Will Diaby ever get better?

When writing the question, I thought “I doubt it”… but I have a little more to say on the French International…

Abou Diaby joined us in the 2006 January transfer window, so he’s been at the club for the best part of 4 years now. When he joined – aged 19 – everyone thought he was going to be the new Vieira… including Arsene Wenger, the gaffer commenting on him:

“There are similarities. They are the same stature, the same size and have the similar style.”

For the rest of that season and the beginning of the next, Diaby continued to impress. His energy and work rate was pretty good and he seemed more technical than average, very exciting to have him in the team…  until the Sunderland game in May 2008 in which Diaby had his ankle broken and was out for about nine months. That year turned into something like 9 months out, 1 game back, 2 games out, 1 game back and it continued that way until this summer… but then the French international got a groin injury… so it was back to square one.

This season, since his return, we’ve seen a lot of Abou Diaby and to be honest, he’s not convinced. I think he’s had some part to play in 7 games this season, starting 4 or 5 and he looks completely out of place. Yes, he’s got skill, but he lacks in mental sharpness and also lacks in spacial awareness… how long will Arsene put up with him?

Do you think he’s out of his depth nowadays? Will he ever be able to get to the level he was once at?

All I know is that at the moment, he will be afforded an extended run in the team as the boss confirmed that Denilson will be out for the next 8 weeks.

“Denilson has a small fracture in his back,” said the manager. “He will be out for two months.”

With Denilson out, our middle three will most likely be Song, Diaby and Cesc, and with Nasri still out, it does leave us short in that department, but none the less, we will most likely see Diaby extend his run in the first team and maybe in two or three weeks, the answer to the question would be “of course, Diaby is amazing”…

And he also revealed that Nikki B had a car accident yesterday, which means he’s out for tomorrow’s game against Olympiakos.

“Nicklas did not practice because he had a car accident on Sunday. Fortunately

there was no real long-term damage, but he was bruised and we thought it better he did not train. He should be back for Sunday’s game.”

Which means we are likely to see a front three of Eboue, Van Persie and Arshavin – as Vela isn’t ready yet, Eduardo has some sort of niggling injury, any ideas? Walcott is going to play in the reserves on Tuesday evening. We’ve arranged an Arsenal XI versus and Olympiakos XI and he’s most likely going to play in it to gain some match practice…! The Arsenal.com site says Eduardo is set to return to the squad and will most probably start on the bench

And for those of who up for some Carling Cup action later in exactly 1 month… then the Liverpool game has now officially been confirmed by SKY on Wednesday evening… the day I fly to New York!

And finally, the club came out yesterday and released their financial report for the last year and we made a whopping £35m + profit… that’s a considerable amount and I believe that is after we’ve paid off the service to the debt, which means in actual fact, we were up £60m at one point!

It’s great news and the quicker we pay off the loan the better. I hope the guys at the top got one of the offset mortgages, so you don’t get charged on interest for money you have in the bank, one of those Virgin One accounts or the like… it also means that we know we do have money to spend if the right player comes along…

Arsene said this:

“I am encouraged by the fact that the financial results are good because on my side I try to contribute to that. I am quite proud that I work in a company that is in a strong financial situation. I have always worked in clubs which make money and I would not feel that I do my job well if we lost money at the end of the season. “However the sporting side is always the most important thing. To be completely happy you have to do well on the sporting side but never, no matter what happens, can it be accepted from any manager that to do that you put your club in trouble.”

So, maybe this January, we’re set to sign Melo, Ribery, Torres and… yeah right!

Okay, match preview tomorrow morning… until then!

  • Fo

    Diaby will never get better… would prefer to have Ramsey in there with Song, he’s definitely on the way up!

  • Leeroy.N

    I have to say YES, as I always have said. I think it’s just his football brain that needs to be questioned. He does show glimpses of talent and levels of maturity, but it isn’t consistant with his performances I have to admit. I personally believe he possess the talent and mind-set, and he is at an age young enough to improve at all levels of his game. IMPO. I love all our players some have been questionable in performances and levels. Ramsey is an excellent player and will continue to get better. He too gets caught up in his own decision making as well holding onto the ball too long or taking that extra touch, but again he is at the perfect age to fine tune everything he needs to. As is the main factor going through most of the team, having to either find their new form and/or what they are best at or find their old form and where they were because of injuries.

    Win, ose or Draw.. Gooner Til I Die!!

  • Fo

    Leeroy – you really think Diaby will get better? I think he gets worse in every game!!! But point taken, he’s got something somewhere – and Ramsey is not perfect!!

    But Denilson out for 2 months???? Ouch!

  • rapudo

    I find this a very deep question in deed. To me, Diaby typifies Arsenal Fc. Glimpes of talent, bankable potential, clearly above average, trying very hard to fit in the shoes of history while oblivious to the fact that things have changed. Good glimpses alone will not lake anyone past the dance floor

  • faith

    Please, please please let’s not move to another scapegoat. We’ev booed Eboue, ousted Ade now we press the self-destruct button further by attacking another player who is only 22. Listen. Diaby is a class player. We all know the Murinho has been after him since he joined arsenal. I feel he is a victim of the formation. His best role in similar to Lampard behind a lone striker in 4-5-1. Remember how he played against Fenerbahçe, just behind Ade, last season and we won 5-2 he was unstoppable. We can not play 3-5-1 now ‘cos no Ade. In 4-3-3 Wenger must decide whom he gets the best out: Fabregas or Diby and he’s chosen Fab. So Fab has pretty much carte blance but Diaby must keep one eye on position and defence. It’s the same way that Lampard’s and Gerrard’s brilliance were stifled by the formation played by the England team. Diaby is still very young for a Midfielder and is thus still very versatile. He will grasp his new role very soon and stun all the playerhaters.

  • zohaib

    Let’s not forget, he missed close to two whole seasons of football due to injuries and having other players ahead of him. Let’s give him some more time. At the very least, until the end of this season, provided he plays a large number of games. If he gets injured or isn’t played much, how does one expect him to improve ?! He definitely has talent. He’s a bit slow at times and loses possession maybe due to concentration issues. But hopefully in time he’ll improve. Denilson and Song both have improved over the past couple of seasons and Wenger’s a genius, we know that. So let’s give him the benefit of the doubt.

    I agree with you Faith. I think Diaby is a very attacking midfielder or support striker. His best position is either behind the striker or in the attacking midfield role out of the 3 midfielders that we play. But we’ve been playing Cesc in that role sometimes, so it’s a tough one. Cesc has improved but I think he still lacks a bit in the final third. He has a striker’s instinct but he lacks the sharpness to finish. Ultimately however, Arshavin, Rosicky and Nasri are better suited for that role.

    Based on the present season and what I’ve seen so far from whoever’s played I feel our best formation with the following players is, in my opinion, our strongest team :
    Sagna Gallas Vermaelen Clichy
    Fabregas Song
    Eboue Arshavin Rosicky

  • Yemi

    Its funny how people are no longer condemning song/denilson and are even miffed that denilson will be out for 2 months. Nobody ever thought galas will get better but he did. i think someone just needs to wake diaby’s football brain up. he holds the ball too much. If he stops getting himself into precarious situation, he will be better BUT i think he is better coming off the bench for now. He is not a 90min player for now.

  • wills

    I think Diaby needs a confidence booster, after the home game against Pompy when he got two, I doubt many people questioned him then, however after the game against United, he was criminal #1. If he cut out the silly mistakes and had a solid run of 5 or 6 games, I think he could become quite a good player.

    Denilson and Song look a lot more comfortable in the two more defensive midfields positions, as Diaby has a tendancy to get forward, leaving us a little exposed, so it’s rather unfortunate for him that he has Cesc, Rosicky, Nasri and Arshavin to contest with for the attacking role.

    Maybe starting him against some of the lesser sides or the games we really should win, like Olympiacos tonight, Birmingham, Alkmaar at home or even the Liverpool CC game, where he won’t be up against Gerrard, Torres or Mascherano, would give hime the chance to shine and show what he can do.

    We’ve enough, ‘easy’ fixtures over the next two months whilst Denilson is out for hime to show what he can do, although if by the end of the year, after a full year of first team football, he’s not up to it I do think Mr. Wenger should start looking for a replacement.

    Any news on when Nasri is back btw??

  • Berth

    Abou Dabi or Abou Diaby which ever one. I think the guy sucks. I will rather go for Ramsey than him. I understand he is a good finisher, but if u look at the fulham match, he almost cost us the game with his constant loss of possession. I wont nail the guy because I have developed a thick skin with whatever decision Wenger makes.

  • Leeroy.N

    I do think it’s a positional problem. He wants and needs first team action, and is contempt playing where he is NEEDED to. I think his perfect position is just behind the striker. He gets himself into too much trouble any further back. He has the skill to weave in and out of defenders and then he has to either lay it off for the shot or take it on himself. But with him being more senior and has more experience in our squad, whether central or out on the left,he gets the nod over more acomplished or better suited midfielders i.e Ramsey, Merida, Barazite etc.. But truthfully thinking, IF all our first team was back, he would be relegated to the bench, with the likes of Denilson, Nasri, Walcott and Rosicky coming back to full fitness. I wont say he was alot of work to do, in the Fulham game he as well as others were not upto scratch. But just look at the individual work he done to get us back into the Standard game to set Bendtner up, without that goal, I believe we wouldn’t have got that result. We needed that he brought and alot of luck. IMO.

    Win, Lose or Draw.. Gooner Til I Die!!