadium by lifting their shirts to reveal a printed slogan on their official Umbro under-armour.

Nasri revealed a T-shirt with Muslim greeting Eid Mubarak written on it, while Tevez showed the latest reference to his native Buenos Aires.

Revealed: Kit manager Les Chapman has been providing players with messages on their under shirts

Revealed: Kit manager Les Chapman has been providing players with messages on their under shirts

The latest: Samir Nasri bore this message after he scored the winner against Southampton on Sunday

The latest: Samir Nasri bore this message after he scored the winner against Southampton on Sunday

They follow in the wake of Mario Balotelli, who famously posed the question: 'Why always me' on his City T-shirt.

The printing – using the equipment normally kept by Chapman and his team for putting names on the back of shirts – marks a move on from the previous practice of scribbling slogans for the cameras with a felt-tip pen.

And while City are indulging their stars at the moment that might change if it brings any more bookings – as happened to Nasri on Sunday – with the fear of that leading to suspensions.

Him too: Carlos Tevez got in on it against Chelsea in the Community Shield

Him too: Carlos Tevez got in on it against Chelsea in the Community Shield

Him too: Carlos Tevez got in on it against Chelsea in the opener against Southampton

Nasri was booked and Tevez wasn't because the Frenchman pulled the shirt over his chin, but Tevez didn't. New FIFA guidelines state that any player 'removing his shirt or covering his head with it' must be cautioned and referee Howard Webb duly followed the new directive on goal celebrations.

Tevez, in particular, has form in the T-shirt tidings stakes and was sending out birthday wishes to folk back home in Argentina during his Manchester United days.

They were scribbled in his own hand, as was the Feliz Cumple Mami (Happy Birthday Mum) after his solo goal against Chelsea at The Etihad last season.

City now appear to be indulging him after allowing the use of Chapman and his printing team for neatly arranged block capitals.

For now they are, anyway, though all that could change, if the authorities get shirty with the habit and force a rethink by club bosses.

And who can forget... Mario Balotelli revealed the 'Why Always Me' shirt in City's 6-1 victory over United last season

And who can forget… Mario Balotelli revealed the 'Why Always Me' shirt in City's 6-1 victory over United last season

And who can forget... Mario Balotelli revealed the 'Why Always Me' shirt in City's 6-1 victory over United last season

And who can forget… Mario Balotelli revealed the 'Why Always Me' shirt in City's 6-1 victory over United last season

Revealed: Les Chapman behind messages worn by Mario Balotelli, Carlos Tevez and Samir Nasri

Why always them City kit manager revealed as man behind players' messages on shirts

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UPDATED:

21:30 GMT, 20 August 2012

Fantasy football 2012

Kit manager Les Chapman can be revealed as the man behind a new trend for Manchester City's stars who want to send messages round the world.

Both Carlos Tevez and Samir Nasri celebrated scoring in Sunday's 3-2 win over Southampton at the Etihad Stadium by lifting their shirts to reveal a printed slogan on their official Umbro under-armour.

Nasri revealed a T-shirt with Muslim greeting Eid Mubarak written on it, while Tevez showed the latest reference to his native Buenos Aires.

Revealed: Kit manager Les Chapman has been providing players with messages on their under shirts

Revealed: Kit manager Les Chapman has been providing players with messages on their under shirts

The latest: Samir Nasri bore this message after he scored the winner against Southampton on Sunday

The latest: Samir Nasri bore this message after he scored the winner against Southampton on Sunday

They follow in the wake of Mario Balotelli, who famously posed the question: 'Why always me' on his City T-shirt.

The printing – using the equipment normally kept by Chapman and his team for putting names on the back of shirts – marks a move on from the previous practice of scribbling slogans for the cameras with a felt-tip pen.

And while City are indulging their stars at the moment that might change if it brings any more bookings – as happened to Nasri on Sunday – with the fear of that leading to suspensions.

Him too: Carlos Tevez got in on it against Chelsea in the Community Shield

Him too: Carlos Tevez got in on it against Chelsea in the Community Shield

Him too: Carlos Tevez got in on it against Chelsea in the opener against Southampton

Nasri was booked and Tevez wasn't because the Frenchman pulled the shirt over his chin, but Tevez didn't. New FIFA guidelines state that any player 'removing his shirt or covering his head with it' must be cautioned and referee Howard Webb duly followed the new directive on goal celebrations.

Tevez, in particular, has form in the T-shirt tidings stakes and was sending out birthday wishes to folk back home in Argentina during his Manchester United days.

They were scribbled in his own hand, as was the Feliz Cumple Mami (Happy Birthday Mum) after his solo goal against Chelsea at The Etihad last season.

City now appear to be indulging him after allowing the use of Chapman and his printing team for neatly arranged block capitals.

For now they are, anyway, though all that could change, if the authorities get shirty with the habit and force a rethink by club bosses.

And who can forget... Mario Balotelli revealed the 'Why Always Me' shirt in City's 6-1 victory over United last season

And who can forget… Mario Balotelli revealed the 'Why Always Me' shirt in City's 6-1 victory over United last season

And who can forget... Mario Balotelli revealed the 'Why Always Me' shirt in City's 6-1 victory over United last season

And who can forget… Mario Balotelli revealed the 'Why Always Me' shirt in City's 6-1 victory over United last season

Robin van Persie right to leave Arsenal but not like this

Van Persie has tainted his Arsenal legacy… there’s no way back now

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UPDATED:

12:39 GMT, 5 July 2012

Let's get one thing straight. Robin van Persie’s statement was not ‘for the fans’, as he so lovingly professed, but for himself.

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On his way: Robin Van Persie looks set to be heading for the exit at Arsenal sooner rather than later

At 4.02pm on July 4, Van Persie’s value in football’s over-inflated transfer market was worth around 25million to Arsenal. At 4.03pm when he delivered his slap in the face, sorry, update, to the fans, that had decreased by more than fifth.

Not quite the act of someone who loves the club.

No one can begrudge the Dutchman wanting off a ship he so brilliantly commandeered through the roughest of high seas last season. He is at the peak of his powers and at a point where he can command the highest wages of his career, and where he can effectively pick his destination.

But it is the means by which he will achieve this ultimate end that, in the eyes of Arsenal fans, makes him little better than Samir Nasri and Emmanuel Adebayor, two of the four players to have already swapped Emirates for Etihad since Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan changed the face of football across Europe.

Standing by his man: Arsene Wenger supported Van Persie through his injuries

Standing by his man: Arsene Wenger supported Van Persie through his injuries

Footballers and their in-house media managers love a soundbite, you need only look at post-match television interviews for a litany of cliches – ‘it’s not about me, it’s about team’, ‘we’re just taking one game at a time’, ‘the most important thing were the three points’.

There is a new one these days, coined by Wayne Rooney when he sensationally tried to engineer a move away from Manchester United, honed by Luka Modric as he held Tottenham to ransom 12 months ago, and polished now by Van Persie.

‘I disagree with the way the club should move forward.’

On the move: Cesc Fabregas

Barca boy: Cesc Fabregas

Doing it the right way: Cesc Fabregas moved from Arsenal to Barcelona without speaking out about the club

What this does is not only undermine the club and the players with whom they shared a changing room, but it is a ploy designed to get the fans on side, turn them against the club, to play on their emotions.

It is said that after the 2010 World Cup, when Rafael van der Vaart was being hawked around Europe following an unsuccessful stint at Real Madrid, his countryman was knocking on his club manager’s door, pleading for him to take action.

While Van Persie’s motives and ambitions at this stage are to be applauded, one has to question the impact this would have on moral among those playing in that position, one of which was Aaron Ramsey, still unsure of what path his career would take following the sickening injury he had suffered at the hands of Ryan Shawcross just four months earlier.

City boy: Samir Nasri

Moving up north: Emmanuel Adebayor

Villains: Samir Nasri and Emmanuel Adebayor spoke out against Arsenal and moved to Manchester City

Wenger, to his credit, investigated, but decided against making a move. Case closed. Apparently not. Van Persie has maintained his Fantasy Football attitude ever since.

This summer he is unimpressed with the signings of a 26-year-old German international boasting more than 100 caps, one of Europe’s brightest young centre-forwards, not to mention the emergence of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain as full international.

The irony, of course, is that Van Persie was himself a signing much like Chamberlain. Did the capture of 21-year-old with a questionable attitude from Holland convince Patrick Vieira et al of the club’s ambition If it didn’t, we didn’t hear about it publicly.

Winning feeling: Van Persie was part of the 2005 FA Cup winning side - his only trophy he has won at Arsenal since joining in 2004

Winning feeling: Van Persie was part of the 2005 FA Cup winning side – his only trophy he has won at Arsenal since joining in 2004

And that is the key point. Van Persie wants out. Fine. Yet, unlike Cesc Fabregas who kept his counsel while the club toyed with his heart over his move home to Barcelona a year ago, the new captain has driven a wedge between he and the club who stood by him through a wretched injury record and hopeless runs of form. He owed them more five paragraphs.

Victoria concordia crescit, the club slogan. Victory through harmony. Van Persie hasn’t been singing from the same hymnsheet for several years.

Follow Matt Fortune on Twitter @MFworldfootball