Sagna hits out at Cesc statement on team-mates

Fabregas moved to claim that only two players were ‘at his level technically and mentally’ in his later years at Arsenal, naming Samir Nasri and Robin Van Persie, and former team-mate Bacary Sagna has hit out at his former captain’s comments.

“I was surprised to read this,” said the 36-year-old. “From him I was surprised because he was supposed to be one of the leaders of the team, he was one of the great prospects and as a leader and a true player, you don’t speak like that about your club.

“So I was surprised because he is a nice guy, he’s still a nice guy, this doesn’t change anything. But I was kind of surprised.

“Arsenal made him so saying that some players were not at his level was a bit harsh because I’m not sure out of all the seasons he was playing at the club, he was always an exemplary player.

“At that time the press was talking about him not running enough or tracking back. So other players could have said ‘you should be running more or doing more’.

“If you look at Liverpool today, all of them are running. This is a team. And maybe, because we didn’t have the right spirit at that time we didn’t make this little extra push, or make that little extra run to track players, maybe this is the reason we didn’t win.”

Sagna added: “Obviously in the team, we all have different levels. Some will be good physically, others will be good technically, but this is not a reason to speak in that way about other players.

“I don’t agree with that statement. It’s his opinion and he’s right to have an opinion, but we all have good moments and bad moments in our career and I’m not sure he always had great moments with Arsenal.

“Yes, he is a great player, he has amazing quality, but maybe some people were expecting more from him.”

The former French international was selected for the Premier League team of the year on two occasions, and no doubt had a fair amount of ability, but maybe when Cesc said that only two players had the same mental level, they meant the eagerness to be challenging for titles, which must have been a key issue which led to his departure.

It was also revealed that the club failed to sign Xabi Alonso in his prime, despite the player begging for the transfer to be done, which no doubt played on the mind of our former captain.

Was Sagna at the same level as Nasri, Fabregas or Van Persie? Would anyone else from that era have cause for complaint?


Tags Cesc Fabregas Sagna


  1. Heh. He was so good he forced a transfer to Barca and when he got there he found out he was not that good. Tried to come back to Arsenal and Wenger rightfully ignored him for what he did to us. Was a great player while playing for us and one of our youngest ever captains, if he stayed he would have been spoken about in the same breath as Adams and Viera right now, but instead his Barca dna bought him 2 seasons at Barca before they dumped him again lol

    1. A good leader should be an example. He would have stayed at our club and teaches all teammates to be like him.

  2. Several thoughtS come to mind about what Cesc has apparently said, which I will assume is actually true, as it seems to be so. Firstly, not perhaps a wise thing to say, though I personally agree with his words. Sagna, to my mind, was a decent, even, good player mostly, but not of similar quality to those Fabragas mentions. Secondly, Sagna seems to have had his nose put out of joint by this and thus probably overrates himself, in truth.

    To my mind, Sagna was miles behind the likes of Cole, Sansom Dixon and Winterburn as a full back and he thinks that having played at City he is real top class. To my mind he was easily next level down from the very top , at times the level below THAT too. Clichy was several divisions below Sagna, by the way and when Calamity Clichy joined City, I jumped with joy at the news, I have always disliked defenders who are unreliably sound in defence and being older, well know the difference betwen TOP, TOP CLASS defenders and the likes of Sagna. Decent is miles below top class and that is fact!

    Thirdly, I totally disagree with the small minded and bitter comment made by the post that appears first on this thread. I fully understood his naturral human urge to return to the club where he grew up and thought Wenger foolish not to have grabbed him back with both hands when he came back.

    Our loss was Chelseas gain and, unlike certain small minded posts, I never blamed the player for plying the brilliant skills he had with whoever will fully recognise his still, then, world class skills. Blame Wenger, not Fabragas.

  3. Cesc was one of the finest midfielders I have ever seen, he could tackle, had pace and positioning, great vision with his passing and scored goals. Wenger was stubborn to ignore his plea to return to us but didn’t do the same to Henry or Flamini, who left in similar circumstances, but both allowed to return.

  4. To hell with that diluted Fabregas – he’s too loud and bitter while benched Damaged him and disrespect his teammates- I total agree with Sagna – wenger was right not to bring him as he forced himself to Barca that foolish Fabregas

    1. Henry also left Arsenal to go to Spain but you all welcomed him back…what’s the differnce with Fabregas. Just my opinion but I thought WEnger was wrong in not signing him back when he had the chance…

      1. You thought Wenger was wrong in not resigning him but nobody gave a fcuk to how Wenger felt when he forced a transfer and what was going on with arsenal when he was made available. Henry left at twilight of his career but Cesc at the prime of his.

  5. I know we are going to get a response from some of his team mates. That was a stupid statement (no matter how true it is) to make about a club he claimed to hold dear to his heart. I’m waiting for what he would say about a team who didn’t believe in him as a kid and flushed him out despite using all the antics to get him. Sagan has earned more respect from me. A true custodian of Arsenal. If you are not on his level despite made epl team of the season, I don’t know who will.

  6. Unlike Jon Fox, I believe that both Sagna and Clichy were top class defenders and here is the reason why.

    City had unlimited wealth and proved they could /would buy any player they wanted for any position.

    They chose to raid The Arsenal (yet again) for top quality full backs.

    I believe Cesc was wrong to criticise his teammates but that is his perogative – yet I ask again, would Dennis Bergkamp, Tony Adams or Patrick Vieria have rated himself in this way?
    Somehow I don’t think so.

    1. Ken, I love Cesc so much but to me he is nothing but a very and very good player we once had. I don’t see him as a legend and I think our club won’t see him as one either. There is no need or basis for the interview he is given lately considering what the club did for him. Will he talk bad about Barca like that. We all know what happened when he was here. We all know there was a restriction on what to spend so any one who think this is right because it is true has something against Arsenal.

      1. Mobella, the word “legend” is used too freely today in my opinion.

        Tony Adams is a legend, because he stayed at our club from the start to the end of his career, despite many opportunities to move.
        He was a leader and demanded only what he gave himself.

        Dennis Bergkamp is a legend, simply because he is the most complete player ever to have worn the shirt and a undisputed world class player. He has never put himself on a pedestal, simply because he didn’t have to.

        Cesc, one of my all time favourite players, has decided to state his importance to the club and in my opinion, when one has to do that, it means insecurity, something TA and DB (along with others of course) never would do.

        Just my personal opinion of course.

    2. What a surprise Ken! OR PERHAPS NOT! IF Clichy was top class, what exactly would you call Cole and Sansom ? IN MY VOCUBULARY , TOP CLASS MEANS THE VERY BEST CLASS. Odd too, I’d say how you rate Sagna and Clichy as top class, not because YOU rated them personally, having seen them countless times in our colours but ,rather, because both were bought by City. A strange reason to rate any player, imo. Would you like to rephrase your reason why?

      1. But Jon, I didn’t compare them to any other player did I?
        I rated them by watching them play, their commitment to the club and their careers as players.
        I’m not sure why you don’t see it as a surprise, what is that all about?

        As you have asked, I would class Cole as a world class defender and Sansom as a top defender, along with Sagna and Clichy.

        There is a difference between world class and top class, as you have mentioned many times before.

        It’s your opinion that Sagna and Clichy were not top class, it’s my opinion they were and I cited city, with all their money coming after them, as a reason to judge them so.

        Yours is a personal views, while mine, apart from the same personal view, is based on the richest club in the premier league at that time, deciding these two players were who they wanted…and that’s what they did.

        My thought process is not a strange reason, it is common sense my friend…with all the money in the world, they could have gone after any full back – they decided on Sagna and Clichy.

        I have no need to re-phrase my sensible, thought out reasoning, unless you can explain why city went after less than top class players, when they could buy the very best out there?

        Once again Jon, I believe you devalued SOME of our defenders, when it is quite obvious other clubs didn’t see it that way.

        1. Isn’t it also strange Jon, that once Sagna left, they once again, used their unlimited money to go and break the record for a right back in the premier league, when the raided the spuds with a completely ridiculous valuation?

          Of course, spuds couldn’t refuse and so history repeated itself – money no object, something we had to fight against for years…and which saw both Nasri go to city and the little boy to united (Add adebayour and Toure to that list).

          Perhaps he should consider (along with others) just how our club was so disadvantaged, rather than criticising his team mates.
          Would like your views on both posts, especially as you challenged me.

          1. KEN Thanks for your reasons. They are valid from your personal perspective, which especially on Calamity Clichy, I FIND INCREDULOUS. But that’s football fans for you I suppose and we will simply have to disagree on that and on so much Arenal wise and on so little else outside Arsenal.
            On your other points about City, we all know they could and still do take whoever they want. But I always thought Clichy their real weak link and PEPS GREATEST MISTAKE. Walker was far better IMO, than both Sagna and Clichy. I also do think tha by not differentiating your “top class” description of them both from your similar words on Sansom, you WERE in fact, putting them on a par with him, thus comparing them with him. I think that ridiculous.

            I do accept that I take precise use of language more seruiously than almost anyone on here TBH. I note that you DID differentiate Cole from Sansom , Sagna and Clichy by calling HIM world class. I’d agree with Cole and thought both he and Sansom to be world class and miles ahead of the other two and actually GALAXIES AWAY FROM CLICHY,

          2. As are your views from your perspective Jon and I don’t find that “INCREDULOUS at all, just different viewpoints.
            I also understand the meaning of words and choose mine carefully, as you should know.

            Cole was, without doubt, the best left back I have ever seen in an Arsenal shirt that stretches back many decades.

            During his time at The Arsenal while under AW, Clichy appeared in the PFA Team of the Year in the 2007/08 season, after taking over from Cole.
            At The Arsenal, he was part of the Invincibles and thus became the youngest player to win a Premier league medal, followed by fa cup winning medals in 2004 and 2005.

            After moving to city, he won two more premier league titles (2011-12 and 2013-14) plus two more League cup winners medals (2014 and 2016).

            During his time at The Arsenal under GG, Kenny Sansom won a league cup winners medal in the 1986-87 season and was The Arsenal player of the Year in 1981.
            He was in the PFA team of the year eight times from 1979-80 through to 1986-87.

            Clichy achieved so much more at The Arsenal and, apart from THAT being the most important fact for an Arsenal fan, you once again lessen the achievements of another Arsenal defender.
            Your label of him as “Calamitous Clichy” doesn’t bear scrutiny.

            I believe this is because you have said so many times that we didn’t have a defence from 2006(8?) and group ALL DEFENDERS under that umbrella, which is complete nonsense.

            Jah son, than you for your comment, much appreciated. As you now, Jon and I love to debate!
            Going back to Cesc’s comments, he must surely have expected a backlash from his team mates who have also had successful careers?

          3. CALAMITY CLICHY, SO CALLED FOR HIS MANY MISTAKES. The most incredible of all being that 4-4 at home to Spurs with us 4-2 up going into injury time. Clichy, in possession,on the halfway line just fell over with no oppponent tacking him, seemingly in sheer fright, leaving Spuds free to run upfield and score their third. I privately called him CALAM(after Calamity Jane, played by Doris Day, in the musical of that name) and I MUCH PREFERRED HER in so many ways, though I might have just, on balance, have selected him for LB. Close run thing though. FAR TOO MANY MISTAKES FOR MY LIKING. I vividly recall jumping up and shouting with joy when Pep bought him for the, ahem, “HUGE” fee of £ 7 mill, which says it all, as that was not much even then.

          4. Jon, we signed Kenny for reportedly £1.04 million.
            EIGHT years later, he left The Arsenal for an undisclosed fee, believed to be in the region of £50,000 having won one trophy.

            Gael Clichy was signed for £ 350,000 and was with us ALSO for EIGHT years and we received £7,750,000 when he signed for city. He won a premier league title, was part of the Invincible squad and won two fa cups.

            Now, by my calculations, after eight years we lost roughly one million pounds on a player who helped win the club one trophy – Kenny Sansom.

            On the other hand, after eight years, we made a profit of £7,500,00 on a player who helped win the club three trophies and was part of The Invincibles – Gael Clichy.

            He went to city and they won the premiership the following season (2011-12), despite, in your view, Mancini (not peps biggest mistake as you so boldly claimed) having signed a weak link, in Clichy, at that time…and he played for a further SIX seasons, one under Pep.

            If you are turning your nose up at the “HUGE” sum paid for Clichy as if it wasn’t that big a deal, why do you always insist that city “bought” their success?

            What they did Jon, with Clichy, was to buy a top players and said player went on to win a premiership title ONCE AGAIN!!!
            They also did it with Sagna…another one of our “dross” defenders and, yet again, Kolo Toure would you believe???

            Funny how city kept coming back for these lazy, clapped out defenders, who Cesc reckons he carried during his career at The Arsenal eh Jon?

  7. I think Jon is blinded by hate cos saying Clichy was bought for a “HUGE” fee of £ 7 mill, which says it all, as that was not much even then sum.

    It seems he forgot Kompany was bought for same HUGE sum.

    Saying Clichy slipped and called that a calamity means Gerard and Kante must be a calamity.

    And on Cesc.
    My opinion is that Cesc is simply deluded.
    Been a bench warmer on Barcelona’s Bench proves he wasn’t good and Sagna was right by saying much is expected from him.
    Van Persie was not even fit enough in that team which makes him in line with Diaby and Rosicky. Even Adebuycash contribute much to Fabregas team more than Van Persie.
    Van Persie started contributing after Fabregas left.
    Even Wilshere has football passion than Fabregas.
    Anyway, what do I care?
    Ramsey did more than what Fabregas did for Arsenal and yet Fabregas was surrounded by the better players.

    1. It is because of fans like Ken, so many other like him and you with positive, untainted and biased view on Arsenal that I visit this site. Keep it up guys. Nobody argues with fact and that is one you provided right there on Robin absence due to injury on most of Cesc time

  8. Fabregas has only reinforced the reason why Wenger refused to re-sign him. He was a disruptive influence and a misfit as captain. Sagna got it spot on.

    A team doesn’t have to have eleven players all at the same level. Most great teams down history didnt have an all star playing staff. All the players just stayed committed and played for each other.

    Fabregas had a character flaw that ensured that he never achieved the greatness that his talent deserved. That flaw is open to all with his utterances and assessments.

    Now he is history and can no longer undo his mistakes.

    1. Gunnerphillic, the biggest mistake being criticizing his fellow professionals and lauding two who sold out the club, the manager and the fans.

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