Archive for May 25th, 2009

25
May
09

Gooner of the Year #5; Bacary Sagna

Heaven, I'm in Heaven, And my heart beats so that I can hardly speak; And I seem to find the happiness I seek; When we're out together dancing, cheek to cheek.

The polls are closed, you all have had your say, and you have voted for Bacary Sagna in 5th place of the 2008/2009 Gooners of the Year.

I’ll admit that I’m a bit surprised. I fully expected to get up and write a totally different article but there was a push late yesterday and Sagna came in 5th. I’ll also be honest and admit that I didn’t vote for Sagna, because, well, because I overlooked him.

I guess it’s easy to overlook the guy on the edge of the park, who puts in a solid performance, week in and week out. The flashiest thing about him is his beaded hair, but that’s ok, because all teams need solidity more than flash and Sagna plays that part.

The story is familiar: Wenger picked Sagna up after an injury plagued season at Auxerre for a mere £6m, then displaced Eboue who was our starting right back and plopped Sagna right into the fire of the Premier League. Sagna quickly made the spot his own and put in a solid year — leaving many wondering what role Eboue should play.

Now, in his second season he played in 47 games in all competitions, second only to Denilson for the Iron Man award and as many of you mentioned, I just can’t remember him making a single mistake. That’s really unusual for a defender. Defenders slip up, and when they do it’s usually glaringly obvious. I only saw a couple of Man U games and I can tell you which of their defenders made mistakes in those games but for some reason I just can’t think of any mistakes that Sagna made. Surely he put a foot wrong somewhere!

Though they get accolades for scoring goals or putting in assists, defenders earn their keep through solid play and if there was any single player who won the moniker of “solid” this season it was Bacary Sagna. Congrats son!

Sing us a song, Mr. Brown.

Phil Brown’s Hull City escaped relegation by dint of being the 4th worst team in the Premier League. On the day, all any of these horrible teams needed to do was secure a draw and they could ensure Premier League play for another season and they were all so universally piss-poor that they couldn’t even do that. But incredibly, it was Hull City who showed how classy their club truly is by first storming the pitch and then having Mr. Brown take the microphone and lead the club in a song.  Get out the Champagne! You just finished 17th! By losing!

I can’t wait to face this pack of liars next year, I might even get tickets to the home game.

In a sense, it was the perfect result for me: I got to watch Hull lose and yet stay in the Premier League, so they could be beaten by Arsenal up to 4 times next year. I got to see Newcastle relegated, which, while I feel for their supporters, was no less than the team deserved given the squad they built.

Oh and Arsenal won 4-1 over Stoke.

Not bad.

Theo to play for England, the U-21s, the U-19s, and any other squad that needs a win.

Arsene Wenger is not a happy man. It looks like Theo Walcott could be chosen to play for both the England senior squad in the early summer qualifications and then in the U-21 squad in the late summer U-21 tournament.

I’ve made no secret of how I feel about the Internationals, but let me be clear about the U-21s: there is no reason for a player to play in both the England and the England U-21 team. First, that U-21 team is so pointless that the matches might as well be held behind closed doors — with friends of the players and scouts the only people who bother attending. Second, Theo has already been injured by England this season and I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see him pick up a knock in one or both tournaments. And finally, I realize that he’s 20 years old and thinks he can play in every game but he cannot and getting Theo back into this Arsenal team 100% healthy and ready to go at the start of the season should be a priority for both the England team and for Arsenal.

Of course, we know that the International managers couldn’t give two-fucks about club play, they’ve demonstrated that time and again.

Right, that’s it for today, I hope to see you back here tomorrow for GoY #4.

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