On Friday we asked the question ‘Miquel or Squillaci’ in relation to which of the two backup centre backs should feature against Sunderland for Arsenal. With Thomas Vermaelen out with an ankle problem the issue arose after Laurent Koscielny suffered a calf injury whilst on international duty with France.
However Wenger decided to use neither of the players; instead shifting Bacary Sagna into centre-back and bringing in Carl Jenkinson to play at right full-back. While eventually the auxiliary centre-half had to revert back to type thanks to Jenkinson’s red card his potential positional dexterity being called into question gave me enough reason to expect an upset at The Stadium of Light.
However what proceeded was quite the contrary as he excelled at the back making numerous clearances and putting his absolute all into the game. While many have recently called his form into question as well as his loyalty this performance would have proved many of those doubters wrong; and in some style.
Here is some of the reaction on Twitter to his outstanding performance…
Arsenal showed real character today. Under pressure late on after Jenkinson red but held firm. Sagna excellent at centre back.— Matt Holland (@mattholland8) February 9, 2013
Sagna's been poor since returning from injury, but yesterday he played better in the middle than all our centre backs have done all season!— Carl Bovis (@CarlBovis_AFC) February 10, 2013
Sagna at cb yesterday is very much like playing mascherano at cb. They both read the game so well and have good distribution #midgets— 'Stevo' (@W_StEvO_AFC) February 10, 2013
Did the Sun really give Sagna a 5 out of 10? If so - the clown that need the ratings needs to watch the whole game and not just MOTD! #poor— Akhil Vyas (@10akhil) February 10, 2013
Bacary Sagna - 14 clearances! - certainly back to the Bac will all know and love. What a performance!!!— Artekkers (@Artekkers) February 9, 2013
I'd love for someone to tell me Sagna doesn't love Arsenal. That reaction at the end. Best performance I think I've ever seen him play.— TotallyArsenal (@TotallyArsenal) February 9, 2013
That's how you defend! Szczesny and Sagna where absolute animals today #COYG— Josh Vickers (@JoshVickers1) February 9, 2013
Maybe Sagna should play centre back more often, he was too solid yesterday— Suave (@SuaveApproved) February 10, 2013
image: © Ronnie Macdonald