“They were bigger players than us” – Former Arsenal defender admits fearing Chelsea

Chelsea and Arsenal are one of the classic rivalries of English football.

Not only do you have that local London rivalry, the two clubs have always gone toe-to-toe and have created some epic battles over the years.

Both teams have had some up and down times over the years and different squads reflected that.

Arsenal dominated with the likes of Tony Adams, Thierry Henry, and Dennis Bergkamp for example. Whilst Chelsea had the hugely successful Jose Mourinho era with the likes of John Terry, Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba bossing it.

Former Arsenal defender Bacary Sagna has been talking about his memories of facing Chelsea in an Arsenal shirt, and he believes that the Arsenal players under-valued themselves whenever they played Chelsea, and showed too much fear.

He believes that the Arsenal players would talk about the Chelsea players a lot more than Chelsea would talk about them.

As reported by The Daily Mirror, Sagna said:

“We just played game by game and we were winning a lot but obviously and eventually when we had to perform in certain games, we were failing.

“Maybe it was because we put too much pressure on ourselves.

“Most of the games we had to play, we played well and we won. But for example when we had to play against the top four, we found it difficult to play against them at that time.

“I believe we under-evaluated ourselves. Playing for Chelsea image-wise was something different.

“They used their image a lot, they used to have some big players in the national team and we used to talk about them more than they talked about us.

“Maybe in our heads, they were bigger players than us. On the pitch, we had as much quality as they had whenever we played, and when we played the Arsenal way nobody could beat us.

“I believed nobody could beat us. We used to play simple passes, one, two-touches maximum. But I believe we under-evaluated ourselves which is a big mistake in life.”

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