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Alarm bells sounding for Everton

Everton
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Sagna fears Fabregas will leave

Bacary Sagna has confessed it is "embarrassing" to be an Arsenal player at the moment, and he would not blame Cesc Fabregas for leaving the club this summer.

• Captaincy a burden for Fabregas
• Palmer on Wenger
• Djourou in positive mood

Arsenal go into Sunday's clash with Manchester United with nothing more than a mathematical chance of winning the Premier League title. They are effectively out of the championship race, heading for a sixth season without any silverware.

Defeat to Birmingham in the Carling Cup final has sparked a disastrous run of form that has seen Arsenal pick up one win in seven league matches, and Arsene Wenger admitted on Saturday that Fabregas struggles to cope with the weight of expectation as captain. Now Sagna predicts the Spain international might walk away.

"I would understand if Cesc leaves," Sagna was quoted as saying in the News of the World. "He has been here at Arsenal for a long time and he wants to win trophies. As professionals we want to be successful and win cups and titles but we haven't won a thing for six years.

"It's embarrassing to be part of a team that hasn't won a trophy for six years. We failed. It's not the manager's fault, it's the players'. Some people say Arsene Wenger's not doing well, but he doesn't play. We know we are not a bad team. We have the quality to finish first, but we lost. This is the fault of the players - we have failed."

Wenger is remaining more upbeat about the future of his prized possession though, claiming the likes of Fabregas, Robin van Persie and Samir Nasri are getting closer to greatness.

"The team has accumulated a lot of experience despite their age," he said. "They are 23 on average now, but football-wise are 26 or 27. I gave them a chance to play at a young age and I don't regret it.

"Maybe I could have got some more experienced players, but it is too easy to say that.

"They are very close [to the title]. We need to strengthen some areas, but we have the quality. At the moment we have to face some scepticism, but we have to keep believing in our strengths. These players all started at a very young age and they should be ready.

"It has been a year where I have worked the hardest. And for the team it has also been the toughest. But it has also been the highest quality of football in five years. We have no need to be ashamed of our performance."

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