Exclusive (seriously exclusive & candid) Bacary Sagna interview

by & filed under Guest post.

So today’s post has been taken care of by Bacary Sagna. He is an ambassador for the Charity Grassroot Soccer. They use the power of football to teach kids to make the right decisions in life. I met Nik Haigh, the European Director of the charity in Covent Garden a few months ago and I loved the concept of using the positive message of football to help create an AIDS free generation.

The fact that this Charity has Bobby Pires and Alex Song gives it even more appeal. They’re not a big flashy organisation but they are passionate about what they do. All three of the Arsenal players are desperate to do whatever they can to promote the cause and they all do it for free… something I know first hand can’t be said of other ambassadors.

Anyway, do check out the links and share this article around. It’s a very candid interview and I want to say a bit thanks to Nik Haigh for making this happen.

Enjoy! (Bear in mind, these questions were sent before the Spurs game!)

You’re back in the team and playing well again. How confident are you about Arsenal making top four this season?

I am feeling confident. We had a slow start to the season. The players were just as frustrated as the fans. But, with hard work we turned things around. Playing together on a regular basis has helped a lot.

Who are the key players who make the team work well?

Robin Van Persie is a strong leader. He has had a really big impact on the team this season on and off the pitch. He is a role model for everyone. Thomas Vermaelen is a warrior. He demonstrates through his actions that if in life if you want something you have to fight every day for it. Just look at the run he made to score the winner against Newcastle.

Do you think we have a chance of overturning Spurs?

Yes, done!

The defense has come under heavy criticism this year. What is the club working on in training to rectify the problems?

We work on training every day. We progress day by day, game by game. We want to be the best. To be the best you must improve every day. After every game I replay in my mind certain moments. I try to learn from my mistakes.

Who is the best player you’ve ever trained with and why?

Fabregas: he was just born to play football. He is so talented; his ability to pass the ball is second to none.

Out of the Arsenal greats, who is you favorite former Arsenal player?

Robert Pirès: not because he is French and not because he is a Grassroot Soccer Ambassador! I love his creativity. He is also very determined. Due to an injury he didn’t go to World Cup 2002, and that year he won Player of the Season at the PFA awards. It was a tough moment but he came back from it. He didn’t give up. His actions inspired me this season to make my return.

How was it to have Thierry Henry back at the club for his brief stint?

“Magic”. It was a Christmas gift to Arsenal. Everyone learned a lot from him. Right from the first game he inspired everyone.

You’re widely regarded as the best right back in the league. Outside Arsenal players, which defender do you admire the most and why?

Rio Ferdinand: he is a very smart player, very clever in how he positions himself on the pitch. You have to be clever to play at such a high level consistently over many years.

Which part of your game do you work on the hardest?

Defense: I am a defender so I have to defend first. I always want to play the perfect game. That way I can help to put the team in a place to win.

Who is you biggest supporter?

My dad has always been a big supporter. He and I speak after every match. We have been doing this since I was a boy. Back then I was a striker. Even in matches where I scored three goals he would tell me what I did wrong and how I could improve. I was not looking forward to talking with him after the Wigan match! When I was a kid I almost stopped playing soccer. I started to get distracted by things my friends were doing. My dad helped me to stay focused.

You’re an ambassador to Grassroot Soccer. What attracted you to the project?

I lost someone close to me. It focused my mind and made me want to give back – I realize how important projects like Grassroot Soccer are. You always hear about charities, but not often do you feel a personal connection to one. I’ve been to Africa lots since I was a kid. I have seen many kids and people suffering. I want to show my support for them. I want them to know that we share things in common. I went to school too and I am still learning like them. We are on the same team, the Grassroot Soccer team.

Were you attracted because the charity uses soccer?

It was not just about soccer. Although I like that soccer is part of the solution. It was because Grassroot Soccer works. They have respected supporters, such as the Gates Foundation. And they partners with schools, hospitals and local leaders. I always look to associate with people I respect. I very much respect the people who run Grassroot Soccer. One of the founders is Methembe Ndlovu. I have spent some time with him. He played on the Zimbabwe National team. He has now dedicated his life to helping children in his country as the director of Grassroot Soccer Zimbabwe.

Methembe Ndlovu, Grassroot Soccer Founder with Sagna

What is your role for the Charity?

I am an Ambassador for Grassroot Soccer. I do as much as I can. I am no different from anyone else involved in the charity. I attend board meetings and give my feedback on how the charity can improve. It is like a team, we are always trying to get better and provide the youth participants with the best support possible. I am very proud to be part of Grassroot Soccer.

How can we help?

You can all help by raising awareness for Grassroot Soccer through twitter and your social networks. You can give money to support our work: www.grassrootsoccer.org. You can also play sport – Grassroot Soccer is all about encouraging young people to be active and make healthy, responsible decisions on and off the pitch.

With Eboue now at Galatasaray, who is the funniest person in the dressing room?

Alex Song: he is very easygoing and funny. He is always smiling and having fun with the players. But, when the game starts he is focused and works so hard. He covers a lot of ground. He is also an Ambassador for Grassroot Soccer.

Which players do you socialize with most often?

Kieran Gibbs: we are both young and we get on very well. We train a lot together and have got to know each other better through that.

Johan Djourou: he is from Switzerland and speaks French. He was the first one who chatted with me and supported me when I first arrived at Arsenal – I had very little English when I first arrived.

Which youth team player excites you the most?

Benik-Afobe. He reminds me of Drogba. He is very strong.

Which team do you enjoy playing against the most?

I love playing against Spurs at home: the stadium is on fire, people dancing and singing. For players it’s like magic.

What do you like about playing in England?

The fans are so passionate. I love that. And I love how they stay true to their home clubs. You often see three generations of one family all supporting a club together.

Who is going to win this summer’s European Championship?

Spain will be a tough opponent. So will Germany. And of course we on the French National team will do everything we can to win – we need to express ourselves on the pitch.

What is something fans might not know about you?

I love to play chess. I started playing when I was a kid in school. It is very relaxing.

Many thanks to the people at Grassroot Soccer for providing this interview. If you could do your bit and share this article out on your social platforms, that would be marvellous.

If you’re on Twitter, copy and paste the following.

RT Take a read of Bacary Sagna’s interview on behalf of @Grassrootsoccer http://tinyurl.com/SagnaGrassrootSoccer

You can also give them a follow directly from here by clicking the button below.

[twitter-follow screen_name=’Grassrootsoccer’ show_count=’yes’]

[twitter-follow screen_name=’LeGrove’ show_count=’yes’]

Oh, and finally please do donate if you have some spare cash.


675 Responses to “Exclusive (seriously exclusive & candid) Bacary Sagna interview”

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  1. SDE

    Kwik Fit

    ‘ I never ever thought about England I swear……you ask Joe Joradan he’s a straight man ……he’ll tell you ….I never ever thought about it’
    ‘arry ‘ straight as a dice’ Redknapp


  2. Keyser

    “Song has improved in the attacking 3rd but at the cost of his defending”

    This is key, that isn’t especially his fault, Busquets can be as technically proficient as he likes, Toure dominates players, they both have different qualities.

    Even in a team like Barca, the height and power players like Pique, Abidal, Keita and Toure has been of quite a fair amount of use.


    AA23 I don’t give a fck about other teams with the exceptions being Stevenage and Athletic Bilboa.

    I’d rather City win it as I hate Man U. Just amused at the stick Fergie getting.

  4. Kushagra India

    At the time, Cox theorized that a crucial aspect of Pep Guardiola’s tactical success in overloading the midfield, pressing his opponents and keeping possession, had seen Sergio Busquets, the defensive midfielder, drop into defence, pushing up Eric Abidal and especially Dani Alves into extremely advanced positions. This allowed Busquets to drop into space, dictate possession and spray the ball across from the back. His performances and role for Barcelona are often overlooked by people with less of an eye for the smallest details defining success. Cox labelled Busquets role as a traditional “center half”, a term used to describe a player dropping into central defence from midfield, before it was falsely mirrored, largely by British “pundits”, to reflect a center back.

    British pundits eh!!

  5. zeus

    And there are some who say Cesc still hasn’t fully grasped the Barca style as yet.The off the ball pressing part anyway.

  6. Kushagra India

    “Marcelo Bielsa’s Athletic Bilbao has played some of the best football in Europe this season. Even though they are on the verge of making it two cup final appearances for the season, the lack of depth in the squad has meant Athletic has not been able to fight on three fronts, without hampering their league form. Nevertheless, one of the cornerstones of their play has been the placement of Javi Martinez, arguably a world class central midfielder, in central defence, probably more a la Mascherano than Busquets, but still worth a mention. Can we classify him as a center half?”

    thats what tickles Wenger

  7. Kushagra India

    However, the consequence of playing someone with Javi Martinez’s passing ability in defence is that he is able to dictate play from deep. He averages over 50 passes a match and touches the ball more than any other Athletic player. Furthermore, the space and time that he has on the ball helps him to confirm his accuracy, where once again he leads his teammates.

  8. Kushagra India

    last but not the least

    The English Premier League, Bundesliga and Ligue 1 have yet to delve into experimenting with such a role but if one had to pick a player who the role would fit like a glove then Rennes Yann M’Vila would be that player. His intelligence, reading of the game and passing ability provide him with all the necessary ingredients to benefit his next club side. Food for thought for a club like Arsenal.

  9. Radio Raheem


    Yaya physique was not a tactical misfit in LaLiga. Did you watch any matches with Yaya playing for barca? Yaya played as a CB in the 2009 CL final they won.

    Keyser I’m perplexed as to why you think Yaya’s physique is wasted at City, and at barca. Yaya is a freak in being so technically gifted at that size whilst being so mobile. He is technically gifted enough to not have only relied on physique at barca. He was sold for non-footballing reasons I’ll have you know.

  10. Keyser

    Radio Raheem – Improved how ? Mancini probably feels more comfortable with Citeh sitting back if they can’t control the game, there’s just very few teams that can pass through them like that, we’re not even that good these days, but he still pays us the same respect, especially away. Barry simply doesn’t have to exert himself as much as he has before.

    Watch Citeh as soon as Toure or Silva are missing, even against us the drop after Toure’s injury was significant.

    Newcastle know they don’t have the talent offensively or defensively and it’s more of a neccessity. Their game against Chelsea will be interesting.

  11. Radio Raheem


    Masherano took a pay cut to play at barc a and is happy warming the bench for that ‘privilege’

    Yaya is the highest earner at City I think barca couldn’t match that.

  12. Keyser

    He was wasted at Barca, not Citeh, sorry there. Busquets couldn’t do what Yaya does here and maybe vice versa, they do different things.

    I don’t think Yaya is that mobile, he does it in bursts like Fellaini, they’re probably just too big to cover the sort of ground someone like Vieira used to or at least it seems like it.

  13. gnarleygeorge9

    Seeing old Sweaty Sock Ferguson doing his lolly on the sidelines, PRICELESS 😆

    Man Utd are the Spain of the Premier League.

  14. Kushagra India

    April 30, 2012 22:53:56
    At international level when they have more of a responsibility they get exposed.
    Germany vs England comes to the mind where Ozil played havoc and no one was tactically astute to lock him up……

  15. Radio Raheem


    Due to his large size it took him a lot longer to get fit and in shape. But when he was fit he immense! At the time he was sold he used to get injured quite a bit.

    City offered him more money and with a Catalan, Busquets a very good prospect at the time ready to get more game time, it seemed logical to sell Yaya. Buying Mascherano was their safety net but he just hasn’t been able to adjust to the system.

  16. SDE

    Oh ok..Was a bit surprised Barca sold him..But to be fair Barca’s loss is the EPL’s gain..

    I like watching him to be fair,reminds me of ‘ole patrick vieira,but a bigger version& I believe he can surpass him..
    Breaks up attack,creates attacks,can ghost past a play,can shoot,can dribble,positional play,you name he can do it…
    Just awesome..

  17. Radio Raheem


    Well I’m afraid you’re alone in thinking Yaya was wasted at barca (maybe with Kushagra). Yaya is probably the only DM that can improve that barca side.

    Barry has improved in his close control. From what I have seen this season is better in his distribution under pressure. He doesn’t seem to panic as he used and almost always does something positive with the ball. He doesn’t have to the headless chicken routine Parker does because he is intelligent with his control. He still lacks athleticism though.

    Right I’m off. G’night

  18. Keyser

    Kushagra India – While the physical side has subsided in England it still plays a significant part and here he excels, Toure that is at the same time Mancini still puts more mobile or players with greater stamina around him.

    Busquets might be the right fit for Barca or Spain, but at times Toure’s physicality was key, look at games like Chelsea or Inter, if the other team is even halfway to being as technically efficient as they are they suffer.

    Ramires is an example of that he could go the whole game being the sort of rush, harry, tenacious midfielder, give him one chance and he pulled off a goal anyone could be proud of.

  19. SDE


    And this one is for Pedro..Where was the” great world class Rooney”..today?

    How did his stats read today?
    Assists, goals..?

  20. Radio Raheem

    He doesn’t have to do* the headless chicken routine Parker does because he is intelligent with in positioning*. He still lacks athleticism though.

    Really off now


    AA23…if you want to read a brilliant piece today go to Arsenal Truth. Great article as usual.

    Le Grove is mainstream now. Pedro will never rock the boat – he is on the pay roll with freebies etc to toe the line.

  22. SDE

    I think what has helped GB,is being surrounded by a better class of technically gifted players,who also have game intelligence..Surround yourself with the best,you become the best..

  23. AA23

    the ugly cunt has scored 26 goals this season.
    Any team in the world would jump at the chance to sign him. Especially City.
    see what I mean about your shit posts?

  24. Keyser

    Radio Raheem – Citeh push Yaya further forward, he can drive the team on, Barca basically sat him in midfield and from time to time he could rove forward, he was excellant for Barca but never really got to use his physicality as much as he has for Citeh, surely you see that ?!

    He isn’t as good technically as Busquet’s and likewise Busquets falls on his arse a fair bit, the seperating point would be the goal threat Toure exudes, but then I don’t know too much of that from Busquets point and goal threat isn’t especially something people regard as a key point in a defensive midfielder.

    Barry’s always had that control, he was probably the most advanced of Sidwell, Petrov and himself.

  25. SDE

    For a guy ,with your IQ Level they would seem incomprehensible..

    Don’t project your issues on me,just because you were denied basic rights to a decent education son…

  26. AA23

    David JOPPAAAA Field
    Read it
    thought it was weak to be honest.
    Pedro tells it like it is, I admire the fact that he backs the team and (to an extent) the manager when its going well and batters them when mistakes are made
    He’s got courage.
    And he’s Proper Arsenal.

  27. Gunner2301


    Kos & TV in the same breath as Kompany? You must be on crack Kompany is exactly what we are missing and we will continue with a poor to average goals conceded record until we get someone like him. He was the key in defence the way he organised them on set pieces, he was in for everything a real warrior and LEADER (that we are still lacking).

    Clichy is better due to Mancini (italian defensive nous), he also isn’t being asked to run up and down the wing like a fucking maniac. Their defence is playing deeper than our kamikazee high line and he has support from his winger. All round City have a well drilled committed defence as soon as the ball is in shooting range they swarm the player with 3 men. They are the Barcelona of defending. Next season their team will be frighting and we’ll all see what keeping players together for a few seasons can really do.


    Did you post the same thing about Busquets the other day with a video link? I don’t see what you’re saying about him that anyone else in the same position isn’t doing? You’re trying to make out that because he’s doing simple stuff which is no more than Denilson was doing somehow it’s different because it’s Busquets? Stop looking for things that aren’t there. We all know why he is being played for Barca and Spain and it’s not because of any skills he’s got. He’s average and the other Barca players make him look good.

    He couldn’t even walk in YaYas shadow, that was a typical Wenger move i.e. get rid of Gallas, Campbell, Silvestre so Djourou can get a game…. Get rid of YaYa and demote Mascherano so Busquets can get a game. He’s not even better than Mascherano but he;s being played ahead of him so had favours not been done he would have been 3rd in that position. He’s the Djourou of the Barca team. Nothing more.

  28. SDE


    You know what,I find you highly amusing..
    You remind me of the bloke,in class who was unable to express himself in the most basic form..And would just lash out on people for no apparent reason..even if you so much as looked in his direction..
    They used to cart them of to a place..Usually called the special needs school..

  29. AA23

    I was educated at Eton, La Sorbonne and gained a double first at Oxford.
    I can call you a cunt in 7 languages.

  30. Gunner2301

    Well done to the Club for completing the signing of Podolski early. I can give credit where it’s due. Should he be RVPs replacement or he is our only marquee signing, I will grumble accordingly.

  31. Keyser

    “Kos & TV in the same breath as Kompany?”

    How many of Citeh’s players could we take to improve our own team ? Fuck me, they don’t even need to play, if we sat Tevez and Dzeko on the bench and subbed them for Robin from time to time it’d help massively.

    Kompany is an excellant defender, at the same time he barely got exposed against United.

  32. SDE

    For a bloke, who was educated at Eton,La Sorbonne & Oxford
    with a double-first & can speak 7 languages..

    You sure as heck,show very limited use of the english language..You sure it wasn’t these online scammer schools,claiming to be the above..?

    Anyway I can speak 3 languages & infer that you are a fornicating,retarded cameltoe in each language!!

  33. Doublegooner

    Citeh have either got players we should have had ( Kompany & Yaya) or players we couldn”t keep.

    The only two I can tolerate at that classless ‘Project’ are Hart & Kompany.

    The others are cunts.


    Yep (last comment +1) Gunner2301.

    I don’t believe the club will change, I have spoke about how unhappy Arsenal have made me at times this season. Time to clock off.

    Take it easy all.

  35. Gunner2301


    Id take Hart, Kompany, Richards, Johnson, Nasri, Silva, Toure, Tevez (yeah he’s a cunt but he;s good), Aguero & Mancini (he does better interviews than Arsene)

  36. AA23

    fornicating cameltoe?
    Were you in “Desmonds”?
    you speak 3 languages? Obviously not quite there with English you useless cunnus.
    (That’s Latin that is)

  37. Doublegooner


    I hate the fact citeh will win the title. Only real paying fans know how bad it is for the game.

    When I hear commentators say the opposite, its because those cunts dont have to pay to go to matches & dont realise its the obscene money these players are getting that spins off to all our clubs with stupid money that we, the paying fans, end up getting fucked.

  38. AA23

    I’ve got some Trevor Brooking tracksuits you might be interested in as well
    Mail Pedro for the details

  39. SDE

    Obviously “fornicating cameltoe..” doesn’t resonate/compute with a man -deemed to have a high degree of intelligence..,or achieved a double-first from oxford..?

    Well let me dumb it down for you,& translate let it into a colloquial term that you will find easy to understand..

    Translation..”you fucking cunt”

  40. Gunner2301


    We get fucked all over. That’s what Clubs seem to want to do. someone said the other day that we are the Man City for youth, this is so apt considering we are filled with so much self righteousness. We are no better than City we’re just doing it at the other end of the spectrum, (read Ramsey on 50k) at least you can understand why Citys players get paid what they do, what’s our excuse?

    If Wenger had spent the money he had available wisely we could have still competed without going down a sugar daddy route. Now that seems like the only route available to us. If we can bring in Usmanov maybe it will be done sensibly and in a controlled manner, but in principle we will be doing exactly the same thing once one of our billionaire shareholders decides to spend.

  41. SDE

    Yeah Literature..


    Either way,I’m sure that pays bloody well?
    Been moonlighting down Piccadilly at night,in order to make ends meet…

    As for trevor brooking trackies,you would be more in need of them,given your dire situation..

    I don’t do hand me downs..give them to your clients..

  42. SDE


    You weren’t even an opponent to begin with,let alone worthy of my time..

    So to keep it & nice & short…

    Fornicate off..

  43. Keyser

    “someone said the other day that we are the Man City for youth”

    Two things, 1. youth was seen as a way to remain competitive because of the stadium and Chelsea’s spending.
    2. Citeh and Chelsea spend just as much on youth you just never hear as much about it.

    Either way the statement doesn’t make much sense. Because any of those teams wagebills and expenditure far exceeds our own.

  44. Gunner2301

    It doesn’t matter your just trying to excuse it. We overpay on youth and overpay average players. I know the kind of overpaid players I’d prefer, the proven ones who deserve it.

  45. LAzer

    Agreed with Gambon. Nothing have we seen in big games recently suggests otherwise. Sure the City game at Emirates is one but thats not really title race material is it.

    The big teams, apart from Barcelona really, are so assured in defense. Arsenal are nervous when they lose possession and prone to big mistakes unless they crowd the ball back in midfield. When they give a shit enough too.

  46. OPG

    Noticed how much more fluid City looked than Utd I don’t understand why they went with a 4-3-3 when a 4-4-2 works so well for them they didn’t have the players available to pull it off, there was no link between midfield and attack that I wouldn’t be surprised they went and signed someone like Kagawa.

    City look good for the title with Tevez and players back fit now, looks like being too negative against us didn’t cost them. Even Clichy and Nasri are playing well but no doubt they’ll spend big in the summer..

  47. Adam Bucci

    i’ve a feeling man u are still going to win it. city have to face newcastle who are going to be spoiling for a fight after saturday. i predict city to get one draw and a win and utd to win their last two. though i think the final game will have them winning in some contentious manner.