Football News

Sagna responds to Fabregas’ ‘harsh’ Arsenal criticism: ‘The press was talking about him not running enough’

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 18:00, 30 March 2020

Bacary Sagna has expressed his disappointment regarding the comments made by former Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas.

The 32-year-old Spaniard recently claimed he left north London in 2011 for Barcelona because Robin van Persie and Samir Nasri were the only players on his level.

Fabregas at Arsenal: Five key things to know…

  • Fabregas joined Arsenal in 2003 from Barcelona’s academy.
  • He would go on to make 306 appearances in all competitions, registering 59 goals and creating 92 more.
  • Arsene Wenger made him captain in 2008, but he wouldn’t lift a piece of silverware.
  • Fabregas left for Barça in 2011 before returning to England with Chelsea several years later.
  • The 110-time Spain international claims he departed because only Van Persie and Nasri were on his level.

He subsequently added that he endured sleepless nights due to the pressure of captaining the Gunners and feeling “destroyed” after seeing his teammates laugh while discussing their evening plans following a defeat.

This revelation, though, hasn’t gone down too well and former colleague Sagna — who played 114 times alongside Fabregas — felt his comments were unfair and expected better from him.

“I was surprised to read this. 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,” he told Goal.

“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.”

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“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,” he added.

“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.”