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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.'




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The Journalist

Writer: Nick Simmonett  Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday January 4 2008

Time: 7:55PM

Your Comments

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.
Keplaz
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.
Louisa
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
Lou, I used that because we don't have a picture of Diarra in an Arsenal shirt and he's linked with them...
simmy8_2000
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.
Gunners
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???
princeoflove909
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
McGooner
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
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
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
Players like Diarra need to be spanked. Look at Diaby and Denilson, aint they waiting too? For GOD's sake he just came few months ago and he is yapping already instead of being patient. Btw, even if Flamini leaves am cool with it too especially we have other players coming through and we have money to buy too!!! Hey AW, let's watch ACN and fish out some more players..LOL.
CoastarianGooner
It's times like this I admire Denilson so much.He hasn't featured much in his time at Arsenal and yet he's kept his mouth quiet. He knows Wenger rates him highly and if he's patient he'll get his chance.
WouldYouBelieveIt?!
I want him to stay but if he doesn't then we should sell him to Lyon and get Benzema off them.
AB_Arsenal
Flamini does want to stay, considering that he's just earned a place in the starting XI, he's genuinely friends with Cesc, Hleb, Rosicky, etc. off the pitch and he's starting to get chances with the France team as well. He's probably not signing the contract just yet to get the best deal from the club, which is fine, as long as he conducts himself professionally on and off the pitch, which he does. Diarra has shut up since Arsene spoke out about competition is part and parcel of their job, etc. And I'm glad to see the kid got a chance in some games even after his comments. He'll hopefully learn from that mistake. Let's not pass judgement just yet.
Louisa
The thing is with the current situation, is that Diarra needs to be more intelligent about this. If he can't see it and wants to leave, then he obviously doesn't believe in himself enough, which means he ain't Arsenal material. Don't get me wrong, I've been really impressed with his performances and think he's a top player, but you know the old saying, if you can't stand the heat, don't holiday in Jamaica. Flamini should be an example to him not a threat.
Little Dutch
Does anyone know if Carlos Vela is actually back with us for the rest of the season from now? I just saw some footage of Osasuna v Real Madrid and he looked really impressive.
Gooner_Vin
Vela isn't coming back to Arsenal this season. I don't know why that rumour was ever started as the whole work permit situation would be a joke & he can get a spanish passport in the summer & not need to worry about them. Wenger confirmed he wasn't coming back on Thursday.
Ashburton Gooner
Even if he does come back, he can hardly make a significant impact this season. He'll require time to settle in and at most he'll play a couple of CC matches (assuming we beat Sp*rs of course). So I wouldn't put my hopes on Vela coming back let alone make an impact on our season.
WouldYouBelieveIt?!
http://www.skysports.com/experts/expert_story/0,19793,12087_3022311,00.html Spanish expert Guillem Balague gives his view on Vela. According to him, Vela is very pacy, skillful and has an eye for goal. Will look forward to see him in the CC next season!
WouldYouBelieveIt?!
So the spuds are still to win in 2008 & Huddlestone is out of the CC semi first leg after his sending off.
Ashburton Gooner
Is that more of a loss for us or them AG? ;)
nikolaijns
Well although on the whole Huddlestone is rubbish, he's probably the only midfielder at spurs that can pass the ball.
Ashburton Gooner
you really got to love tottenham and their fans. They make 50% of the fun in this league.
k_chelski
does this mean he wont come on loan?
pompeycarpet
ive just bin in a restaurant with Lassy D. Said hi, of course. welll.... he seemed happy... hope he stays
ArsenalRob
ArsenalRob, you should have spanked him a lil' bit for yapping about lacking opportunities ;)
CoastarianGooner
Really looking forward to seeing Vela next season, I actually think he'll be fairly prominent for us, having spent a couple of seasons in Spain. Just seen the team for the Burnley game and disappointed that Diarra isn't starting. Perhaps he's being saved for Carling Cup on Wednesday.
Gooner_Vin
Eduardo is just CLASS!!!!
Gooner_Vin
Off topic - but this story is really hilarious and Zizou's such a LEGEND! http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/sport/football.html?in_article_id=506264&in_page_id=1779&in_page_id=1779&expand=true#StartComments
Louisa
Diarra wasn't even on the bench against Burnley. Was he injured or sick? If not, it's looking more likely he will be leaving the club. It's as shame, he's a talented player.
BMF
BMF, he is probably rested so that he is fresh for CC game against the Spuds.
CoastarianGooner
Hopefully Diarra will stay. Bags of talent in him. Don't want to see him go to the Spuds either if he decides to leave.
Thing
I don't think he'll go to the Spuds straight away. He might do an Heinze.
Keplaz
 

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