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The New Adventures of Lassie

According to, Lassana Diarra, the young midfielder with a patience that is even shorter than he is, has agreed a three-and-a-half year deal with Portsmouth.

After spending a grand total of juuuuust over half a season at Arsenal, young master Diarra though he should be an automatic choice, and promptly stomped around all flatfooted, sticking out his lower lip in super-sulky stylee, folding his arms, chucking himself on the floor, and throwing toys out of his pram. He then made himself so excited with all that commotion that he then sicked all over himself. Silly boy.

The upshot of all that was, that he was so embarrassed that all his teammates and friends saw his jumper covered in puke, and he couldn't face seeing them again, so he demanded a transfer.

So he's joined Pompey for a fee of around £5m. Just make sure you play him constantly Harry, otherwise he'll be setting sail for pastures new all over again...

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The Journalist

Writer: Wingston Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday January 16 2008

Time: 12:25PM

Your Comments

how much did we get for him?Are we going to get a percentage of his sale to portsmouth?
Uncle Harry will look after him.
think you got £2m Kev, and you don't need any money, you've far too much already... :) »»Arsene Knows««
Very harsh to criticise the lad. He's clearly highly rated and with Euro2008 soon, he needs regular first team football to make the French squad. It shows that international football is important to many footballers despite what some fans think. With leading teams, it is impossible to keep everyone happy especially with so many full internationals in each squad
Shame to see him go. I think if he had a little more patience he could have been a big player for us in the future.
The criticism of Diarra is not due to his desire for 1st team football (heck, the whole Arsenal squad wants exactly that), but in the manner in which he handled it. His attitude is poor despite the lads' obvious talent. I'm happy to see him go, the deal has seen a profit for the club, the player will hopefully get what he wants.
Arsene just announce Flamini's new contract really soon cuz i'm getting nervous now. also according to sky sports, we are tracking Torpedo Moscow defender Vyacheslav Dmitriev, who is known as The Elephant because he is big, strong and deceptively quick. does anybody know anything about him or seen him play?
He seems like he has a terrible attitude, and only cares about international football. SUprised harry went for him to be honest
On the Torpedo Moscow website, he's a 27 year old who plays for their reserve team !!!!
what crap, why will we go for a player who plays in the reserve team of some team lol..
according to tribal football, he is a kid, only 17 years old..
Correct, how thick do I feel ... his birthdate is actually 29.05.1990 .. never good at maths at school
If anyone can change a player's attitude and get them to work well it's Harry. As long he's one of 'Harry's Boys' he'll be alright.
Diarra's an effin pr*ck! i'm glad he's gone. I hope Flamini now takes his place in the France midfield too. We need players wit the right attitude, not brats!
2m? That couldn't pay for Abramovich's family barbecue.
The sad thing is, he really honestly could have made it here.
Little Dutch
If he felt confident enough to get into the team on his own ability he would have stayed. He clearly doesn't think he is as good as those we currently have. He will get regular games at Pompey but that still may not guarantee his place in the national team. Basing your career on the tenuous hope of making one tournament at his age is ridiculous. How ironic if Flamini and Sagna were still to ultimately block him or injury prevent him from taking part anyway. Whatever his ability his attitude stinks and we are better off pocketing the profit and using it to get someone with a better brain.
I'm gutted that Diarra's going. His attitude may have been poor (but then none of us know the exact in's & out's of his original conversation before he signed & there may well have been a misunderstanding about games). He is a quality player & showed that in the few appearances he made for us, besides which Gilberto is an awful back-up player to have. Gilberto takes weeks to get any form going, so as a sub or bit part player he may as well not be there & he is hardly the future anyway. Flamini hasn't said anything which suggests he will stay or even that he wants to stay, infact right now it seems more likely that he will go in the summer. All that leaves us with is Denilson, who was terrific at times last season but this year seems to have had less playing time & as a result hasn't progressed at all. Defensively the squad looks very weak to me, we have only two decent centre backs (1 of which is away for weeks) & our defensive midfield players all seem unhappy & want out!! Loaning Diarra out for the remainder of this season would have surely been the better option?
Ashburton Gooner
Amos, forget the figures that have been quoted for Diarra's transfer, I'll put money on it that Arsenal will sell him for 2.5/3 million, so we will basically cover his original cost & wages they have paid him. Wenger won't reinvest the money either (well not in established talent). If he couldn't keep Diarra happy through lack of games, then he won't feel the need to buy anyone as Arsene will believe the squad is strong enough.
Ashburton Gooner
If you are going to get an inflated fee January is the time to go for it. However Wenger invests the money, whatever it is, is fine with me. He hasn't done too badly so far has he.
"He hasn't done too badly so far has he."...............I'll answer that at the end of the season!!
Ashburton Gooner
But it won't be this 'so far' at the end of the season!
even if he plays for pompey and then France we will never know whether he would have made the French squad had he stayed with us. he had been getting in the France squads since he joined us so there was no reason to think he wouldn't. from what I have seen he is nowhere near first choice for France. he plays as a back up right back. I cant beleive he has put a promising future with Arsenal behind him for what will end up being a few subs bench appearances. he will have to play 30% better at Pompey to get into future french teams than he would if he was at Arsenal. dont worry about the Flam situation - wenger has said he is sure Flam will sign and I am sure wenger would never let diarra go had he not been sure of that.
Stupid, short-sighted, impatient, moronic thing to do. Have a nice career Diarra, if this story is accurate. You were a mug.
What a blurdy dirsgrace that was! He is a fantastic player and Pompey are lucky *****ers to have him!
i'll only believe this news once wenger gives a press conference.. once again, i think that both flamster n diarra may stay on with us
well, we are building up quite a nice little home for all your old players now - and finnaly some of them arnt even old!!! he should get his first team football that he wants with us - i only hope his attitude improves!!!
yep if you have successful youth players coming through you can't expect to hold on to them all when the money comes calling
ozanne park rangers
What a shame. Diarra is a fantastic player. Behaved a bit like a spoiled brat but I wish him the best of luck and hope he fulfils his potential, he will be awesome!
Apart from the fact we have lost an extremely good player, I really don't understand why Wenger continues to allow excellent players to join teams that could quite easily be close rivals next season. Ferguson would never allow good players to join a premier league rival especially if they had 3-4 years left on their contract.
Ashburton Gooner
Portmouth are no real threat to our place in the top four AG, it may sound disrespectful but I don't see them rivaling Arsenal in this decade or the next.
next season, pompey may take points of arsnal. that is the only real threat we will pose to you - as whilst it is possible we will be chalenging for champions league, on current form, it will be to take liverpools place, not yours.
Now we need to sign more players...losing him will hurt us, especially if Flamini does not sign for us.
I knew he was surplus to our requirements when he signed for us. Yet about 80% of you guys thought he was a good signing for us on the poll. The only things that are bothering me are that why were Portsmouth willing to pay 5M to secure the services of this guy and why there is no offical statement on Any ideas?
AG, Wenger "continues to allow excellent players to join teams that could quite easily be close rivals." Continues? I can't think of a single other example. Campbell to Pompey was negotiated by Campbell as he was released from his contract under a gentlemen's agreement that he would go abroad. We significantly weakened Chelsea in the Cole Gallas swap. Other than that I cannot think of an example. I can't really think of an example of an Arsenal player that left and excelled elsewhere. (Baptista's current form withstanding).
Little Dutch
This is a real shame.. he could have been a great success here, I hate seeing him go, but im glad that its to pompey... thats a great signing for them too. He was too impatient, yes.. but what a talent.
"The people at Portsmouth know I will not spend my life at this club," he added. "If I shine, if a really big club wants me, I know already that everything will go well." Still gutted he left? Pompey fans, are you sure he'll be a good signing for you?
The guy has an ego and I am not upset that he has left. Diaby has been at Arsenal longer than Diarra I haven't seen him making such demands when he was questioned on it I remember him saying that Flamini is playing really well and he has to try harder. You're supposed to make competion improve you not run from it. If he can't hack it good ridance.
Yes Entropy13, that was the line that kinda jumped out and made me go "What?" Even Anelka who's had 9 clubs (including a loan spell) didn't quite say something like "They know I won't spend my life at this club." I feel bad for Pompey and Harry Redknapp. If the transfer fee's indeed close to the 5m reported, I'm just glad Arsene's closed yet another good deal money wise in such a short period of time. Someone at Chelsea must be rolling their eyes gutted they got a smaller cut.
Lou the Gunneress
Having said all that, he has a lot of talent, I still rate him as a player on the pitch, just not as a professional off it. But if that's where his mind's at, like Gunners said he basically ran away from the internal competition which is part and parcel of the game of playing at a big club (which he said he'd want after Portsmouth), I'm getting increasing doubtful as to whether he'll become a successful player.
Lou the Gunneress
Considering his competition in the French NT (not necessarily as first-choice) are Sagna (at RB) and Flamini (at DM), I still see his chances dim.
Agreed Entropy13, and even if he did get some chances playing as an understudy to them, come on that's just one single competition this summer, versus a long-term club career which can give him access to plenty of those international caps later down the road. Anyway, I still don't get it, nor do I think he has the mental strength, motivation and personality to succeed. In Arsene's words (according to some article I read before, this quote's printed and stuck on the wall of the youth academy or training ground, don't remember where exactly): "Talent is not enough - you need desire and intelligence." Spot on!
Lou the Gunneress
LD, if we significantly weakened chelski in the cole/gallas swap, why do they continually have a better defensive record than us?? Bentley is a standout player at Blackburn. Lauren was sold to portsmouth, Ljungberg to West Ham. Yes, they may have had injuries but both are capable of providing other qualities to assist the sides. My point being that Ferguson would fight to the end (eg Heinze) to stop a player he considers good going to another premier league team & we don't. Diarra would clearly improve any club he went to, so he should have been told to get on with it or that he has to go abroad & I can't believe you actually think Campbell told Wenger he was leaving for another country. If that was the case Arsenal would've been entitled to compensation (from Campbell) after he joined Portsmouth. A gentlemans agreement would hold just as much sway in court as a signed contract!! The fact was Campbell said he was looking to go abroad but at the end of the day no offers were made to him so he either joined a premier league team or quit football.
Ashburton Gooner
Well Wenger alleges that there was a gentlemen's agreement, but it's not really his style to sue. I'd say Chelski's defensive record would be much better with Gallas than with Cole. As you point out, Lauren hasn't really improved Pompey due to injury, Ljungberg is purely and simply an appalling player nowadays, he has been for a couple of years. Bentley may be showing a few good games for Blackburn but I don't think he would be anywhere near our first team, he's not consistent enough. I don't really consider the clubs you list to be serious rivals, nor the impact of the listed players of any damage to us whatsoever. If a player wants out and Wenger can get good money, he'll take it. I rate Diarra as a player, but this move proves he ahsn't got the attitude/ temperament/ desire to be a big player. His career is destined for a slide towards mediocrity. The very good players we've sold (Pires, Henry, Vieira) have all been abroad and, again, Pires apart have made paltry conmtributiions. I just struggle to think of an example where Arsene has let a player go and been made to rue it, directly or indirectly.
Little Dutch
With the exception of Bentley AG, all of those players you mentioned are entering their twilight years in their respective careers, only Sol has gone on to produce consistent performances worthy of an Arsenal shirt, and this is a nice surprise but I can't say I think a mistake was made in selling him, given his increasingly erratic behaviour and lapses in play at the time, it obviously is'nt Wengers style to ransom players against their will and he most likely views Diarra as more hassle than he's worth, when we're in the position we're in, all hands need to be pulling in the same direction and Diarra clearly was'nt so get shot before he damages morale.
He could've been key for us in the 2nd half of the season, what a berkshire hunt, why are footballers so effin thick.
i cant genuinly beleive he would say that he would go if a bigger club came calling! he has been at chelsea and arsnal now - and did not ever get regular first team football - he has a chance to show what he can do - but harry wont play him if he doesnt like his attitude. having said that, i think harry will sort him out...hes quite good at that...
He is already talking about leaving Pompey and has stated he will be played. It will be interesting to see what happens when all their players return from the ACN and if say he was to get injured for a couple of weeks, imagine if pompey then go on a winning run and he isnt plaing...what will Harry do? What will Lassie do?
Have been told it's in the region of £3million, not 100% though!!
will it ever happen
I think, given his talent he'll walk into the Pompey side and should (if he performs) stay there replacing either Diop or Sean Davis.. but there seems to be a bit of a problem with his attitude and hopefully Harry can iron that out quickly.. although Jose and Arsene either couldn't or (more likely) couldn't be bothered to spend the time on him (I don't mean that nastily) - Oh well he's a bit young to join your retirement home which is PFC but well take him.. Who can we have next Cesc ??
So judging by the many comments on here I take it all those that are slating Diarra for wanting first team football would be happy to have players sitting on the bench who don't give a s*** whether they are actually going to play or not!! Personally I prefer the attitude of a player who wants to play!!
Ashburton Gooner
ashburton gooner - there are two extremes in this, you have diara, who has complained since day 1 about not getting first team football, and have demanded they leave as soon as possible, then you have defoe, who has been content to sit on the spurs bench for th last 3 seasons (or more) doing absolutly nothing, and saying he wants a new contract. The best players are the ones that can fight to get into the first team, and either make the grade when others get injurred, or leave after the summer - but that requires more patients than half a season, particually when you have not had too many injuries in that area, so he hasnt had too much of a chance to come in and show what he can do.
AG I think the frustration for many of us is that we think he could actually be the number 1 player ahead of Flamini and Gilberto in that role. All he had to do was wait for his chance (as Flamini did) and the shirt would have been his to lose. Silly boy with a short term attitude. If we had injuries to that area he could have played in the san siro...Fratton park aint bad tho.
The best way for Diarra to show his determination to play would have been to fight for his place. A player who bails after 4 months has no desire to do this and obviously does not think he has the ability to do so. Which is stupid, because he does. He's a good player but he'll never reach the heights because he just isn't very clever.
Little Dutch
The european championships are next summer & Diarra wanted to be part of it, therefore he couldn't sit around & wait indefinately. He made no secret of the fact he left Chelski for first team football, so why is everyone so surprised that he was upset at not playing? He may only be 22 but if he doesn't keep his place in the French national team now there is the possibility he will never get it back again.........As for Flamini waiting patiently for his chance, thats a total misconception. When he joined us he clearly wasn't good enough to be anywhere near the first team (Diarra on the other hand was), he also wasn't going to budge a player like Vieira out the side. He then filled in at left back before deciding he didn't want to play that position so refused to play there even when arsenal desperately needed someone to fill in. The only reason he didn't leave for Birmingham this past summer was due to the fact his contract was coming up & he clearly felt it was more beneficial to stay at arsenal & maybe get a bigger club than Birmingham interested & even if that didn't happen he would still have got a better contract elsewhere this coming summer due to the fact the club wouldn't have had to pay a transfer fee. I really think this is one transfer that will come back & haunt us over & over again. As for Flamini, I don't see him chomping at the bit to sign a new deal so maybe his commitment should be called into question.
Ashburton Gooner
Argh, we've come full circle. Guess I just wanted to say one last time: 1. We're not upset because Diarra wanted to play - (a) he very rightly wants to play, and (b) young players should have the confidence and ambition to want to play. It's rather the way he tried to get games, not by waiting and trusting the boss, but by mouthing off to the press, that we find childish and unprofessional. (c) He doesn't have the fight to try and displace Flamini and Gilberto. (d) Yes Euro 2008 and all that, understandable but he's still so young and has plenty of chances even if he did miss out this year. Like I said, if he wants to play for France just this summer, putting that ahead of a long-term career at a big club, you see where his commitment lies. 2. We're not questioning Flamini's "commitment" to the club because (a) he is fully entitled to negotiate the best possible deal for himself, just like any other employee in any organisation, (b) he's earned it with solid performances for years, not by sitting aorund and complaining for half a season, (c) how do we know the ball's not actually in the club's court now? Maybe he responded and it's now down to the club to revise an offer? We as outsiders don't even know if he's "stalling" or not and it's unfair to deprive him of the benefit of the doubt.
Lou the Gunneress
I'd also like to point out that Flamini never refused to play left back, he played there away at Fulham last season and he finished our game at Anfield there this season. All he said was that he didn't want it to be his permanent position, in the long term, that has proved much better for Arsenal. His performances have proved that, unlike Diarra, he had the confidence in himself to prove himself as a central midfielder, he has been vindicated for that, but continues to appear at full back when needed. Where this fallacy about him refusing to play there comes from I've absolutely no idea, but the facts prove it to be a total misconception. Personally, I wouldn't begrudge Flam if he did leave, he's seen out his contract and been uber professional, you can't ask for more than that. You're right that Flamini had nothing to lose this season, my opinion is that he thought, "I'll give it one last go and if it doesn't take, then I might get myself a good club by trying." There is nothing reproachable in that attitude at all, he's got ambition, like Diarra, but he has intelligence, something Diarra is sadly lacking, which will be an enormous detriment to his career.
Little Dutch
i only hope that good old harry can sort him out!
The middle two paragraphs pretty much paints an artistic picture of Diarra and his attitude. Could of been a legend at Arsenal, but let the midget leave, he'll soon regret it.
Any player that 'could have' been a legend at arsenal will do us fellas... You 'generally' all speak very highly of his talent and it's (obviuosly) gonna be easier to hold down a place in the Pompey team than it is in yours so it looks like we have a goodun ... Just hope Harry can sort out any attitude problems and that lassie gets a far run in the first time before the Africans come back.. but the sound of it once he has the shirt he'll be hard to displace..
I totally understand Diarra's thinking and although I dont like his attitude, wouldnt complain that he wants to leave. What really grates is that he has to stir it up in public when he could have easily gone to Arsene in private to do this. I hope he gets a right kick in the nuts and Flamini keeps him out of the French team.
Andy-bayor,Domenech seems to like the lad to even give him a place whilst being a bench warmer in Chelski. With this, I guess he will still get his chance unless Flamini performs extremely well in the remainder of the season.

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