Bacary Sagna has enjoyed the uniquely English Premier League schedule this Christmas.

The dust has now settled on a furious festive period for the Gunners in which they managed draws against two top-four sides before Saturday’s hard-fought victory against Portsmouth.

However, Sagna has no complaints about the volume of games in the final stretch of 2008 and he hailed the Christmas cheer on the terraces at this time of year.

“We just have to deal with it,” the Frenchman told the Official Matchday Programme. “I know this is English football and traditional here.

“As a player it’s good to feel the atmosphere you get in stadiums at this time of year. It’s something you certainly don’t experience in France.”

2008 was a year of highs and lows for the right back. The end to a superb first season as an Arsenal player saw him voted into the PFA Team of the Year, but a first serious injury – incurred after scoring his first senior goal, in the 2-1 defeat to Chelsea – came on the back of personal tragedy following the death of his brother.

“2008 was a difficult year for me,” said Sagna. “But I do not think about what 2009 will be like from a personal point of view, it’s all about the team.

“We have to win something.”

This interview first appeared in the Official Matchday Programme. You can subscribe to the Matchday Programme by calling 08700 20 20 20.

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29 Dec 2008