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Wenger: It Was Long And Hard

Wenger: It Was Long And Hard

Arsene Wernger was not talking about any part of the male anatomy when he said it was long and hard, he was talking about his fight to sign Lasanna Diarra in the summer.

Diarra has made no secret of his frustration at his lack of playing time since he arrived, and has hinted that he may leave Arsenal in January.

The French midfielder is compared to compatriot Claude Makalele in his homeland, but has yet to earn a regular first team place at Arsenal.

The tough tackling youngster has impressed when given a chance, but not sufficently enough to dislodge Fabregas or the ever-imporving Flamini from the starting XI.

Although playing time has been limited, his manager has clearly stated on several occasions that he has an important role to play in the squad.

In recent weeks Diarra has been linked with Spurs, and it was even suggested that our little neighbours had put in an offer for Diarra.

Wenger denied that though, and insisted that he wants to keep Lasanna: 'I had nobody from Spurs on the phone and I didn't reject any bids from Spurs.

'We'll keep [our conversations] close and what we do inside [the club] - but if you ask my opinion, I want him to stay.

'You don't make a player come on August 31 and then want to sell him on January 1. I want to keep Diarra, but we'll see.

'The bad luck is that he arrived when our training had started. I rate him highly and, if it's down to me, I want him to stay.

'I can understand his frustration because he is worried about the national team, but I bought him in and it was long, hard work to get him here.'

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

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Writer:Nick Simmonett
Date:Friday January 4 2008
Time: 7:55PM


Why didn't anyone else go in for Diarra during the summer if he was available for 2 million? Diarra is a pain the arse(nal). He has undoubted talent and I understand his concerns but he should be willing to fight for his place if he ever wants to make it at any big club. He is good enough to stay at Arsenal and would like him to stay.
04/01/2008 20:05:00
Hey Simmo why did you pick this image for the article? Like Arsene said, he received no bid from Spurs and so Diarra, no matter how unsettled, has got nothing to do with them.
04/01/2008 20:16:00
I think we'll need Diarra next season. Flamini doesn't seem in the least bit interested in signing a new deal & fair play to him, especially as Wenger was prepared to let him go. Wenger may have said he wanted him to stay but he never really made that much of an effort to keep him & now Flamini is in the driving seat & probably sees Juventus as a great club to join.
Ashburton Gooner
04/01/2008 20:27:00
Lou, I used that because we don't have a picture of Diarra in an Arsenal shirt and he's linked with them...
04/01/2008 20:44:00
You don't think Flamini will sign a new contract? I beleive he will to be honest, he is playing regular football at a big club. You have to earn your way into a club so i don't get the 'fair play part' either.
04/01/2008 21:27:00
well honestly i dunno about flamini normally he should extend his conrtact but he seems reluctant to do it i mean he is saying i wanna focus on playing matches and keeping arsenal on top,does signing a contract would really distract him???
04/01/2008 21:46:00
both of em will stay n i'm sure we'll se both of em in the 1st team alternating.. if wenger has come out in the public n said that he rates diarra, surely diarra will stay.. we're extremely strong in defensive midfield n the only player who will leave is gilberto, maybe at the end.. flamini will get his raise n so he's just delaying the inevitable
04/01/2008 21:46:00
Gunners, I said 'fair play' to flamini because he has waited patiently at Arsenal for his chance without whining or coming out in the press & saying promises were broken etc. Therefore the fact his contract has run down & he IS considering going elsewhere is fair enough. Juventus are a massive club & they have shown they want him so there is nothing to say he wouldn't get games for them. Arsenal on the other hand were not interested in extending his contract before this current season, so I can understand why he is keeping the club hanging on. Maybe he will re-sign, but considering we were willing to flog him off to Birmingham in the summer, he probably feels he would be better appreciated elsewhere.
Ashburton Gooner
04/01/2008 22:18:00
I would agree, personally, I think Flam would be mad to move having just established himself, but if he did, I certainly couldn't complain. Personally, I never really believed in him, but AG is right he has been humble and waited and if he moves, fair play because he's been very loyal. But Diarra would be mental to move, with Flam's future undecided and Gilberto almost certain to move, Diarra would be very, very stupid to go just yet.
Little Dutch
04/01/2008 22:40:00
LD, totally agree. Diarra just has to look at Flamini to see what can happen if you apply yourself properly, why he feels the constant need to complain to the press is beyond me & just makes him look an idiot. No big club would gurantee a place in the side, so Diarra's only option would be to go to a lesser club & that won't gurantee keeping your international place, especially with that idiot managing France. As for Flamini, I'm with you on that aswell, I never rated him & I'm still not convinced this season isn't a 'one off' so to speak, but fair play all the same he has been superb so far. I'd still prefer Diarra in the team though.
Ashburton Gooner
04/01/2008 22:50:00
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