Monday 27 February 2017

Sagna facing three months on sideline

Jack Pitt-Brooke

arsenal have not yet decided if Bacary Sagna will have surgery on his broken ankle.

The right-back fractured his right fibula in a collision in the 68th minute of Sunday's 2-1 defeat at Tottenham. Unable to join up with the France squad, he is with the Arsenal medical staff who will decide about an operation.

Either way, it is thought his recovery time will be around three months.

Sagna, like Jack Wilshere, is unlikely to play again in 2011. Wilshere may not return after surgery on a stress fracture in his right ankle until February.

However, there was good news on centre-back Thomas Vermaelen, who returned to light training yesterday after ankle surgery one month ago.

"Great step forward today," he tweeted last night. "First run outside without any pain or discomfort. Hopefully I can make good progress this week."

In the aftermath of the derby defeat at Spurs, Gunners goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny admitted that supporters "deserve better".

Arsenal have taken just seven points from their seven Premier League games so far and are 15th in the table.

Asked how long the fans might have to wait, Szczesny responded: "The club deserves better; the fans, who up to now were fantastic, deserve better than what they saw so I hope we can improve as soon as possible."

Kyle Walker's winning goal at White Hart Lane went through Szczesny's hands, and the young 'keeper admitted his frustration.

"I am disappointed in myself because I shouldn't get beat from that kind of distance," he said.

"There was a lot of movement on the ball and I reacted too late. I got a touch on it and it wasn't strong enough to keep it out. I blame myself for the second one."

Tottenham are now five points clear of Arsenal with a game in hand, but Szczesny denied that the balance of power in north London had shifted.

"You can't make such a statement after a couple of months, after our poor start to the season, after just one game," he said.

"Spurs are a great club, they showed they can play good football, but are they better than Arsenal? I don't really think so."

Elsewhere, the FA will work with Spurs and Arsenal to prevent a repeat of Sunday's offensive chanting at White Hart Lane. (© Independent News Service)

Irish Independent

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