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The End for Diarra?

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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Writer:Tim Stillman
Date:Wednesday January 9 2008
Time: 1:24PM


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.
09/01/2008 13:34:00
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.
09/01/2008 13:34:00
"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
09/01/2008 13:37:00
09/01/2008 13:46:00
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....
09/01/2008 13:57:00
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?
09/01/2008 14:07:00
What a shame.
09/01/2008 14:09:00
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...
09/01/2008 14:09:00
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.
09/01/2008 14:11:00
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.
09/01/2008 14:35:00
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