By Chris Harris
Arsène Wenger does not understand why Samir Nasri was "singled out as the villain" when he was omitted from France's World Cup squad last summer.
The Arsenal star has put his storming start to the season down to the first summer break of his career. That would not have been possible had Raymond Domenech called him up for the Finals in South Africa, where France were dogged by in-fighting and failed to qualify from their group.
Nasri was painted as a disruptive force within the France set-up and Wenger believes that it’s this - as well as missing the tournament - that has spurred him on to scale new heights in an Arsenal shirt.
"It was not only not going to the World Cup that was a frustration," said Wenger. "He was singled out as the villain in the squad and they [said they] would do well without him.
"I could not understand why he was a villain in the French national team because on a daily basis he is an enjoyable guy.
"Since then, what is positive is that he has turned the situation to his own favour. I believe if you have mental strength you can turn the situation around."Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source