By Richard Clarke
Given that Samir Nasri is now probably the fastest goal-scoring debutant in Arsenal’s history, it seems strange to think he’ll be adapting to life in English football for another few months.
The French winger opened his account after three minutes 44 seconds against West Brom on Saturday to secure an important opening-day victory.
However, after he signed from Marseille in July, Arsène Wenger had suggested it may take Nasri as much as six months to become fully acclimatised to the Premier League. To help this process the manager has put his 21-year-old protégé on a special fitness programme.
But, after Saturday’s success, it was not surprising to hear Nasri suggesting he may be able to adapt much quicker than expected.
“There have been not that many problems for me to adapt to playing in England,” said the French international. “When I first met the boss he said that maybe I would need a bit of time, maybe up to six months. But actually I felt really good straight away.
“I have a personal programme with the physio to get stronger, because everyone has told me English football is different, with more contact.
“It is just to be stronger and to be able to cope with the 50-50s and the intensity of English football. I am working hard in training and felt really good out on the pitch.”
The goal helped of course.
“I could not dream of a better start, to score in my first game after four minutes,” said Nasri. “Now I will have to continue week in and week out, and hopefully I can keep playing like this. That will be brilliant.
“I did not feel nervous. Every time I go on the pitch, I always want to take a lot of pleasure from the game. I do not put pressure on myself.
“Before the game, the manager told me everything would be fine, and with the football we play at Arsenal, we would be OK.
“I just wanted to enjoy myself, and that is what I did.”
* Arsenal.com are checking club records to corroborate that Samir Nasri is the fastest debut-scorer in Arsenal’s history. If you can remember anyone who hit the net earlier in their first game then email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.Copyright 2014 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 18 Aug 2008