When referee Taylor blew an end to the game at the Stadium of Light, nobody was more pleased with having kept a clean sheet than Sagna. Bacary’s celebration was only partly captured by the TV cameras, but when I paused the image it became fully clear what his, and the team’s, performance meant to him.
His arms are stretched out horizontally and his head is raised to the heavens, no doubt primal screaming out his delight over the hard fought victory. Just have a look at SlimSwaidy’s excellent video below, and pause the game at 3.23 minutes:
We are all quick to judge people and Bacary has had a lot of criticism recently. It really annoyed me how many fellow Gooners were starting to write him off after a few slightly under-par performances; not just from a technical and physical point of view, but also in terms of lacking desire and attitude, and not caring about Arsenal at all. One of our most reliable and committed Gunners was left hung out to dry, and that goes against anything true support is all about.
Well, last Saturday’s performance against Sunderland showed us all, once again, what a true warrior and Gunner Bacary is. If and when he makes a mistake again, please remember his truly fantastic performance against the Black Cats; and especially, keep in mind his celebration at the end of the game. This guy cares; this warrior is a true Gunner!
This sort of motivation is priceless, and you only have to look at the lacklustre performances by Manchester City against Liverpool and Southampton recently, to understand why. No team, however good technically and tactically, can do without at least a number of players fighting for the shirt; with an intrinsic desire to give their all and win at all costs.
In my view, the first team is now full of these sorts of players; Szczesny, Gibbs, Koz, Vermaelen, BFG, Sagna, Jenkinson, Rosicky, Wilshere, Ramsey, Arteta, Cazorla, Theo, Giroud, and to a slightly lesser extent, Podolski, are all players who give everything for the shirt during every game.
Some of these players are not necessary outspoken, extrovert players on the pitch: the likes of Arteta, Cazorla, Koz, Sagna, Ramsey and to a certain extent our captain, Vermaelen, just get on with their job as best as they can, whilst always giving their all to the team.
Others like Szczesny, Theo, BFG, Wilshere and Giroud are becoming more and more vocal and extrovert; motivating themselves and their fellow players, and the supporters, in the process.
Especially Jack is making an incredible difference, and without him we are significantly weaker: not only in terms of the shape and impetus he gives to our football, but also, and most importantly, through his drive and real desire to fight for a win. Is he less important for us at Arsenal than Bale at the Spuds? Absolutely not: Jack is the engine and embodies the necessary ‘culture’ or attitude of our team going forwards. Without him we will struggle.
But Jack is young and needs older players around him with the same passion and drive as him. And there is no doubt that Bacary is one of them. He became 30 yesterday, and the sooner we can sign him up for the next three to four years the better.
Written by: Total Arsenal.