Samir Nasri has told ESPN FC that Arsene Wenger is a “magician” and believes criticism of his former manager about his lack of trophies is unfair.
Arsenal’s last silverware came in the FA Cup in 2005 and Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho recently branded Wenger “a specialist in failure” for his subsequent drought.
Wenger’s team face Everton in the last eight of the FA Cup on Saturday and the competition appears their most realistic hope of securing a major honour after they lost the first leg of their Champions League tie to Bayern Munich and only won one of their last four league games to drop four points behind leaders Chelsea.
However, Manchester City midfielder Nasri, who played for Arsenal between 2008 and 2011, believes Wenger has worked wonders on a limited budget.
He said: “Arsene Wenger didn’t have the funds to build the team he wanted. I know him really well and he is not happy when he is not winning so I think it is a little bit hard on him because for me is a magician for everything he has done for Arsenal.”
Wenger’s caution in the transfer market helped Arsenal repay the debts they incurred building the Emirates Stadium but the Frenchman smashed the club record to sign Mesut Ozil for 42.5 million pounds in the summer.
And Nasri feels that this is one Arsenal team that will not fade away in the final months of the season and is sure they will mount a strong challenge on three fronts.
He added: “Look in the league. They are there and they will be there until the end. They were unlucky like us to draw a team like Bayern Munich. In the FA Cup they are still there so they spent some money and they have a good team.”