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February Player of the Month

With the events of the past few days, it has been easy to neglect some of the many positives that have come out of this month for Arsenal. With February`s quota of fixtures now completed, it is a chance to reflect on some of those with the February player of the month award. It has been another difficult one this month. Emmanuel Adebayor has maintained his goalscoring touch, Alex Hleb was been his mesmeric self, while Mathieu Flamini continues his seemingly unstoppable form. Of course, the unfortunate Eduardo continued his blossoming into the fabric of the Arsenal side, scoring what was undoubtedly our goal of the month against Manchester City, as well as being the only outfield player who gave two hoots at Old Trafford.

However, this month`s award goes to possibly the only player who has been in my thoughts for the accolade every single month this season. Not only a testament to his consistency and form, but to his fitness as well. Unfortunately, Gael Clichy blotted his copybook with two foolish errors in the month of February, but no such accusation can be made at my winner Bacary 'Banger` Sagna. I was always a big fan of 'Ralph` Lauren, but with Sagna and Clichy manning the full back positions, we have probably the best full back combination since Dixon and Winterburn. Sagna has impressed everybody this season with his boundless energy reserves and with the impressive speed with which he has acclimatised to the English game. Consistency is a stock in trade for any quality full back, and I cannot really remember the tarantula headed one having too many bad games. Surely his discovery must make him a viable contender for signing of the season (though lord knows where Liverpool would be without Torres). For an example of how important full backs can be, please revisit our 4-0 mauling at Old Trafford!

Of course, the fact that Banger missed that particular game counts hugely in his favour! I think we are all aware of the circumstances of him missing the United match, and his mental strength must be commended in a trying time for him. But please don`t think that this award is a patronising gesture of sympathy, Banger has once again been in inspired form. Early in the month at Eastlands, he tore City apart on the right flank, perpetually bombing forward and setting up an Adebayor brace. In the Blackburn home game, it was his early industry on the right flank that won Arsenal a vital corner from which they scored. His energy that night left Rovers left back Khizanishvili with a bad case of twisted blood. Days after personal tragedy, Sagna and Eboue caused the Rossoneri to deploy three different left backs in the 90 minutes in an attempt to nullify them. Once again at Birmingham, Sagna was his usual industrious self, supplementing attack in one instant, before being on hand to snuff out opposing attacks in the next. The Gunners have conceded three goals this month when Sagna has played, two of which were undeniably down to Clichy, the other of which was a set piece. Glance at the itenary of left sided opponents he has faced this month, Petrov, Ball, Berner, Khizanishvili, Kaladze, Maldini, Jankulovski, Seedorf, Kaka, Murphy, Kapo. Did one of those players make an offensive impression upon us? Yet in his absence, Nani tore us apart. Had Sagna played that match, I very much doubt Nani would have been allowed to cavort down the left flank with the ball perched on his nose. His ability in the air and comfort in the transition between attack and defence have been pivotal in Arsenal`s transition. With Ashley Young coming to town next week, we`ll need him to be his usual self again next week. I don`t doubt that he will be.LD.




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The Journalist

Writer: Tim Stillman Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday February 26 2008

Time: 11:54AM

Your Comments

Sagna Hleb and Flamini top three for me, although mention must go to Jens, who has looked like the top pro he is when called upon.
Chipo
Sagna def. Overcoming personal tragedy, being consistent through out and being an attacking threat. And its no coincidence we conceeded 4 against Man U without him.
paul_ownz
great buy. imo our best RB in a long time, even better than dixon and lauren
ian7
that's a big shout Ian, and I think if he sustains this form and dedication for some years, he might easily get amongst the legendary Arsenal RBs.
G4L
Couldn't agree more. What a fantastic signing he's been for us.
WouldYouBelieveIt?!
Top chice Tim and agree whole heartedly! He's been in my opinion one of our most consistent performers and another great find by Arsene Wenger, possibly find of the season!
itsup4grabsnow
If he continues until the end of the season, possibly our player of the season along with Flamini. Considering its his first season and he has been possibly the best RB this season in the premiership. Has never looked out of place so far.
paul_ownz
senderous
49ers
what does he lack as a RB? Wins headers, never gets beaten, up and down the flank, pace, crosses, assists-just needs a goal or two..maybe. pretty much the perfect RB for 6mil. the guy never makes silly mistakes.
ian7
sagna and senderos tied.. senderos has been given a LOT of stick by press and arsenal fans alike.. wat he has done in the absence of toure is colossus..sagna is goin to be a left back's headache.. with clichy, rosicky, hleb, eboue and sagna, not to mention vela who'll be back next season, we hv probably got the best attack on the wings on our hand.
McGooner
Bacy is an absolute rock. what a find, who would've thought we'd need a right back? Great player
ArsenalRob
he's gotta be the best right back in the PL. what a great player. hope that he will get into the PL Team of the Year. he totally deserves it.
fcdematthew
Love Sagna
ajwb
i am tottenham fan but also a reasonable one.as much as hate your club i can still appreciate you play great football but come on how can you lot seriously be proud of having 1 english player that features in your team.no other country is like ours italy,spain,france all have teams where the majority are of there nationality,england in general is bad but arsenal is the worst.u support a club with 1 player from ur country how proud can you be.
jako
lol wtf did that come from... And for the record I couldn't be more proud.
hazzagooner
that come from what iv been thinkin for a long time and it son ur most recent post.if you are that proud you really are a loser you might aswell go and support a foreign country aswell.
jako
lol you poor poor boy.
hazzagooner
Once a week you get someone mentioning the lack of English players we have in our team. You say the majority are of there nationality. Say majority =6? I first take a look at Inter Milan and see 1 Italian(materazi). I look at Barcelona and see 3-4 Spanish players. 2 of the biggest teams dont seem to follow your theory. Even Man united have often played with 4 English players. (based on Van der sar, Vidic, Ferdinand, Brown, Evra, Ronaldo, Carrick, Giggs, Anderson, Rooney, Tevez)
paul_ownz
More English players eh?, and thats after you've thought about it for a long time, well done brains! not only reasonable but highly original with it, y'know fellas that's where we've obviously been going wrong all these years, Jakos' right - we should ram our squad full of bog standard Englishmen who can **** up all season and sit 32 points off the leaders, we can then win a bacofoil trophy once every nine years and head off to a chavvy dive like 'Faces' to get paralytic and 'ave a punch up, whos up for it?
nikolaijns
Maybe we can kill two birds with one stone. We can sign the gentle giant Taylor and get his career back on track after that greasy eduardo tried to ruin it. At the same time we can get an English man in with that good old (honest) english grit to sort our scumbag foreigners out.
paul_ownz
Damn fine fellow!
Goofle
1 Italian player in the Inter team. Bite me.
Chipo
The only reason the england team is s**t is because there are no arsenal players in it.
KingGunner
Yes Sagna's our player of the month and RB of the league! For me Senderos a close second, then Hleb/Flamini tied. (Please ignore anything off the Player of the Month topic.)
Lou the Gunneress
Jakos - **** off you spud. And DAMN straight Ashley Young is coming to town ( along with 7 or 8 other English lads). Arsenal 1 Aston Villa 2. Viva la villans!
los_angeles_villan
Good call, LD. Sagna has been magnificently consistent all season, I think he's had just one average game, and this month, he has maintained those high standards.
prits
Sagna really has been a cracking player. Since the very first glimpse of him in an Arsenal shirt, you knew he meant business. I can't recall him having one solitary duff moment all season. A good choice. Here's hoping the pain he must be going through subsides in time...
»»Arsene Knows««
Wingston75
Wonderful choice LD, he really deserves it this month with a load of consistent performances. The most amazing thing is that he can always go up to join the attack AND be back with the back four when the opponent's attack, he is rarely outpaced and might even outrun some Prem. wingers. If he keeps his fine form and Eboue continues being an idiot then the latter will most likely go in the summer.
stukazufuss
Sagna started of brilliantly and has maintained the same high level in very game against every class of opponent. Wenger talks often about consistency at a high level. Sagna epitomises just that.
Amos.
Yep I think Sagna sneaks it for me - consistent throughout
Chix
 

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