Arsenal defender Bacary Sagna is backing his team-mates to mount a strong Premier League title challenge – but is not quite ready to be reacquainted with Norwich City in the next stage of it.

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The France international full-back has painful memories of his last encounter with the Canaries, suffering a fractured leg in the 3-3 draw at the Emirates Stadium in May. It was his second such injury in the space of a year and one that ruled him out of Euro 2012.

Sagna, who at the time accused City’s Bradley Johnson of deliberately stamping on him moments before he broke down – a claim not backed up by replays – is already on the comeback trail after playing for an hour in Arsenal Under-21s’ 2-0 victory over Reading at Barnet last week, but is likely to need a couple more outings before making a first team return, so the Gunners’ visit to Carrow Road for Saturday’s televised late kick-off (5.30pm) will probably come too soon.

However, Sagna – who has yet to agree a contract extension and has been linked with a January move to Inter Milan – feels Arsenal can launch a sustained challenge for their first Premier League title since 2004.

He said: “We have been solid. I think we can win the league – we have to take it step by step, but we have the quality necessary to play until the end of the season and win.”

After coming through an hour at Underhill, Sagna said he was eager to step up his rehabilitation.

“It is amazing to be back, I have been waiting for this moment for five months,” he told Arsenal Player. “This was my target – to come back and play, firstly for the under-21 team

“When you have such a big injury once, you take it, but twice is hard. In my mind I was a bit sad, but the next day I was ready for the challenge, which was to come back stronger and I am in a good way today.

“I spent some time in the rehab centre, then I came back and worked really hard with the fitness coach and the physios to be ready to play – and finally I have.

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“I don’t have any target – my only aim is to be ready and bring what I can to my team, to give 100 per cent, like always.”

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is hoping Abou Diaby will be fit to return after the international break following his latest muscular injury. England international Jack Wilshere is also close to a comeback.

The 20-year-old has been out for more than a year with a combination of ankle and knee problems but also came through the under-21 game against Reading.

During his visit to Norwich, England Under-21 boss Stuart Pearce revealed: “Jack’s not a million miles away from full fitness, that’s for sure. We just wish him well. The important thing for Jack at the moment is to get himself fit and get himself fit for Arsenal.”

Arsenal recovered from the disappointment of a 2-1 home defeat by Premier League leaders Chelsea to go into the international break on the back of a battling 3-1 win at West Ham which leaves them in touch with the chasing pack.

10 comments

  • The caption for the photo is so pale it is barely legible. A pity Brad isn`t getting the chance to remake his acquaintance with a fellow "professional" who tried to accuse him of violent play. Wise decision.

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    Mad Brewer

    Monday, October 15, 2012

  • It was a sorry example of the game being brought into disrepute, neither Sagna nor Wenger able to take responsibility for him coming back from injury too early and making groundless accusations, backed up, if I remember, by some hysterical Gooners on this site who claimed to have seen soemthing entirely different from the slowmo play-backs. Everyone lives in their own reality.

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    Swiss Canary

    Monday, October 15, 2012

  • slow news day on the sports front was it?

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    SussexYellow

    Monday, October 15, 2012

  • Sagna at underhill, thought Bilbo Baggins lived there. About as relevant as the article.Gandalf for manager . Gimli, a midfield destroyer made in hell,and Legolas would score a few,and lets have sauron as the manager of vanilla

    Report this comment

    wivenhoebudgie

    Monday, October 15, 2012

  • Don't mater what player is left out of a Arsenal team they will still be to good for us and i expect Arsenal to win at least by three goals

    Report this comment

    DOBBY1970

    Monday, October 15, 2012

  • MB and SC totally agree. Could it be that the PL bring in a new ruling where managers, palyers and refs are banned from wearing rose tinted spec, need to have eye tests on weekly basis and be shown video replay of incidents "....I didn't see it and will need to see a replay..." Maybe a tad to cynical?

    Report this comment

    Jakarta Canary

    Monday, October 15, 2012

  • Blimey! Need to swot up on my Lord of the Rings. I`ve heard it can be hobbit-forming, though. Does Wiv`s comment relate to hobbits being hole-dwellers? Is Wessi therefore a troglodyte? Lord of the Ring of Kerry, hoopfully? Is Sam Gamgee a bench-dweller?? I have so many gaps in my education. It`s been great Tolkien to you all. Help! ;-)

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, October 17, 2012

  • and wes hoolahoop would have to be tom bombadill

    Report this comment

    wivenhoebudgie

    Monday, October 15, 2012

  • The trouble is that a midfield of Surman, Howson, Johnson and Frodo Hoolihan really does look like a group of Hobbits facing off against the forces of overpaid darkness. While we are about it, is Mark Bunn related to Sam Gamgee? Thankfully, Shadowfax has started to find the net at last.

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    Swiss Canary

    Tuesday, October 16, 2012

  • Spot on SC. Sagna was apparently giving an interview to some shallow, trendy, French "personality" magazine. We should all be deeply concerned about shallowness. I`ve seen puddles in a drought with more depth than some of the ersatz "personalities" on display these days. Thank God for his supreme gift of mortality. A man of Wenger`s intellectual capacity cheapens himself at times. Sad? No, tragic.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Monday, October 15, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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