Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Sagna Bacs himself for central role

Sagna Bacs himself for central role

Bacary Sagna says he’s increasingly confident at centre-back having consolidated his understanding of the position during pre-season.

Admitting that he still thinks of himself as a right-back, the French international nonetheless told Arsenal Player that he’s ready and willing to fill in for Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny if needed.

“On the pitch everything is different [when you play centre-back]. It’s OK for me. It’s different but I love learning.

“I see myself as a right back but if I have to cover sometimes or play centre back, I will do it for the Club, my team and myself as well.”

Sagna’s first taste of action in the centre of defence came away at Sunderland last season in a tense 1-0 win.

Reflecting on his debut in the position, he continued:

“Laurent Koscielny was injured at Sunderland and the coach came to me asking if I wanted to play centre back because we had no cover. I just went for it and tried to adapt as quickly as possible.”

As things stand the club have three serious centre-back options, although with Thomas Vermaelen out for another six-weeks we’re very much relying on Per and Kos to stay fit if we’re to shield Bac from regularly shifting to his auxiliary role.

Interestingly, it looks as though Spanish defender Ignasi Miquel won’t be challenging for a first team place with the Mirror reporting that both he and midfielder Nico Yennaris could spend next term on loan at Championship side Leicester City.



  1. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  2. At 30 he wants to learn and loves it. And then we have Nicklas Bendtner.

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    • Vacancy Announcement in Arsenal team!!

      Respect for Sagna wanting to change the Def position in 30
      but I just hope Wenger knows what he is doing this summer…because this season will be the season where he will have too many questions to answers and he will not have to many excuses to hide behind.

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    • Nik already knows everything about the game…He has already reached excellence.

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      • and our fans too…they have reached excellence as well..thats why they question and doubt and abuse Wenger … ;) …fans know better…

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        • so which of you nine cunts wants to take the stage and tell us all how you know better than the great Arsene Wenger ? :)


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    • 2013-2014 = 2003-2004

      I got ‘Sagna 3′ on the back of my Arsenal shirt and was wondering where I’d come up with another 60 quid or so to buy a new one if Sagna left the club this summer.

      The fullback position in the modern game is meant to be played by 25yr olds who can run up and down the pitch all game long, all season long. Sagna is 30yrs old now and has suffered two serious injuries in 2011-2012. Jenkinson has been an Arsenal fan all his life and he possess all the warrior-like qualities that Sagna has.

      Giving Jenks a chance at RB and moving our longest-serving veteran Sagna to Centrehalf works out on all fronts:

      1) We avoid wasting any of our ‘transfer warchest’ on Ashley Williams, hopefully there’ll be enough money to buy both Suarez and Fellaini now.
      2) Avoid losing our most-experienced player. Wenger can’t justify fasttracking Gnabry (18), Sanogo (20), Bellerin (19) to the first-team unless we have a core of 3 or 4 older, uber-experienced players like Sagna looking after them.
      3) Gives Hector Bellerin a chance to shine in the first-team as Jenkinson’s backup
      4) Gives Wenger the opportunity to experiment playing Koscielny in deep midfield next to Arteta. Arteta’s conservative mindset materialised in hundreds of sideways/backwards passes. Koscielny’s got a more aggresive mindset which should keep the opposition midfielders pressing hard thus preventing them from ‘Parking the bus’ against Arsenal.

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      • Sagna could also play as DM if necessary.

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      • Arshavin's Dietician

        Jenkinson is not ready to be the first team RB.

        He has potential but his decision making isn’t there yet.

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        • Woolwich Peripatetic

          I think Jenkinson would make a better CB than Sagna but the flaws in his game will be exposed less at RB than CB so Sagna-as-CB it is.

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      • Thank you for giving me something positive to believe in, even if I really couldn’t believe it.

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      • Why do people always assume that if you are a mobile centre back that you can then play centre midfield? I don`t think Koscielny would be any good in midfield at all, probably very bad. As someone who has tried both positions, I can confidently say that those two are very different.

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      • TV5 for defensive mid. Predict majestic success.

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  3. Ok, youv’e got our bac

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  4. he looked really good at cb(in pre season) but he is by far our best rb. that ginter kid would be perfect to provide cover to mert and kosc imo young versatile etc

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  5. Well if Miquel heads off on loan ya really gotta think Arsene would recognise how light we are in that area and invest some money….hey look its a comment about transfers on a completely unrelated article.

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    • Vacancy Announcement in Arsenal team!!

      Dont worry transfer related issue will be raised throughout this season…when the going goes good or bad. But this year if anything goes bad, Wenger haters will drown the voices of pro-wenger and this toxic situation was created by our honorable Manager & Co. Lets just hope till the window closes we will have some players.

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    • We sent seven central forwards out on loan last year (+3 who were sold). To compensate this “outflow” we bought Giroud. In the end an exhausted Podolski had to play in front, because there was nobody else to replace Giroud.

      This situation is pretty similar: We needlessly send Miquel and Yennaris out on loan. We know that Wenger wants to buy Ginter, but I don’t think Freiburg will sell him, if we bid less than ~12m. AW won’t spend this much money on him.

      What will happen is: We have to retrain Bendtner so he can play right back. This will give Sagna a chance to play center back.

      If Giroud gets injured Podolski has to play CF again, but since Gervinho left, we are out of left wingers, so Gibbs has to replace him. But what happens if Nacho is injured, too? I think we’ll have to order Santos back then.

      It’s time to hand out blank cheques. Maybe this will convince other clubs to sell their players..

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      • out of left wingers…. what about Cazorla (who played their a fair portion of last season) or the OX (who’s played there before. Then we’ve a few youngsters that could do OK there (provided the rest of the team is first 11).
        Not sure what Ginter would bring that Coq wouldn’t have.

        I don’t want us handing out blank cheques.
        I want them spending my ticket and shirt money sensibly.

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        • Arshavin's Dietician

          Your forgetting Ryo & Gnabry.

          Looks like Wenger has plans for Ryo to be the back up LW

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        • I’ve surely taken it to extremes. I know very well that we have plenty of backups, but what unites them all is that they have gained very few experience. Most of them aren’t even 18.

          I just like to have some backups which perfomance is close to “equally high” as the performance of our starting XI.
          If just one person of this squad gets injured, his position will be the “weak spot” in our team until he recovers.

          Alternatively players have to be moved to positions they don’t acutally like. Actually most of our recent signings played on different positions throughout the last year than they used to in their old clubs, because we somehow “use” them to fill the “holes” in our squad.

          Regarding the blank cheque: This really shouldn’t be taken literally. I like Wengers transfer policy as it is. However it may be noble of him to not want to pay these bloating prices for players, but I think he has to make some compromises.

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      • “We know that Wenger wants to buy Ginter”, riiiiiight, like a few weeks ago everyone knew we wanted Bernard, right? And then this article quotes gossip from the Mirror. If we want gossip we know where to get it.

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  6. Spuds love La Sagna.

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  7. Hope Wenger’s not thinking of going into the season with Sagna as the fourth centreback? If jenkinson and, let’s say koscielny, both gets injured we’re really fucked…

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    • then we have Verm in the centre and Sagna on rb. good enough as backup. let’s fucking realise, finally, that we can’t have a 3o+ players squad, or buy four or five players. i’d rather reinforce other areas, and i guess Arsene thinks the same.

      football is a confidence game, and Bac seems confident enough at cb. i remember these united fuckers playing with virtually no defenders for a couple of games a year or two ago, and they still ground out the results. if our players will finally believe they’re capable, and we’ll add one star signing in the meantime, we’ll be there to fight for honours.

      whether we’ll do either remains to be seen..

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      • Fantastically put. Our squad is limited to 25 players. Very well, under 21s aren’t counted but we can’t fill the squad to 25 because as soon as those boys hit 22 then someone will have to be sold. two players for every position plus 3 extras, one of which is almost undoubtedly a gk.


        Jenk Mert Kos Gibbs
        Bellerin Sagna Verm Nacho

        Arteta Rambo
        Ox Diaby

        Theo Wilshere Cazorla
        Gnabry Rosicky Podolski


        With Martinez, Myaichi and Eisfeld potentially the backup three. I’m likely wrong with where I’ve placed a few players etc. that’s open to opinion. But looking at numbers I’d assume we’d buy only a striker and a versatile defence and midfield unit to displace Sanogo and make up for Diaby. I don’t expect more than 2 players and I think Wenger believes the 25 we have are good. There are two teams there that would expect to beat all bottom 10 sides I think. Only problem is that final bit of quality. here’s hoping!

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        • Bellerin – 18
          Diaby – permacrocked
          Gnabry – 18
          Sonogo – 20

          So that’s effectively 18 adult players, with Rosicky leaving at the end of the season and Sonogo becoming an adult some point next year.

          That’s space for 7 more players.

          I reckon we’d be lucky to end up with an established centre back, defensive mid and a striker but fuck me. Even if we get blessed with 3 signings that’s still a small squad.

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        • diaby. oh dear.

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        • Sorry guys but beginning to a believe no ones coming in. Hope I’m wrong because think we need at least three quality players preferable experienced ones.

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    • Knowing our luck thats exactly what will happen :-(

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  8. Ahh Bacary. He’s a reminder of what Arsene and the scouting team are capable of at times. Was a fairly underwhelming transfer back then, hugely astute signing looking on it now.

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      • Midfield Corporal

        He’s been the best RB in the league since he joined us, apart from last season. However I did find it increasingly frustrating his inability to get beyond the full back or beat the first man with his cross. Jenkinson seems to offer more dynamism going forward. If he can play like he did in Munich regulary we’ll have an excellent replacement with Sagna giving quality experienced cover.

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      • With all due respect, you’re an idiot

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    • agreed. if Jenks can absorb sagnas early consistency like that mutant in hero who was also spock, who could suck the powers out of the other mutants. if sagna had a football super power it would have been his pre-injury consistency. So yeah, if Jenks could harvest that we’re set. I believe Jenks has the potential to be at least as good as sagna.

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  9. The only olivier is giroud

    It saddens me that we have his quality- along with the likes of Kos, Cazorla and Wilshere, but then it all comes to bollocks with ONE inury due to our thin squad.

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    • One injury is rarely the cause. It’s usually because we have 2 or 3 injuries in one area (not necessarily in the same position) that the issues arise.

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  10. Tapscotts testicles

    Great for Bacary…showing good team spirit. But for fucks sake why are we doing this? Its like a millionaire recycling tea bags or rifling through the bins for food. Identify a centre half worthy of the club, there are enough about, get the cheque book out, and ask his current club”How much mate….?”

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    • and then the club is gonna say a few quid would do , right ? ;)

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    • So what happens in the last 10 minutes of a game when the CB gets injured (or sent off) and all our subs are used….
      Having a player that can cover elsewhere is a benefit, not a hinderance!

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      • Depends on the context: If he’s being asked to deputise as a centre back in case of emergencies and/or his pace is starting to go now that he’s north of 30 and has experienced two broken legs then fair enough, but if he’s seriously being looked at as our fourth permanent central defender then I have to wonder what the heck is going on.

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  11. It’s fantastic that he can fill in, but does it just only move the problem and leave us exposed at RB?

    Jenks is great, but what would you rather have against a top side, (let’s just say) Williams at CB and Bac at RB, or, Bac at CB and Jenks at RB??

    Bac moving to CB is probably just for worse-case scenarios, but I can’t help but think that AW is just penny pinchin’ wherever possible.

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    • don’t like this talk of Williams. Good centre back maybe, but i wouldnt splash the cash on him.

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  12. Sagna would be great at center back but should Arsenal be improvising with at this point when the season has not even begun and the whole squad is injury free? hmm

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  13. Sagan is a fucking tank! God bless him.

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  14. LANS!!!

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  15. Don’t you just love that “get the fuck out of here” attitude Bac has when clearing aerial crosses.

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  16. The brief Cameo Ignasi Miquel had on sunday set him back like 3 years on his development. I literally couldn’t believe what I was seeing.

    Time to move on lad.

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    • Getting skinned down the left by a 36 year old Drogba says everything we need to know about his potential.
      Im sorry but he’s not good enough

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      • Zorro in the box

        All said and done, Drogba is one of the most greatest centre forwards ever to have played in the Prem. Diving and cheating aside of course. So an inexperienced centre-back trying to outwit/outdo a Drog on the chase is a tall order for anyone.

        Agreed though, Miquel doesn’t seem to be the answer at all at the moment. Would rather see Wenger spend a larger fee on a couple of defensive reinforcements (in midfield, and at the back) if he’s not going to go for the superstar signing up front.

        Either score more than anyone else, or concede less. Pick one. Steve Bould (George Graham) or tiki-taka. If you do the latter, you need the personnel.

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  17. Why dont all the playes just keep quite about things like this? Wenger sees this as a reason not to buy a fourth back!

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  18. Sagna’s shift to the center could have 2 reasons:

    1. It’s a long term thing, he’s getting older and slower after all / 2 leg breaks etc

    2. Wenger has serious doubts about signing a quality 4th choice center back in this window and knows he’s already 1 man down in that department with Verm out for 6 weeks.

    I think it likely a combination of both that’s pushing this shift in position.

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    • 3. Sagna’s already well versed in our defensive patterns and would need no bedding in period.

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      • 4. Does AW have his eye on a RB rather than pay silly money for another CB?

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        • i actually see this as one of the more logical solutions. 4th choice is a hard position to buy in

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        • You won’t see many better 4th choice CB’s than Djourou. I’ve no idea why we let go of him and kept Miquel.

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  19. Full respect to Sagna but this cheese sandwich I’m about to eat is exciting me more than anything Arsenal have done yet this pre- season.

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  20. I really hope we win something fairly soon, players like Bac in particular, have been outstanding for us in recent years. He’s a player who at his best would have walked into any team in most leagues and gone onto pick up a number of medals, imo.

    Simply on a personal level I want to have him leave the club/retire and have something tangible to smile at.

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  21. I do love Bac despite his dips in form due to injury last season. A veteran with us and a venerable workhorse.

    I’m happy with him at CB as cover, but we desperately need at least one more CB this window, especially if Miquel and Yennaris are off on loan. I’m increasingly feeling that signings in this area might not happen, though.

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  22. Should be offered another two years and has earned the right to be one of the biggest earners at the club for his consistency and loyalty, in my opinion. I think its time we started looking after the players that have stuck it out with us. Bac is a club legend

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  23. Sagna at centre back….oh good…everything will be fine then.

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  24. It wouldn’t be a surprise to me if giroud is asked to cover up for cb position by wenger. He will keep his mum and purse shut during the transfer window after which arsene will say we lack players in that position. Please splash the bloody cash out and buy some players.

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  25. he’ll be Like A New Sagna then.

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  26. Gunnersaurus Rex

    It is not good to have sagna representing two positions. If he gets injured(god forbid) we lose him at right back and center back. This would be catastrophic. Imagine jenkinson getting injured in the first few matches. We do not have enough depth. We have to buy a CB more than we need to buy a CF.

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  27. the bac’s bac.

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  28. it’s interesting the way some fans shift the goal post very fast (not in particular reference to this site). but i remember loads of people saying Sagna can go or move on and we will have little or no problem since we had Jenkinson and Toral. well it turns out that Jenkinson in 2 preseason matches has been shaky and ppl have totally forgotten how “ready” he was. I am happy he stayed, even if its for one more year.

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    • Are you suggesting that fans are fickle?
      Never heard anything so ridiculous ;-)

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    • Arshavin's Dietician

      Isn’t Toral a striker, I assume you mean Bellerin.

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    • it was sagna making noises about moving on as he wasn’t getting a contract extension. at that time it was largely agreed that wouldn’t be the worst departure we’ve had over the years, although support for sagna remained high. he’s a much loved warrior with a great attitude on the pitch, but those injuries are starting to look like he’s not going to be playing top level football too far into his 30′s.

      jenks has time yet to step up another level before we would need to give much thought to that position.

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  29. He looked good at centre back. But, he’s only 5ft 9.

    Would be worried, against two big strikers

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    • most teams only play one now anyway, and he’ll be with Kos or Per who are tall enough.

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  30. Why spend 10 mil on a player we might need for 3/4 games. Sagna is a great def and is doing well playing at cb when needed. Utd won the league and had midfielders covering at defensive positions loads of times. These are professional footballers it cant be that hard to fill in at a different positions for a game or two. Lets not write off vermalen just yet either

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  31. He’s not a CB, he is last resort cover at best; one ahead of gunnersaurus.

    Does not change a thing his comments. Still need another CB before the Sp*rs game.

    And no-one has mentioned this yet, even if we sign PacMan from Merseyside, we won’t have him for the Derby………

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  32. I didnt say he was a cb I said he has done well covering at cb

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  33. the only sam is nelson

    Most clubs’ squads like to have two players to cover one position.

    Arsenal appear to be pioneering the revolutionary concept of having one player to cover two positions.

    I wonder how that’ll work out?

    Although personally I’m slightly worried at the thought that in Johan Djourou not only did we have a player whose perceptive commentary on the markets illuminated many a boardroom discussion about currency movements, but actually a fucking decent CB who I’d rather see in red and white than that big lump from Swansea or any other number of unknown quantities who see Arsenal as a bulging teat on which they can suckle for the duration of a cushty contract. I’d hate to imagine that idiot fans were any factor in the decision to ship him out as I struggle to see how the club benefits from his absence, unless we buy a quality CB who is happy to bust a gut in those few games where the others aren’t available.

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    • “Arsenal appear to be pioneering the revolutionary concept of having one player to cover two positions.”

      Careful, Sam, you’re beginning to sound a bit sarcastic.

      Surely Wenger and the Board know exactly what they’re doing? After all, he is a genius.

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      • the only sam is nelson

        FG, see the thing is a lot of what you say is perfectly sensible.

        It’s more the way you say it. Tends to render the elements worth debating redundant, by making it all about pure, unrelenting negativity. and being a big fan of AW doesn’t mean that he’s perfect or everything he does is beyond question. Whilst he’s still by far the best option for the club (in my opinion) there’s the possibility that there are others who could do a better job – i just can’t for the life of me see who that might be. on the other hand, nobody was calling for AW to be appointed in ’96.

        but simply slagging off the greatest manager the club’s ever had and posting as if you know more about how to manage a squad than he does? nope. doesn’t do it for me.

        personally i think we’re in need of cover at the back and if we get that and an injury free season (ha!) then the title is there for the taking. a wee bit more cover further up the park wouldn’t do any harm, either.

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  34. Sagna is one of the most admirable characters that Wenger has signed in his reign. I sincerely hope that a contract extension for him is on the table. Why isn’t the club showing the same sense of urgency they showed in the case of TW14′s extension?

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  35. Not my first choice but I think he can hold his own back there. This guys deserves a lot of credit in my opinion. He steps in and does whats required for the team to win. Give the guy a contract extension.

    And all this talk of bad form last season; remember last season his support in front of him didn’t want to play a winger. Most runs he did up the flank he did with zero support in front of him (someone wandering to the center roll).

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  36. He has impressed me greatly at CB since the Sunderland game, I be quite happy if he had to fill in there.
    Jenks isn’t that far off him at right-back and Bellerin looks like he could challenge in the future.

    This is all very well if we want to compete for 4th / 5th place. However, i want us to win the league, so buy some better players in key positions please.

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  37. I know it may just be me, but I don’t think Jenk’s is anywhere near ready.
    A great prospect yes, but sometimes gives me the jitters, and I get the feeling it wouldn’t take much to shatter his confidence…

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  38. Oh no everybody wanted to ship him off last year, I was one of the few who hoped he stayed. even blogs doubted he would in a reply to me. thank goodness he did because with us unwilling to buy anyone at this point we’d be f****d right now.

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  39. We should sign Micah Richards.

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  40. I love Sagna but it’s obvious we need him at RB.

    Hey, here’s a challenge: name one position in our setup where an injury would NOT leave Arsenal completely fucked. Go!

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  41. I love Sagna but I still think we need cover for CB.

    On a side note, Van Cunt turns 30 today. I would love to see United fail to get any major signings (looks like they won’t sign anyone), sell Rooney, and then RVP gets injured or loses form, and Moyes guides them to 5th or 6th place.

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  42. Tapscotts testicles

    Stop fucking teasing…

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  43. Why would Wenger spend over 10 million on a fourth choice CB? Everybody knows how frugal he is. Sagna is a good shout for fourth choice CB if he’s needed. The work Bould has done with Mert and Kos, Wenger isn’t going to disrupt that by bringing in a world class defender. Now if he buys Fellaini, that solves the DM role and also adds flexibility as he’s got the right attributes to fill in at CB if needed. Also, of course we’re not in a hurry to offer Sagna an extension, he’s 30, isn’t deemed high value in profit terms if we were to lose him. But he does deserve one, through his loyalty when he could of jumped ship like the grey haired cunt did.

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  44. Such dreadful times being a gunners fan. Every few hours I refresh this page to get updates on transfers, nothing. I end up you tubing players who the media sells as improvement to the team (not really off if you ask me), Luis Gustavo, Bernard, Daniel Carvajal (though not sure how he’ll fit with Jenks and Bellerin already there). After whetting my appetite I come back to Arseblog News, still nothing. Eventually I put on FIFA 13 and buy all these players on career mode.

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  45. The more I think about this news, the more it makes sense.
    We aren’t signing anyone at center back this window.
    That’s what this is all about.

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  46. Moyes wants Fabregas. Don’t make me laugh. Is this the same shit bag that bad mouthed Cesc to anyone that would listen. The media seem to have forgotten all about it. Utd are acting like a love sick school girl. We thought we are the only ones making an arse of this window

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  47. It’s great to see a player not complain about being played out of position, but actually enjoying the challenge– ahem, Walcott. This should also silence the people who say Wenger ruined Arshavin’s career.

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  48. Fabulous – I’m also living that nightmare. Higuain has been and gone. Suarez and Bernard are in. so is Masi at CB with Merkel, Poli and Lucas Moura as late additions. I can see another 6 trophy season :)

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  49. Glasgow Gunner – I dunno mate, Suarez and Bernard makes sense but the rest are rather pushing it!! 6 trophy season? You need to start playing world class ;)

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  50. It’s getting a bit silly when we’re talking about Bellerin being offered a chance. It smacks of the desperation we saw when Wenger put on Yennaris for Djourou (at RB) when United beat us 2-1 at the Emirates that one time. I’m sure Bellerin is a good prospect, but honestly,I don’t want to have to be in the position where wea re forced to use him because of injuries.

    On a semi-related note, we were forced to play Djourou at RB that game because ALL our other full backs were injured. He got raped by Nani, and Wenger said before that game it would be “silly to drop points” due to a lack of full backs. Let’s see if Wenger has learned his lessons, shall we?

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  51. I’ve been saying this all season. Barring one blip, Sagna has been rock steady for us, at one time deputising as CBack.

    yet there were many who sung Jenkinson’s praises prematurely. Granted he has improved, he is simply less accomplished on the ball and experienced than Sagna. Nor does he look up when whipping crosses into the box where Sagna has been more circumspect.

    Keep Sagna for another 2-3 seasons. he embodies the fight back spirit we need (ala Spurs game two seasons past), holds important institutional memory and is fit as an ox, not least versatile to our needs.

    It will also give us a bit of time to assess whether the talented Bellerin will make the grade in the first team in the next season or two to come.

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  52. With regards 4th choice Cback, I firmly believe Wenger may bring in another to cover as Miquel is rumoured to be going out on loan. Rumour is Matthias Ginter may come in for 6m.

    I would however like to also see Wenger save on a bid for Suarez and instead bring in BOTH Michu and Benteke (or someone like Leandro)

    Save on the 40m++ and use the extra dosh to make a bid instead for fellaini who can cover Arteta, and play as CBack if need be. That should give us PLENTY of cover. As a bonus, fellaini can also cover as striker which if we have Giroud, Benteke (@22m), Michu (@12m), Podolski is also more than sufficient cover.

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  53. Midfield Corporal

    I can recall 3 stinkers Bac had over the past year, Wigan at the end of the 2012 season, Newcastle and Man U at home last season. Can’t think of 3 poor games he had before the leg breaks.

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