Samir Nasri: We need to win or be sold
Manuel Pellegrini’s men have just two points from four games and will be eliminated if they fail to beat Bayern
Sergio Aguero, Pablo Zabaleta and Samir Nasri of Manchester City protest to Referee Tasos Sidriopoulos at the end of the UEFA Champions League Group E match between Manchester City and CSKA Moscow earlier this month. Photograph:Alex Livesey/Getty Images
City have again failed to impress in the competition and have little room for error as they host Bayern Munich in a crunch clash at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday.
Manuel Pellegrini’s men have claimed just two points from four games in Group E and will be eliminated if they fail to beat Bayern and there is a winner in the game between CSKA Moscow and Roma.
That would represent a huge disappointment for City, who after winning a second Barclays Premier League title last season, had begun the campaign with high hopes.
Early exit once more
To exit at the group stage for a third time in four attempts would be viewed as a regression and midfielder Nasri knows the current team should be doing better.
The Frenchman, 27, told several national newspapers: “Sometimes people say our team is a little bit old, that’s what I read.
“A midfield player is in his prime at 27-31, 28-32, so I think it’s the perfect age.
“And let’s be honest, we need to do something or otherwise next year it is going to be new players.
“That’s how we work when you play for a big team, a big club. You have to respond and show everyone you deserve to qualify.
“I think we are really lucky we are two points behind with two games left and have a chance to qualify. We need to take it now because we are not going to have any favours from anyone else any more.
“Let’s be honest. With the salary of every player and the level of those players, 90 per cent of the team is world class, then not to qualify from the first round of the Champions League would be a huge blow for the club — and for us as well.”
League success isn’t enough
City’s previous disappointments in the Champions League were put down to experience but it was hoped last season’s progress to the last 16 indicated the start of an upward trend.
The club have made no secret of their desire to establish themselves among the European elite and Nasri admits it is at that level where they are ultimately judged.
He said: “It’s not enough to be top in your league if you don’t do anything in the Champions League.
“With the players we have, the owner gives us his trust, we have to return it in the Champions League.
“It’s the perfect scene to show we can compete with the best team in the world.”