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The End for Diarra?

News has just reached me that Lassana Diarra has again been omitted from the squad to face Tottenham tonight. I must confess to being very surprised to see him excluded from the Burnley squad on Sunday and felt that there may be something amiss. But I wondered whether he was merely being saved for tonight's Carling Cup semi final. Given that Diarra has yet to cement a place in the first team and that he has played in every other round of the League Cup, I do not think its mischievous to suggest that a transfer could be imminent.

Diarra has been all too vocal about his lack of first team opportunities in his uber short stint in red and white. I admire a player with the hunger to play, but Diarra must understand that the partnership of Fabregas and Flamini has been integral to our success so far this campaign and neither player can be dropped right now. To his credit, when Diarra has come in he has done a terrific job and, the dire team showing at the Swampside aside, has made a decent case for man of the match in every game he has played. But, in truth, I would argue the same for Mathieu Flamini who has played markedly more games. With Euro 2008 around the corner, one can understand Diarra's rapacity. However, Wenger's rather arrant dismissal of Diarra's concerns last week has me in full agreement. Nobody can come to a club like Arsenal and demand instant first team recognition, particularly when colleagues are in such impressive form. Diarra looks a quality player, who I think can make it at Arsenal if he is a little patient.

However, I fear he has tested the manager's patience with his latest outburst and the consequences on his career could be terminal. Diarra must assess his situation with a little more intelligence than he is currently exhibiting. Gilberto Silva will almost certainly leave the club in the near future, having served us so mammothly, he is at a stage of his career where he needs to play regularly. His cameos thus far have shown him to be ring rusty and perhaps short on confidence, with Arsenal's legion of young pretenders avariciouslly eyeing his mantle, he will likely depart with everybody's fondest wishes (I suspect from Arsenal and beyond). In the meantime, for all his excellent form, Mathieu Flamini has yet to sign a new contract and is now permitted to talk with other clubs about a transfer. Realistically, Diarra, Flamini and Gilberto are fighting out for one berth as the anchor in central midfield. From Diarra's point of view, it is virtually a given that at least one of them will depart in 2008, and there is a possibility that both of his main rivals could be gone before long. Should he decide to leave now, he will find himself at a small club like Newcastle or Tottenham where, granted he will be guaranteed instant gratification, but in the long term his career will probably suffer when one considers that he has a perfectly credible chance of making it at a club the size of Arsenal.

I have said all along that competition for places is paramount for a club like Arsenal. Diarra need only look towards the man who currently inhibits him. Mathieu Flamini has had to fight tooth and nail to be recognised amongst our talented pool of midfield resources and it has brought out the best in him. Not just in terms of quality, but attitude. (If you listen to any of Wenger's interviews, the words 'quality' and 'attitude' are rarely separated by anything other than a conjunction). Diarra has talent, now he must show attitude, if he has true confidence in his ability and truly believes he should be in Arsenal's first team, then surely he should have the gumption to stick around and prove it? This is where Nicklas Bendtner has excelled of late, the boy is fuelled not only by talent, but the fact that he quite possibly masturbates over videos of himself. Diarra needs to show a similar self confidence, if he doesn't feel he can show it, then it surely proves that he doesn't have the mentality to play for a club like Arsenal.

We fans can sometimes become too consumed with players as personalities. For instance, I love Gilberto as a player and think he is a damn honest pro in an age of sickening self gratification and aggrandisement. But do I feel sympathy for his current predicament? Not really, no. I rate Gilberto extremely highly as a player. But it makes me with giddy with joy that we have a defensive midfielder in such good form that I think Bert should be warming the bench right now. As affable a character as the Brazilian has proved to be, the team always must be at the forefront of any decision and I am very happy to chow down on the humble pie Matty the Flanimal is serving me. Are you telling me that if, somehow, Wenger were to unearth a better creative central midfielder than Cesc Fabregas (hard to imagine I know) that you would not want him to assume Cesc's mantle? In the case of Diarra, I would be sad to see him go because he has impressed me with his displays. But his attitude and lack of intelligence seem to point to a career at a smaller club. If he hasn't got the patience or the confidence to prove his ability, I say let the baby have his bottle.LD.

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The Journalist

Writer: Tim Stillman Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday January 9 2008

Time: 1:24PM

Your Comments

Let the baby have his bottle lol! Well said, good article and it echoes my sentiments. STaying will only be to his benefit in the longer term, and looking only at the here and now would demonstrate a lack of foresight, ability to plan and intelligence.
I think he's all but gone although I hope he stays. If he seeks first team football in the hope of getting into the French squad for Euro, why not send him to one of the smaller clubs on loan like Portsmouth? He could certainly cover for the likes of Muntari and Dioup. I hope he stays because Arsene wants him to. You don't simply buy a players on the mid night of Aug 31 just so that he warms the bench and leaves in January. Long term he can help us immensely. It's just sad really.
"I signed for Arsenal because I was led to believe I was going to be playing," he said......that should sum up why AW has benched him, and I don't blame him either given that statement and others recently. Playing for the Gunners is not about favours Diarra, you have to EARN your place kid. Good Luck to you elsewhere. I also heard Merida is being sent on loan to Soceidad - not sure how accurate that news is though. Hope the kids can take it to the Spuddies today....funny how Avram grant has demanded to step up pursuing Anelka to bring him in by the weekend so they'll have him to face the really need him for that? ha
Shame about the guy's attitude/remarkable lack of loyalty. How about you go back to Chelsea and warm the bench there son? What a div. Could do with his talents, but not his attitude. And there's no way we should sell him to them lot down the ****hole in Middlesex. Eff off to the North East, see if he likes it up there....
AFC85Lew- I live in India and I don't know which club you're referring to when you say Middlesex or the North East. Could you please specify?
What a shame.
he's not the brightest, is he? At 22, it must be more important to get into the right club and get a starting place than getting into the national team. If he changes to a smaller team now, what will the long-term effects be on his career? I don't get football players...
I'm hoping my boys cement the rumour and make a move for him as I thought he was tremendous against us in the cup, as were must of the Arsenal boys that night. Although, I would be surprised if he did transfer to us - would be a much better option than the departed Sav and would be the main midfield man. Still, its a long shot.
he is a fool. being one of two defensive midfielders at Arsenal for the next 7 years would be by far the best thing for his career. he wont even play in the CL or win silverware at a smaller club and who is to say he will get in the France team with a smaller club. a bit more patience and I honestly beleive that by next season he could have been first choice. a good player but disrespectful to wenger and flamini and the fans. let him rot at pompey.
he is a good player, highly rated by many clubs. maybe we can exhange him for Benzema or Queresma, or someone great.
i hope we can loan him out for half a year so he can shut up, and next year when he doesn't have to be so anal about a major international competition he can focus on Arsenal. That would really be a win-win situation...
I think that coould be the best compromise afri.
Little Dutch
Their is no doubt he would be the kind of player we need, but his attitude is very suspect. As for the disparaging remarks about Spurs being a small club, I'm not sure how a club ranked at 15th in Europe can be regarded as small. Can you imagine how big we would be if we were playing CL football for 10 years
I agree a loan is the way to go for now- he'd get lots of playing time with any club outside the top 3 (sorry, but top 4 is soooo 2007). I wouldn't want to see him responsible for saving Fat Sam's job though- maybe Birmingham or the newly ambitious Derby?
Does he see that the very guys that he trains with everyday did their fair share of waiting and warming the bench? Flamini waited for years before making that first-team place his own, Gael Clichy too. Gilberto - come on he's a World Cup winner and Brazil captain and I need to say no more. And he should see the consequences of mouthing off like that - look at Mad Jens. If all these examples (good and bad alike) can't provide him with a bit of a learning curve, I don't know what to say. But in fairness, the kid has shut up recently. Maybe Arsene's looking to sell him (only at a decent price and not to some local rivals who desperately need a defensive midfielder please!), but maybe he's only sending him to jail for a few games to teach him what it takes to play here, especially when he says 'If he continues to fight for his place, he'll play.' It's all about attitude, if everyone's talented here.
Come the summer we could well be looking for midfielders. Gilberto will probably leave, Diarra will more than likely have gone & there seems a very strong chance that Flamini could also go. I just hope Diarra comes to his senses & stays, whats the point in going to a smaller club for the sake of 4 months football.
Ashburton Gooner
LOL elbondo true, top 3 in 2008. And LOL topspur1, no I really can't imagine how you guys could have been playing CL football for 10 years. Duh!
I think Arsene will move for a midfielder in August. If Diarra leaves will need cover or maybe Henri Lansbury will be ready to come in by then. I heard Lyon want him so hopefully he doesn't stay in England.
I'm just *****ed because we really needed him for the CC cup game, it would be nice if he still stayed but now i am sure he is going.
Topspur1, where are you getting spurs ranking from?? Based on coefficients from the end of last season, spurs are ranked 55th in europe. However if you are talking about the rich list, then spurs are high up because other european countries have individual tv deals. If the premiership ever goes down that route, spurs would be left well behind, its only due to Man Utd, Arsenal & Liverpool that the premier league does so well with tv revenue. If teams from other countries like Turkey, Greece or even teams from Germany & France etc could join the premier league, spurs would be well down that list.
Ashburton Gooner
I think Topspur meant to say Spurs are ranked 15th in England, not Europe.
Lol elbondo.
Well AG you have been lording it over us saying you were a bigger club than us, seeing as you have only been at your new stadium for 2 years I assume your claim to be a bigger club was based on revenue generated. Now it appears you want to move the goal post, any business I’ve ever come across revenue and profit determines size of company
Oh! When I say 'you have been lording it over us' I don't mean you in particular AG
I think 15th is about right for Spuds in terms of wealthiest clubs but they are still only about a third of the value of the top clubs such as ourselves. The gap between the super clubs and mid table is much wider than say mid table and bottom of the wealth league. Bit like the Premiership itself in fact. Something doesn't smell right about the Diarra situation. I can imagine leaving him out of the FA Cup so as not to compromise any potential but presumably ge is already cup tied as far as the CC goes. Maybe he has ruled himself out ? A former Real president once said of Anelka that 'something doesn't turn right in his head'. I have the feeling that the same applies to Diarra. He is a good player but not that good.
This isn't the first time Wenger has left a moaner out of the squad to teach him who picks the team. Some, like Upson ad Bentley don't learn and get moved on; others, like Bendtner and further back Edu (although he did eventually move on) got the message, worked hard and earned a spot. I hope Diarra will fall into the latter category, but I wouldn't bet on it.
diarra is wasting time there..the best thing would be to loan him out to portsmouth til the end of the season...
I base the size of a club on its success on the pitch, making Arsenal much bigger than Spurs. It is also the reason Newcaslte United are a small club.
Little Dutch
LD Newcastle may be a smaller club than you, but they are not a small club. If we were to follow your argument, you are also a small club
Imagine if Sp*rs had been playing champions league for the last 10 years? If Britney spears had written that they would never have let her out the loony bin so early.
Newcastle haven't won a trophy in over 30 years, therefore small club. Arsenal have won a plethora of trophies in the last ten, in their history and are still in the hunt for many this year, as we are every year. We have competed in Europe's premier competition every year for the last 11. Thereofre, big club.
Little Dutch
LMAO iceman
But LD in comparison to Real Madrid, Man u, Barcelona and Jueventus you are a small club. Your argument appears to be because you are bigger club, and then anyone smaller is a small club. Than being the case, compared to the teams I mentioned above you are a smaller therefore you must be a small club. It's like saying 'General motors is bigger than Ford, therefore Ford are a small club. You also mention that you play in CL every year therefore that makes you a big club. Well if playing in CL and winning domestic trophies is what determines if you are a big club, then their are clubs playing in the smaller European leagues that are more successful in their league than the Gooners. Does that mean they are bigger, I think any team ranked in the top 20 are entitled to call themselves a big club.
topsur, you're wasting your time. Arsenal at the moment (and for the last decade) have been bigger than Spurs, whether you measure it by revenue, profit, points, trophies etc. You should be worrying about whether or not you are bigger than Citeh, Everton, Villa & Blackburn rather than whether we are smaller than RM, Barca, Man U orJuve.
im getting really worried about Flamster's contract now. i want him to sign it as soon as possible now. i don't understand this when players say that we don't have time for contracts now, we are focussing on the game. how much time will it take to sort out your contract. not like they play or train everyday of the week..
topspur thats a stupid argument, obviously winning trophies in england means more than winning them in estonia or some random country, you argue like a child, bringin up silly shildish points, to try and prove your argument, the argument you put across there means there is only one big club in the entire world, because if you compare milan to man utd then milan are a small club, but normal people know that is a stupid statement, so get real, spurs are not a big club, arsenal are a big club, and i sincerly hope arsenal kids hammer you lot tonight
Thank you for that smiggyswfc, all you've managed to do confirm that you have not understood my argument. 1st off, you are equating success with being a big club. Their are many small clubs that have been very successful, and their are many big clubs that have not managed to win anything for a while. And if you had read all the previous post you would have realised that it was LD that used that argument, go back and read LD's last post. All I did was transposed his argument, to Madrid, Man U and so on. In fact if you read my post carefully you will realised my point is exactly the opposite. I have never argued that Spurs are bigger than Arsenal; my argument is simply that just because we are not as big as Arsenal, DOES NOT MEAN WE ARE A SMALL CLUB
Topspur1, your argument is retarded. I could almost smell the jealousy.
Newcastle are a one club city - therefore everyone up there supports em, they are a small club. Luton have won more than them in the last 20 yrs. Driving up round the North West on Sun you realise how many different potentially 'big' clubs there are up there.
I would say throwing insults around is a more of an indication of being retarded, although you could argue that I must be retarded to try and have a debate with one or two on here
No matter how you define it, Spuds are not a BIG club, but Topspur is right too in that they are not a small club either. He never said Spuds were bigger than Arsenal and to give credit, he's one of the few posters from other clubs who doesn't come in here and insult everybody. I think Kev from Chelski is the only other one who shares a 'friendly' rivalry with us.
Regarding my earlier comment about not wanting Diarra to help save Fat Sam's job, it's too late for that- Allardyce just got sacked.
Awesome article LD. My guess is Diarra is leaving but AW isn't playing no part in helping the move and he is excluding from the team as a punishment.
Took him this long to realize that you Goons are crap? Ok, he is French, but it´s been Months now....
Blue is the colour
Right Blue, just like he realized your Chavs are crap four months ago. BITC(h) is the type of poster that makes decent guys like Kev look bad!
I'm glad I didn't waste one of my picture allocations on ths
and yet for us, he would be great signing! how the premier league has cme to this...
Should loan him to Portsmouth, it would be good to hold onto him in case Flamani decides not to resign.
Personally I'd like to see the boss move Denilson and Gilberto if it made Diarra happy to move up the depth chart. I can see his frustration- his main competition for a spot at Arsenal is also his main competition for a spot with France- it's lose-lose for him. I think Diarra is a better long term solution than the Flamster and I'd be right miffed if we sold Diarra now and Matty walked on a free at the end of the season. Which is why he won't be sold this window- Arsene will wait on Matty.
I really dont want to see Diarra leave especially after seeing Gilbertos performance last nite. We cannot afford to lose them both although this looks highly likely. Maybe Diarra will gain some confidence if Bert leaves knowing he is 2nd in line.
Aussie Gooner
Aussie Gooner, true that its time for Bert to move on after today's game. He really had a lot of incomplete passes but to fair he did win the ball to give it to Dudu who eventually created a chance for TW to equalise.
Topspur, we are a smaller club than United, Madrid and Milan. But not a small club. Newcastle do not have a single reason to refer to themselves as abig club by any stretch of the imagination. They are historically a mid table top[ division side at best. They have always been a small club. Arsenal are a big club, Milan, Madrid and United are giant clubs.
Little Dutch
LD, agree with you 100%. Infact until Arsene transformed the club we were just a medium sized one at best. We were big in terms of history in England but overall we were just a run of the mill medium sized club.
Ashburton Gooner
Wenger has always said that Spurs have the same potential as us, unfortunately for them the club has been so badly run for decades that they have never moved forward. If you look at them (off the pitch) they are about 10 years behind all the other top premier league teams. Maybe instead of wasting so much cash on rubbish players they should take a step back from buying, sort out the training ground (I think they have permission for that now), sort out the new stadium/redevelopment & then after all that they can start focussing on becoming challengers for titles etc.
Ashburton Gooner
You have it right AG. If Wenger has driven our growth to a big club with the support of the heirarchy, it really puts into perspective the size of his achievement, given in how few years it's been achieved. All done with little fanfare, mouthing-off or posturing from Arsene and the club. As well, in the time I've been following Arsenal, I don't recall any desperate clawing arguments from our fans about how BIG we were - do you?
Great writing LD and I think it's an absolute shame Diarra is going. He's no simple holding midfielder though, and proved he is more creative than that. He's no Cesc fair enough, but I think he is a unique player who doesn't fit into the holding/attacking pigeon-holes. He's an all round midfielder and for a little guy he has admirable ruggedness. maybe the problem is that he didn't even see himself as second fiddle in the centre but third/fourth fiddle to Denilson, Gilberto. The question is would he have settled for second fiddle?
Diarra cant leave because you cant play for three clubs in one season, i cant believe no one has picked up on this but they picked up on why Kenny Miller cant go to rangers. he will still be here in feb and he will play some part vs biringham.
Saw you´re whinging about having four players injured....seems like a pretty daft thing to sell one of your players if your team is depelted due to injuries...btw, four injuries? wow...we´ve had 8-10 injured the last two months...looks like Arses is making early excuses...
Blue is the colour
" is the type of poster that makes decent guys like Kev look bad!" Cheers m'dears.
ExRox, Diarra joined Arsenal on 31 Aug. Before that, the only appearance (as a sub) for Chelsea was in the Community Shield game, which is not counted under the "2 clubs in 1 year" rule. Between that and the transfer, he did not play for Chelsea in any competitive matches at all. If you "can't believe no one has picked up on this", I'm damn sure Arsenal and the clubs interested in him would have picked up on any potential issues. What I rather can't believe is that you're the only one who can pick up on things while tons of clubs and their lawyers can't. And btw guys, it's been reported that it's Diarra who told Arsene he's not ready to play against Spurs, which tells you how affected he's been by the POTENTIAL transfer, if that's the case, we can't have a player with this level of mental strength at the club:,,2239096,00.html
And he doesn't just lack the mental strength to fight for his place, he is also stupid enough to not see the fact that (1) Flamini hasn't signed on, (2) Gilberto's leaving for sure, (3) all these potential suitors in Newcastle, Spurs, Valencia and even Lyon, come on, can any one of them offer a better career than Arsenal? Really don't know what he's thinking. I had been advocating 'benefit of the doubt' for kids being pushy for chances. But if what's reported is accurate, this kid is 'proven guilty', sorry, he really should go.
Boo hoo, BITC(H), you whine about injuries for chelski. WTF is all that big money spending for players Abramovich does, even if they will end up on the bench most of time. Boo hoo, BITC(H) has no friends, he whore himself to Abramovich and his sex slave, Avramovich!
BITC(H), this is Wenger's comment on new injuries, " “Djourou is out but Senderos has not been completely assessed by the medical staff yet,” said Wenger. “We will know more about him on Friday. The options are those who played last night or Gilberto or Sagna. So we have players. Everyone else is alright.” Hardly whingeing. Compare to Moronho's statement last year that he envied Newcastle United because they had a bigger squad. Never mind, your owner can always rape the resources of another small nation, impoverishing them, and buy you Ronaldinho.
Little Dutch
Hopefully that small nation will be argentina!
BITC- Obviously you can't count. Toure, Eboue, Song, Djourou, Senderos, RVP & possible Walcott actually means 7 players are missing. The last time the African Cup of Nations was on we were without 9 defenders & Wenger still didn't complain about it. Wenger NEVER uses injuries as an excuse for failure, unlike every manager chelski have ever had does, including Grant!!
Ashburton Gooner
Wenger said that Diarra was ill & thats why he didn't face Burnley or Spurs!! If you believe that you'll believe anything. Arseblogger has it right on this one, Diarra complains he doesn't play, then tells Arsene he doesn't want to play (maybe its a mental illness he is suffering), but either way, his whole focus seems to be on playing for France & not about club football.
Ashburton Gooner
If we do sell him then let's make sure we make a lot of money out of the deal. With clubs all over the place showing interest, and being a young player under contract, the cards are very much in our hands. We cold use the dosh to buy a decent centre back.
Wyn Mills
can't understand why english clubs unable to win european honour! compare to Italian and spanish we are more better team in europe! we won more stuff then english I don't think your club Arsenal is a big club or anywhere near the big european clubs! can't remember the last time arsenal win anything in Europe!!! poor you...please don't think you are a big club cos big club always winn stuff in europe...unfortunately arsenal is not!! hey plus England didn't even qualify for EURO 2008! hahahah and also now need an italian to help you and teach you to play football!! so you need us to teach you how to win stuff? and begging us!!!lol come on just accept that Italian football is better than your country England!

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