Arsene seems willing to let him go, but Arsenal must keep a hold of this one:


Arsenal fans will all have read Bacary Sagna’s comments from last week. The right-back made his position clear. He had been left flabbergasted by the club’s actions this summer and took particular umbrage with Arsene Wenger allowing Alex Song to leave.

Whilst Robin Van Persie was clearly itching for a move away and had just a year left on his Arsenal contract, Song was different. There was no reason for him to leave and given how important he was for the club last season, it’s not so surprising that Sagna was left somewhat bemused.

After all, the fans were too. And things only got worse when the club maintained radio silence through deadline day and failed to bring in any further additions after they’d shipped Song off to Barcelona.

Regardless of whether Sagna’s doubts and concerns were justified (I’d argue they were) his comments have led to some speculation surrounding his Arsenal future. Arsene Wenger has since spoken about the interview and the player’s future: “I believe any player or any employee always has to defend the company he works for and if he is not completely happy with it, then he has to go somewhere else. I say the same thing to everyone and this is basically what I believe.

He has always shown total commitment on the football pitch, for the team and the club. That is much more important than a little-bit-twisted article in the newspaper. I have had a chat with him about this situation and my impression is he loves the club and will stay here. It’s important to understand what he wanted to say. It is also important you understand what people feel about the club and their job. It’s always important to have good communication with them.” (Source: The Express)

Whilst Arsene seems to think that Sagna’s Arsenal future is secure, he does seem to suggest that he’s unwilling to put up with criticism from his players. With that in mind, I hope that Sagna puts his head down and concentrates on his football, rather than media appearances.

The truth is, Arsenal need Bacary Sagna. The Gunner’s full-back crisis last season proved just how vulnerable they are without their first-choice defenders. Sagna is the Premier League’s Mr. Consistent. He doesn’t seem to put a foot wrong and he’s as handy defensively as he is going forward (a rare quality in full-backs).

Whilst Carl Jenkinson is a good fill-in option, he’s not quite ready to make the step-up just yet.  For now, then, Arsene may well have to rely on Sagna, whether or not he keeps his mouth shut.

What’s your take? Can Arsenal afford to lose Sagna?

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  • D says:

    Sorry I have to disagree that Sagna is that amazing. He’s average at best going forward and he’s a solid right back but nothing more than that. He’s not that reliable either as he’s had a few long term injuries. I never saw the big deal about him.

    I prefer Jenkinson, give him some time he’ll be a really good player for Arsenal. Sagna showed a complete lack of respect for the club and manager by bitching to the media. Arsenal pay him a really good wage and he should keep his concerns within the club and not the media as it only gives the press more ammunition against us. I think he’s shot himself in the foot and Wenger will and should move him on. If Man City want to pay us loads of money for him then he can join his beloved Gael and Nasri.

    In my opinion players that bitch about not winning trophies and leave are losers. Losers because they’re the ones who are fucking playing!! not us. If they want to win so much they should stop making mistakes, play better and make sure they win more games. They influence what goes on the pitch not the fans.

    I know I’m in the minority with those views on Sagna and he’s a nice enough bloke but this is just one opinion. I’ll always support Arsenal over the bitching of a player.

  • nwite c. says:

    whether he shots his mouth or not,the truth must be accepted,the management of AFc are so greedy & unreasonable.rvp was sold for a reason that an average football fan understands but in the case of Alex Song the management will never provid a reasonable or a satisfactory explanaition on why he was sold.if am sagna i will say it over & over again.NONSENSE.

  • waheed bola t says:

    whynot if sagna want 2 stay gud luck 2 him but if he feel he can form a cults in da team, i dnt think there is a way 4 him, u dnt work because somebody else is working, u work 4 ur own gud and ur family, in fotball world player goes and come to da club, if sagna feel dat he could not work with da new recruits then the door is open cos we cannot condone any form of bigmanism playing, all players have right to stay and to leave as long as they still have contract wit us. but he need to be warn and be focus as this may be his year, but if he think he can no more perform because of da absent of left players he can as well join them.

  • Since the season started, we have seen that, arsenal have had the best defencive record. This has been achieved without Sagna. People always say that RVP took us to the CL. But we are forgeting Kosc scored when it mattered most. Dont forget that without Arteta we were almost loosing out. what am saying is Arsenal has never been an individual show off, its only that that was our way of play, which we are changing and starting to rotate the CF.

  • Dave Highbury says:

    There is no doubt that we are in better shape without the two of them.

  • The BearMan says:

    The season has just started and is extremely long. Arsenal will require a minimum of two to three players for each position.

    It will be absolute folly to have just one player. Only Alex Song could have been relied upon to play in three different positions. Cover CB, DM and CM..

  • AmericanGunnerFan says:

    As someone who worked for an American football club (albeit in a very minor position)for a year and was around its coaches and management and who played another sport at its highest level and was a team captain, I would not want to have anyone in my team’s lockerroom who did not want to be there and did not believe that we could win anytime the team played–and I know that that is the type of mentality that coaches and higher team management wants its players to have. If a player has an issue with the coach, the style of play or personnel decisions, he should take it up with his team captain and/or the coach or manager behind closed doors–it is not something to discuss with the media in particular. When a player goes to the media with an issue that he should be discussing behind closed doors within the club structure, it undermines the authority of the manager or coach and those making personnel decisions for the club as well as team morale within the lockerroom. That is something that club management never takes lightly and should not tolerate.

    Having essentially “spoiled” the Fabregas, RVP, Hleb, Flamini, Clichy, Song, Nasri, Adebayor, Sagna generation of young players that he developed in the hope that, by treating them so well when they were young, they would stay loyal to him and form the core of a resurgent Arsenal team after they had matured, it appears that Arsene Wenger has come to the conclusion that many “old school” coaches and managers in various sports were right in adopting a philosophy that a certain degree of discipline and professionalism is essential to creating not only a winning atmosphere and attitude in the lockerroom, but a cohesive, winning team on the field: you either buy into what the club and coaches are trying to do and get with the program or you can leave and the club will to accommodate you by finding another club willing to give the club something worthwhile in return (oh, yes, “and don’t let the door hit you in the butt as you are leaving”). This is the attitude of a number of successful clubs in other sports, particularly in the U.S.

    Every athlete, particularly professional athletes who participate in their sport for many years, has issues that crop up in life off the field (pitch). Part of being a professional is to learn how to deal with those issues without letting them impact one’s performance on game day or in the lockerroom. That’s why clubs have captains, assistants, coaches and other people in management capacities that a player can go to when a problem crops up. The whole point is to create a sense of unity of purpose within a fairly large group of men from diverse backgrounds, with varying levels of skill, talent, education and abilities to communicate with one another. This is a difficult enough task, especially since, in any diverse or sizable group, there are going to be people who don’t like one another, don’t agree or have divergent interests personally and professionally. The job of the captains, coaching staff and management is to try to get everyone in the group to give the maximum priority possible to that unity of purpose and then execute as flawlessly as possible when matched up against their opponents. It’s a tough task. But, it is an essential component of what is described as a “winning atmosphere” and the first step in “learning how to win” and “knowing how to win” (which comes after winning despite adversity).

    When there are players in the lockerroom who aren’t willing to be disciplined, act professionally, or buy into the program laid out by coaches and management, that unity of purpose either cannot be created or begins to get destroyed. And it ends up negatively impacting the team’s performance, almost always in times of adversity in a match, when the chips are down, and when cohesiveness, unity and discipline are most needed–when the team is under pressure and needs to be confident, trusting in one another, and strong mentally.

    Having been “betrayed” by the generation that he developed from young “pups” into stars, Wenger appears to be trying to construct a different kind of team–a team that may not have as much “star power”, but that is mentally stronger and more committed to one another and the way he wants his team to play the game. If that is the case (and I believe it is), Wenger doesn’t want players who aren’t going to have the discipline, professionalism and commitment required.

    I played on winning teams, losing teams and rebuilding teams. I must confess that, in my way, I was also a bit of a prima donna–as were some of my teammates. And I can tell you that, even on the worst teams that I played on (and a couple were atrocious), I never went into a match thinking we would lose. And, I never wanted to play with anyone who questioned our commitment to winning or who was unwilling to lay it all on the line to win. So, I think that Wenger is doing the right thing by “laying down the law” and making an example of Sagna: “if you want to be here with this club, get with the program–if not, find some other club to play for because you’ll be gone, too”. IMHO, that’s the way it should be.

    And, from what little has been said about the reasons for selling Alex Song, I think that this is the reason that Song was sold to Barcelona–it wasn’t enough for him to say that he wanted to continue to play for Arsenal (which a player should consider a privilege), he wasn’t willing to do the things that demonstrate that he had the discipline and commitment Wenger now is expecting from his players (something that he had been willing to ignore in the recent past)–things like being late for meetings and/or practice, coming to camp not in proper condition, letting his agent sound out other clubs for better wages, etc.

    Could Arsenal use Song’s talents this season? Absolutely. But, would having those talents be worth the impact that a lack of discipline and commitment would have on the other players, especially the young players? Absolutely not. Plain and simple.

    As for Sagna: he is a much more complete player at this stage than Jenkinson. Jenkinson has shown great effort and commitment defensively, but he is a liability going forward. His crosses have been attrocious and that will have a negative impact on Giroud’s productivity over the long-haul. Sagna takes more chances than Jenkinson and, as a result, may “get burned” by the opposition perhaps even more often over the course of a season. But, Sagna will also more than make up for this with his ability to get down the flank and open things up for the winger on his side. And, while he may not be the most accurate crosser in the world at right back, his crosses are far more dangerous than anything that Jenkinson has shown so far. Jenkinson has a lot of talent and looks like he will become a true, world-class fullback in time. But, he is still young and raw and needs time to develop. Sagna is a much more polished and finished product–one of the best in the EPL at his position–and is more likely to help Arsenal win matches now. But, Wenger has to know that Sagna is willing to buy into what he (and Bould) are trying to do and will give the club his full commitment and be disciplined on and off the pitch. If the commitment, discipline and professionalism are there, Sagna will be a real asset for the club. If they aren’t, he may end up being the last of his generation of players developed by Arsenal to be sold off (Diaby would be the only one of that group left really).

    I see the moves that Wenger has been making as moves to change and secure the direction of the club for the future. To create a different atmosphere in the club and, in particular, in the lockerroom. I think they are the right and necessary moves to make, but only time will tell if they will be successful and lead to winning trophies.

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