Sagna Kisses Goodbye To Legend Status With City Move

By Daniel Cowan
In Arsenal
May 22nd, 2014

The media is rife with stories of Bacary Sagna attending a medical at Manchester City and agreeing a 3 year deal worth, depending on reports, £120-140k per week. My Twitter timeline has been drenched in Sagna tweets with the majority thanking him for his time and wishing him well and the minority calling him a traitor etc.

I’m not quite sure where I sit between those two views. I certainly think he has shown incredible loyalty insofar as him seeing out his contract with Arsenal but I also think that his loyalty would be tainted by joining a rival club.

Thinking on it, tainted probably fairly surmises how I think his time at Arsenal and his reputation amongst the Arsenal faithful will be remembered.

Over the years Arsenal have seen many Gunners pulling on the shirt of a Premier League rival and more often than not those players are never thought of badly.

There are, of course, players like Ashley Cole, Robin van Persie, Emmanuel Adebayor and Samir Nasri who receive no affection whatsoever from Arsenal supporters. In each case the manner in which the player left or their conduct towards Arsenal once gone is the root cause for the ill-will.

Cole “almost crashed” his car because of how Arsenal “disrespected” him and then held illegal meetings with the biggest axe wound in world football.

Adebayor ran the length of the pitch to antagonistically celebrate in front of the Arsenal support.

Nasri gave it large on Twitter – which was a shame because most people respected him for the way he left. He did his best until the very last minute of his Arsenal career and he didn’t force the move unlike another midfielder who left that year who is regarded more fondly because he has never spoken jive about us.

And Van Persie… Joining Manchester United was always going to end any affection we ever had for him but that statement is what turned love into hate, and what would have been indifference to utter loathing.

Players like Toure and Clichy had come to the natural end of their Arsenal careers and now we feel mostly indifference towards them. In the case of Toure there are some fond memories but ultimately I think most regard him as just another Premier League player with no conscious connection with Arsenal.

If Sagna joins Manchester City, or worse; Chelsea, then I think he’ll be regarded much in the same way as Kolo Toure and I think that would be a real shame.

Sagna has been a great servant to this club and despite being a team that either flattered to deceive or limped over the finishing line he was never considered a part of the “problem”. He was always going to be part of the solution, the success that was bound to come and destined to go down as an Arsenal legend.

Leaving on a high, as an FA Cup winner, I think is just about enough to be considered an Arsenal legend but only if he joins a club overseas.

Many have said to me that he loves English football and doesn’t want to uproot his family but he’ll have to do that anyway if he moves to Manchester so what is so bad about moving to Paris?

I’ve also been told that he wants one last big contract and we would do the same but I don’t agree with that logic. Most of us don’t earn in a year what these people make in a week, or a day if he ends up on £140k a week, so of course we would jump at the chance to double our salary but we aren’t talking about poor people here.

Sagna isn’t struggling to make ends meet and what he has earned from football already would set him and his children up for life. He doesn’t need to make the extra money at City, he wants to and that is where I think his reputation will be tarnished.

He could earn big money at a host of clubs outside of England or could stay at Arsenal with a modest increase and then pocket a whopping golden handshake by qualifying for a testimonial. He could then get a final payday in Qatar or something or just retire as a legend. More money than he can spend, legend status and people who will adore him (as a footballer) until the day he dies. That is what is on offer but joining City takes the last two away because he’ll never amount to anything more than “just another player” to both clubs. He’ll never be special. Defenders rarely are, unless they spend a heck of a long time at a club (or their entire careers) like Bould, Adams, Keown, Samson, Winterburn, Dixon and O’Leary. Or they score an important goal like Linighan in the 1993 Cup final.

I wouldn’t hate Sagna for signing for City, far from it. And I would never boo him (unless he started talking jive about us) but I won’t remember him fondly. I won’t remember him at all. He was never part of anything special at Arsenal until his final game and his next game could be lining up against Arsenal so how could I ever think of him in any other way than an opposition player?

I still hold hope that he will see the light and stay at Arsenal because he’ll still get handsomely paid but also hope he decides to move abroad if he does leave.

Sadly, I think we’ll be seeing him in a sky blue shirt next season and in a few decades his memory as an Arsenal player will have all but disappeared. What a shame.

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About "" - 509 Posts

I am a South London born Gooner now living in Leigh-On-Sea, Essex. I'm a husband, daddy, podcaster, trainer enthusiast and aspiring author. My work is my passion and for that I will always be grateful. Here is where I write my thoughts and views on Arsenal Football Club, the greatest team the world has ever seen.

22 Responses to “Sagna Kisses Goodbye To Legend Status With City Move”

  1. kippax lad says:

    Sadly, I think we’ll be seeing him in a sky blue shirt next season and in a few decades his memory as an Arsenal player will have all but disappeared. What a shame.

    Don’t be sad, I’m sure he won’t be….and at least he’ll end his career with a sideboard full of medals to show for it.

  2. Colin says:

    An interesting and reassuring article for me as a Man City fan. Nasri hit back at those who said he was going only for the money, but to be fair, had he stayed at Arsenal he would not now have two premier league winners and a league cup medal. That is the point he was making and I think is part of the reason for wanting to join City. Gain more money and in his early 30’s not have to play as many games each season that can only get harder with age, and last but not least he only has to play 10 games or appear in a final and he can gain the medals he has missed out on at Arsenal. I think he would rather be remembered for quite a few winners medals than having just one and being a legend at Arsenal. I’m indifferent and have concerns about his age, but if his legs go, expect him to sigh for New York City! If you sign Micah Richards and he stays fit, a big if though, then you will get much the better deal than keeping Sagna, with him being only 25 and the best years ahead of him, and I also think he has stated aa a kid he was an Arsenal fan.

    • Tom says:

      There is a massive difference in being remembered for winning a medal by playing the majority of the clubs games working towards achieving a clubs ambitions. Playing 10 games for city and winning a league won’t get anyone remembered. Teams like Man city and Chelsea are totally artificial if that money went to any club they would achieve the same things. Its great to see these players realising their childhood dreams of playing for Man City though and well done to Pelegrini for managing the most expensively assembled team in the history of the Premier League to the title.

  3. Good Eating says:

    He also says goodbye to the biggest nobhead fans in the Premier League.

  4. Weng(unn)er says:

    Perfectly put. Exactly how I feel about this situation. Thank him for his services but sadly will never remember him the way we remember AFC legends.

  5. Macca says:

    Wouldn’t exactly say he’s joining a ‘rival’, Arsenal don’t compete with City on any level

  6. blake says:

    I can honestly say, he is a legend regardless, he wants to stay, all he wants is a rise to 100k. Its also down to arsenal to reward him fpr winning the fa cup and playing out his contract with a rise. Now the whole team knows how to win, we need a team of winners amd hes a winner

  7. capt fassil says:

    HE would not even be a regular choice there. I am a Master mariner and I am sailing as we speak. If I get two weeks salary of his earnings at Arsenal, I would be done for life and enjoy retirement in my beautiful Dire-Dawa , Ethiopia.

  8. Mzwa says:

    I couldn’t agree more, well written.

  9. Dixon2 says:

    I’m afraid we simply have to accept that City are a bigger club.

    • Daniel Cowan says:

      Bigger is a point of view and I don’t think the history or the fan base is there to say they’re bigger than quite a few clubs let alone Arsenal. A good club though.

    • James says:


      Arsenal’s big club status outweighs Man City’s 10x over. Fanbase, value, history, tradition. Only Man Utd and Liverpool are comparable.

      A club’s status isn’t defined on the past 3 years.

    • Choda says:

      How and when have ever city been a bigger club than The Arsenal.check footballs history and titles plus fan base etc and stop deluding yourself city fans FFP ruling highlights why you are now up there with the big boys

  10. James says:

    Call me bitter, but I certainly wouldn’t be wishing him well, if he moves to Man City or another English side. He has been a consistent and reliable performer for the most part, however has also had his fair share of dips in form the previous couple of seasons. This season he’s improved back to his old self in terms of consistency, but has also been extremely poor in a few key games, so to seemingly be demanding 100k+ a week at this stage in his career diminishes his already highly debatable legendary status. I doubt he’d be as highly regarded by the majority of Arsenal fans had he come into the side to replace Lee Dixon or Lauren, and not Emmanuel Eboue, to be quite honest.

    Disappointed to see him go as he’d have been a solid right back for the next year or so, and a useful backup centre back and right back in later years, but he certainly isn’t irreplaceable. He might not be as reliable for a couple of years, but there’s far more potential in Serge Aurier. That’s not coming from watching clips on youtube, but watching his performances for Toulouse. His athleticism, strength and attacking prowess is already better than Sagna’s ever was, and has the attributes to become a fantastic defender.

  11. Steve says:

    Always liked Sagna but never thought he was a great fullback, can think of a couple of crosses that resulted in goals but most were poor. Thought he looked better in central defence. Was a bit disappointed he started FA Cup Final knowing he was just about certain to leave.

    • Daniel Cowan says:

      His crossing is poor. All players have a weakness and I’d happily swap his versatility for a right back who can cross.

  12. TAJ AZIZ says:

    I cant blame him why because this club and the frugal mananger dont care for such players they think of their stomachs and how they can tighten the wallet rather than keep such players

  13. reward says:

    All the best and thanx for everything ,i will remain a G00NER ,but m only suprised that other people are saying City is a big club than Arsenal

  14. Tom says:

    Does anyone else feel that even though city won the league it was a non event completely hollow. Liverpool winning it would have seen players who have stuck with the club through thick and thin who grew up dreaming of playing for them achieve the one thing they want more than anything in the world. As an Arsenal fan I don’t revel in the possibility of anyone other than us winning anything but its easier to swallow when its deserved and not bought.

  15. Tina says:

    Players come and go! They have their reasons for picking the club they go to being money, winning titles etc.. I personally think it would be a shame if he goes for Man City.

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