June 12, 2012
Nasri's chirp has ruffled English feathers
By Mike Zeisberger, QMI Agency
KHARKIV, UKRAINE - At least Samir Nasri didn't hork on anyone.
But the French striker's words to the English bench after he'd tied their Group D game at 1-1 late in the first half Monday has ruffled a few feathers, so much so that the incident is now being referred to in some quarters as Gob-Gate.
After blasting the equalizer past English goaltender Joe Hart, Nasri allegedly ran past the England bench while telling their players to "shut your gobs" before putting his finger to his lips.
England manager Roy Hodgson claims not to have heard anything from Nasri's lips, but television cameras clearly showed him yelling at the English substitutes and coach Gary Neville.
While Nasri refused to discuss the incident, French coach Laurent Blanc was quick to come to the defence of his young star.
"That's between him and his detractors," Blanc said when asked about the nature of Nasri's comments to the English "That's something personal. There are individual and personal reactions. These are things we don't always expect.
"Samir was happy to score a goal and play a good game."
Since Nasri plays in the English Premier League with Manchester City, Blanc chuckled that perhaps he was just passing on a light-hearted chirp to some familiar faces.
"Maybe he was saying it to a friend," Blanc noted, quickly adding that "I'm joking.
"You'd have to ask him who he was directing that to."
Should England and France both advance out of Group D, there is a chance they could meet in a semifinal clash at Euro 2012. If that happens, you can bet that the English definitely will remember Nasri's barb.