Arsenal news

Sagna demands referee action

March 25, 2011
By ESPNsoccernet staff

Arsenal defender Bacary Sagna has called on referees to offer more protection to players after criticising Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes for a tackle on Samir Nasri.

Paul Scholes risked a red card with his challenge on Samir Nasri
GettyImagesPaul Scholes risked a red card with his challenge on Samir Nasri

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Sagna was angered by Scholes' challenge on his team-mate in the FA Cup quarter-final between the two sides on March 12, particularly given that Arsenal have suffered two very serious injuries to Eduardo da Silva and Aaron Ramsey in recent seasons.

The French defender suggested that foreign players are targeted for rough treatment and that officials need to do more to eradicate dangerous tackles from the game.

"We've had two broken legs," Sagna told AP. "We went to Manchester and Samir got his leg ripped off again. There's nothing (done about it). They always wait until there is a major incident to make a decision, and then it's too late.

"He almost had his leg cut off. If he breaks his leg what shall we say? It's too late. The problem is you can't have a discussion with them, you can't have a debate.

"Samir should perhaps change nationality, I don't know ... I don't want to get into such a debate, I don't want to concentrate on that because I have much more important things to think about. I get the impression it's like that, maybe I'm wrong."

Sagna also conceded that Arsenal need to improve their communication and collective effort after conceding a farcical goal against West Brom, just weeks after the Carling Cup final defeat to Birmingham that witnessed a horrible error.

"We have to talk to each other a lot more, we have to pull together, encourage each other," Sagna said. "At certain times I feel we are lacking this."

"When you make all those efforts, you reach the League Cup final, which is at Wembley, and then we soil ourselves, that's not normal. We were beaten in every domain, they won the most tackles, and honestly deserved it."