Backpage roundup: Sagna voices displeasure at summer sales, Vermaelen highlights Bould’s influence, Fabregas’ thoughts on Highbury exit, Frimpong’s return and more

Sagna Unhappy With Summer Sales

Bacary Sagna has voiced his displeasure at summer sales of Robin van Persie and Alexandre Song, and said that the star duo’s departure from Arsenal has left ‘a lot of questions.’

In an interview with French magazine L’Equipe, the injured right back said: “Everyone was expecting Robin van Persie to leave, but Alex Song, that was a surprise. I don’t understand that at all. It is a big loss for the club. When you see two of the best players from last season leave, you ask a lot of questions. I understand why the supporters are nervous.”

Sagna then hinted that he could also demand a transfer away from Arsenal in the future by saying: “I am the only starting player left from 2007. In May, I watched City’s parade on TV. I saw Samir and Gaël lift the trophy. I want that [feeling].”

 

Vermaelen Highlights Bould’s Defensive Influence

Thomas Vermaelen has hailed the immediate impact of Arsene Wenger’s new assistant coach Steve Bould in the club’s highly improved defensive performances this season.

While the Gunners have won only once in the first three league matches, they haven’t conceded a single goal in all of those outings, and Vermaelen believes that Bould is the primary reason behind their new-found defensive solidarity.

In an interview with Sky Sports NewsHD, the Arsenal captain said: “He is our assistant now and has a lot of experience at a high level with Arsenal. We work a lot on our defensive play and you can see that with our three clean sheets.”

 

Mannone Eyeing Permanent Place in Starting Line-up

Goalkeeper Vito Mannone has made it clear that he has no intention of relinquishing his position in the Arsenal starting line-up when first-choice gloveman Wojciech Szczesny becomes fit.

The 24-year-old Italian started the new season as the third-choice Arsenal goalie but found himself thrust into the spotlight due to Szczesny and Lukasz Fabianski’s injuries. The fans were a bit worried to see him between the sticks due to his error-prone past but he has so far been excellent for the club and is an integral part of a defence that has kept three consecutive clean sheets.

He recently spoke to Arsenal Player about his game and said: “I have improved in every part of the goalkeeper position. In my mind as well, I came back stronger and stronger. Especially after the mistake at Olympiacos – it is never easy to come back, but when I have got my back against the wall, I don’t mind.

“I just roll up my sleeves and try to work because I know I can do well. It is a good fight between the keepers because we know the level is quite high and you need to keep working and improve yourself to get the first spot.”

“I know Arsenal, everybody here and I am really happy when I am involved, like now. I would like to be involved more and more and establish myself,” he added.

 

Yanga-Mbiwa Claims To Have Snubbed Arsenal

Montpellier captain Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa claims has claimed that Arsenal were interested in signing him this summer but he rejected their overtures as he wanted to sign for AC Milan.

The Rossoneri and their Ligue 1 counterparts held serious talks to discuss Yanga-Mbiwa’s transfer but couldn’t reach an agreement and the centre-half ended up staying at his current club.

In a recent interview with L’Equipe, Yanga-Mbiwa said: “The chairman told me I have an agreement to leave. AC Milan came for me. But the chairman refused the offer. So I understood it would be difficult.

“Arsenal came to make an attempt. But I was focused on something else. I was disappointed when I understood it could not be sorted out with Milan. The chairman is our boss, our godfather, the one who educated us and gave us an opportunity. We have to show respect.”

 

Fabregas: Emirates Is No Highbury

Former Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas believes that leaving the spiritual home of Highbury for Emirates Stadium did the Gunners some major damage and he doesn’t want Barcelona to swap their historical stadium of Camp Nou for a new, modern venue.

Speaking to Diari ARA, Fabregas said: “Camp Nou is a beast of a stadium. I wouldn’t want the same thing to happen as with Arsenal. The Emirates is not Highbury. Highbury was very tiny, but it had its charm. Emirates is a great stadium, modern, but it’s not Highbury.”

 

Giroud: I Am Not RVP’s Replacement

Misfiring striker Olivier Giroud has once again said that he is not Robin van Persie’s replacement and he needs time to adjust to English football.

In an interview with Le 10 Sport, the former Montpellier hitman said: “Everywhere I’ve been, I’ve needed some time to adapt, but in the end it’s worked out well. I’m a level headed person who needs something to aim for to move forward, but I haven’t given myself the task of replacing Vvan Persie. I want to take my place, win over the Arsenal fans in my own way.”

 

Frimpong to Be Back In Training by 17th September

Cruciate ligament injury victim Emmanuel Frimpong has revealed that his rehabilitation has gone well and he could be back in full training in less than two weeks.

The midfielder made the revelation on Twitter by tweeting: “I will be back in full training with the squad on 17th of this month. Two cruciate knee injuries couldn’t end my career. It’s been a long 7 months.”

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