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.


10 Responses to “Gooner of the Year #5; Bacary Sagna”

  1. 1 CaribKid
    May 25, 2009 at 10:05 am

    Happy Memorial day to all.

    Like you said Tim, Sagna was the ultimate professional and for me, our only truly consistent performer this season. I could think of no other player on our team who was truly consistent at a high level.

    He was my number 1 choice.

    Hail to the “beaded” wonder.

  2. 2 randy
    May 25, 2009 at 10:06 am

    sagna is always solid and a great character i really like him, he jus needs 2 learn how 2 cross ova the summer!

  3. 3 CaribKid
    May 25, 2009 at 10:07 am

    I really wanted Newcastle to stay up just because of their history and fervent fans. Hull on the other hand, I wanted to see Phil Brown break his leg while celebrating his loss or puncturing his ear drums from those damn head phones.

  4. 4 Reece
    May 25, 2009 at 10:08 am

    crossing has been piss poor though

  5. 5 str8goon
    May 25, 2009 at 10:13 am

    Sagna is a world-class defender. He’s got speed, intelligence, superb positional sense, and he’s strong going forward and in the tackle. With him and Gael covering our R/L back we have nothing to fear.

  6. 6 Matt
    May 25, 2009 at 10:29 am

    As many other pundits mentioned, Sunderland, Hull, Newcastle, and Boro all should have gone down, with WBA allowed to stay up, as they were the only club that seemed to give a crap these last few weeks. Let’s hope they come right back up next season.

    I cannot believe I forgot to vote in the poll.

  7. 7 viva los gooners
    May 25, 2009 at 11:14 am

    BacSag for me too! Solid performance all season, intelligent and competitive, not all his
    crosses were bad, and surprisingly, free of the injury plague.

    Now that Hull City have avoided relegation through crap performances elsewhere, I look forward to seeing them spanked by every team in the league, home and away next season. Look out for the headline, ‘Phil Brown Drowned In Freak Spittoon Accident!’

    I am not sorry to see Newcastle relegated, perhaps this will be the wake-up call they need. All round poor, direction, management, and players, each a sympton of the other.

    Alan Shearer as a manager to rescue a poor team from relegation, come on!

    “We are in the shit, what shall we do? Let’s bring in a guy who’s really popular with the fans!”
    “Yeah, yeah, yeah! Has he ever managed a Premiership team before? Has ever managed a team before?

    “Ugh, no, but he’s really popular.”
    “OK he’s are man then!”

    What where they thinking of? Here’s a guy who has just scraped through his adult literacy and numeracy evening class, and he’s going to take-over, save the day, and walk on water. Thankfully Alan Shearer didn’t save the day, obviously failed the water walking exam, and in the long run it may be the best thing that could of happened. One thing for sure, Jack Milburn, ‘ooer Jack-ee’ won’t be making an emotional comeback.

    Don’t forget the lads this week, away at Anfield!!!!!!!!


  8. 8 Yan
    May 25, 2009 at 11:35 am

    I’m too guilty for overlooking Bacary. It’s like the perfect unit in a company: It does its work so perfectly that you never hear anything of ’em.
    My voting criteria was: Our season was kept alive by the hard workers, not the flashy players. I voted denilson, song, djorou, gibbs and Super Nick:-).

  9. 9 nycgunner
    May 25, 2009 at 11:48 am

    I think I can remember one or two occasions when Sagna’s botched clearances cost us a goal, but he’s had a pretty solid season all around. Someone mentioned his poor crossing but his crosses towards the end of the season had improved quite a bit as well. Too bad I cant say the same for Clichy. Top 5 finish in GOTY is probably a fair call.

    Phil Orange leading the Hull fans into a song was pretty comical. Watching him wave his hand about like Miss Teen Hully City 09 made me realize what a media-wh0re this guy really is. He mentioned that surviving the drop was the happiest moment of his life – better than when they made the jump to the league. Now I would understand that statement if he had done it with even the slightest of class, but to do with in the desperate and losing fashion they did and then not even showing the slightest bit of humility tells me something about the mentality of this man. I hope next season we humiliate and expose him for the sh*t manager that he is.

  10. 10 WC
    May 25, 2009 at 11:50 am

    Well Tim if you need some help Sagna was a bit hapless in that now infamous 4-4 draw at Anfield. Provided it was his first game back from an injury and one I never thought he should have started but he did and made a piss poor clearance sideways, right to Kuyt which he crossed and setup for one of Torres’ goals. That one stands out in my mind since it was fairly recent.

    Otherwise, Sagna has been solid and better than Glen Johnson who somehow got right back of the year on many Teams of the Year – obviously by most Brit pundits made that one.

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