Nifty Nasri helps turn things around for West Ham
PUBLISHED: 14:30 19 March 2019
French polish so important as Hammers beat Huddersfield
There were just six minutes left when Saturday’s game was changed with one piece of class.
Samir Nasri, the former Arsenal and Manchester City star, won the ball on the right, steadied himself and delivered the perfect cross for Javier Hernandez.
Unmarked, the Mexican headed into the far corner to level and the best was yet to come.
“I thought it was a crazy game, but the most important thing was to get the three points,” said the 31-year-old midfielder after the 4-3 win over Huddersfield.
“It was difficult, it was nerve-wracking, but I think for the fans it was a good win.”
In the end it was all those things, but it was the introduction of substitutes Nasri and Hernandez which was to turn this topsy-turvy game on its head.
“At 3-1 I looked up and I saw 65 or 66 minutes gone and I was like ‘if we score a goal quickly we have a chance at least to draw’,” he said.
“I didn’t see us winning, but with the atmosphere and the crowd behind us at 3-3 with five minutes of injury time, anything was possible.
“The only mistake that Huddersfield made was that they sat back. They also had a big chance at the end, but it was a centre back in the box, if it was a striker it may have been over.”
It was certainly an incredible finish, but from his place on the bench, what did the experienced eye of the Frenchman think went wrong earlier on?
“Sometimes you can be complacent when you play a team that is bottom of the league.
“But to be honest from the bench I was surprised because they played some good football. They were really relaxed like they were in training and they took a lot of risks from the back.”
Nasri helped to turn that round when he came on for skipper Mark Noble on the hour.
“The manager told me to play in Mark’s position and to try to get as much of the ball as I could. He told me to switch sides and play with the striker and that is what I tried to do and in the end we are all happy.”
Nasri has a contract until the end of the season, so does he think he has a future at West Ham after that? At the moment he is not worried about it.
“I don’t know about my future,” he said. “The most important thing for me was to come back, which I did in January.
“But then I got an injury because I wasn’t used to playing week-in, week-out having been out of the game for so long.
“Now the manager takes his time with me. I have seven games left and I just want to play free of injury and then we will sit down and see what is next.”
When you have players like Nasri coming off the bench, it certainly makes this squad look stronger and that should mean a new deal at the club.