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Diaby Dilemma

Since Diaby has played centrally over recent weeks he has played pretty well with some solid performances. The first half against Newcastle at the weekend wasn`t one of them. Hesitancy and uncertainty were the hallmarks of the first 45 minutes when his dithering on the ball and some poor decisions lost possession.

Wenger is not moved to criticise his players publicly but his comments on Diaby`s performance came as close to criticism as you are likely to hear from him.

"In the first half I was not always happy with his performance. There was not a lot wrong but our positioning in the middle was not right some of the time. We were on the back foot and did not protect our defence" adding "But in the second half he did well."

Indeed Diaby`s second half performance was marked by a good goal. It`s tempting to think that at 22 Diaby should be further forward than he sometimes appears to be but injuries have restricted his appearances over the last couple of seasons to the extent that in terms of playing time prior to this season he has completed the equivalent of just 16 Premier League matches in two seasons - much of which was spent playing out wide. So far this season he has almost as much playing time as the last two combined.

He is often likened to Vieira in terms of physical stature which Wenger acknowledges.

"Abou has power coming through the middle of the park and he showed that on the goal" he said "That is interesting for me. I feel there are similarities with Vieira and I feel he is growing at the moment."

Diaby tackles well winning around 75% which is amongst the best of our midfield. With good interception and pass completion rates he has the quality to perform well yet it is hard for supporters to have the tolerance to accept even a poor half in what has been such a frustrating season. At the same time our Champions League spot is still not assured so every performance has to be consistently good.

Fabregas is due back pretty soon. In fact Wenger considers that he may be available for our next Premier League fixture on April 4th saying "Cesc should be fit in two weeks, he is back in full training now and during the international break he has two weeks to sharpen up. He should be available again for the game against Manchester City."

Where does that leave Diaby? It`s hard to think that Denilson, almost ever present this season will be the one to give way, yet if Diaby is to develop to a level of consistency that would reward his quality he needs playing time. A Diaby/Fabregas pairing has it`s temptations but maybe time for experimentation is a little short in what remains of this season.



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The Journalist

Writer: Amos Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday March 23 2009

Time: 11:28AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Jekyll an Hyde, never know which one's gonna turn up
shewore
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23/03/2009 11:34:00

Jekyll an Hyde, never know which one's gonna turn up
shewore
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23/03/2009 11:34:00

Cant see Wenger going with Diaby and Fabregas as they both like to get forward. But Im a big fan of Diaby, poor first half but was very good after his goal, which only he could score for us.
Lately Denilson, Song and Diaby have all had starts and sub appearances. With the amount of games we have in all comps though and Cesc being out for so long, I reckon Diaby will still get a few games when he's back. I hope so anyway.
ian7
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23/03/2009 11:39:00

Cant see Wenger going with Diaby and Fabregas as they both like to get forward. But Im a big fan of Diaby, poor first half but was very good after his goal, which only he could score for us.
Lately Denilson, Song and Diaby have all had starts and sub appearances. With the amount of games we have in all comps though and Cesc being out for so long, I reckon Diaby will still get a few games when he's back. I hope so anyway.
ian7
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23/03/2009 11:39:00

Diaby does not deserrve to start. Denilson will start. The only position I would play Diaby is "in the hole".
Tom14
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23/03/2009 11:42:00

Diaby does not deserrve to start. Denilson will start. The only position I would play Diaby is "in the hole".
Tom14
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23/03/2009 11:42:00

The frustration with Diaby is that he is not ironing out his weaknesses. He obviously has talent, but the infuriating need he has to hold onto the ball for at least five seconds before releasing, he'll beat three players in the manner Vieira use to in tight situations, emerge with the ball, and then ***** it all up by trying to beat another player needlessly. He should have learned from this by now. I also think his work rate is not close to good enough at times and I pointed out to my friend on Saturday exactly what Wenger has about him not protecting the defence. There was a point in the first half when Newcastle were attacking, and Diaby was in advance of Arshavin, Nasri and van Persie. These are all aspects of his game he can iron out but he does not seem willing to do so.
Little Dutch
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23/03/2009 12:02:00

The frustration with Diaby is that he is not ironing out his weaknesses. He obviously has talent, but the infuriating need he has to hold onto the ball for at least five seconds before releasing, he'll beat three players in the manner Vieira use to in tight situations, emerge with the ball, and then ***** it all up by trying to beat another player needlessly. He should have learned from this by now. I also think his work rate is not close to good enough at times and I pointed out to my friend on Saturday exactly what Wenger has about him not protecting the defence. There was a point in the first half when Newcastle were attacking, and Diaby was in advance of Arshavin, Nasri and van Persie. These are all aspects of his game he can iron out but he does not seem willing to do so.
Little Dutch
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23/03/2009 12:02:00

even in the last 2 games that we won vs Newcastle and hull, he didn't impress me.
fcdematthew
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23/03/2009 12:45:00

even in the last 2 games that we won vs Newcastle and hull, he didn't impress me.
fcdematthew
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23/03/2009 12:45:00

I agree with most of the comments, Denilson has been by far the most consistent performer this season and has deserved a starting place alongside Fab4 when he comes back. He has shown more positional discipline and sense as the season has progressed, although imo he is sometimes too conservative in hisgame. Song and Diaby are very talented players but too inconsistent. Diaby sometimes looks as if he couldn't give a rat's arse and I still can't stomach Song's cameo against sp*rs at home after he came on at 4-2 with a huge grin on his face thinking whatever the ***** he was thinking. It obviously wasn't about positioning. If we manage to hold on to this midfield for another couple of years, with the additions of Ramsey, Merida and one from Coquelin/Frimpong, I don't see Wenger buying anyone in that position for years to come.
G4L
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23/03/2009 13:00:00

I agree with most of the comments, Denilson has been by far the most consistent performer this season and has deserved a starting place alongside Fab4 when he comes back. He has shown more positional discipline and sense as the season has progressed, although imo he is sometimes too conservative in hisgame. Song and Diaby are very talented players but too inconsistent. Diaby sometimes looks as if he couldn't give a rat's arse and I still can't stomach Song's cameo against sp*rs at home after he came on at 4-2 with a huge grin on his face thinking whatever the ***** he was thinking. It obviously wasn't about positioning. If we manage to hold on to this midfield for another couple of years, with the additions of Ramsey, Merida and one from Coquelin/Frimpong, I don't see Wenger buying anyone in that position for years to come.
G4L
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23/03/2009 13:00:00

Agreed guys. I'm all for giving Den a well-deserved extended run of games after Cesc comes back to see how they work together. Like Diaby, Den's also by nature an attack-minded midfielder (as in his personal preference and how he sees himself). But he's intelligent, disciplined and willing enough to drop deep, put in tackles (effective ones may I add, unlike Diaby's sometimes), intercept the opponents' passes and place a simple pass forward to the more creative guys. He's that much easier to work with if you look at it from AA/Nasri/RvP/Bendter's perspective. I like Diaby too but I'm afraid he's a bit of a luxury player who'd give us a fantastic performance or two when things are going our way. But if you look at a whole season with ups and downs, Den's the man that gives us the work rate, effectiveness and character required to succeed.
GoonerLou
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23/03/2009 13:14:00

Agreed guys. I'm all for giving Den a well-deserved extended run of games after Cesc comes back to see how they work together. Like Diaby, Den's also by nature an attack-minded midfielder (as in his personal preference and how he sees himself). But he's intelligent, disciplined and willing enough to drop deep, put in tackles (effective ones may I add, unlike Diaby's sometimes), intercept the opponents' passes and place a simple pass forward to the more creative guys. He's that much easier to work with if you look at it from AA/Nasri/RvP/Bendter's perspective. I like Diaby too but I'm afraid he's a bit of a luxury player who'd give us a fantastic performance or two when things are going our way. But if you look at a whole season with ups and downs, Den's the man that gives us the work rate, effectiveness and character required to succeed.
GoonerLou
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23/03/2009 13:14:00

Lou, I don't actually think that Denilson is naturally an AM. I think all players would rather attack than defend, but he knows he is not up to scratch for a top class team in thats ense. But his brain is better than most footballers and the way he naturally plays fits that DM role, where he can attack and defend.
Tom14
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23/03/2009 16:02:00

Lou, I don't actually think that Denilson is naturally an AM. I think all players would rather attack than defend, but he knows he is not up to scratch for a top class team in thats ense. But his brain is better than most footballers and the way he naturally plays fits that DM role, where he can attack and defend.
Tom14
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23/03/2009 16:02:00

Thats the good thing about this improved Denilson, he's can defend and attack. For example, against Blackburn the other week he played really well in midfield and pretty much bossed it. Then he flicks the ball over Diouf's head like Vieira used to, played a one-two with Song and played the perfect through ball to Arshavin who went and scored. I cant wait to see THIS Denilson with Cesc, with Song giving Denilson a rest now and then and Diaby giving Cesc a rest now and then.
ian7
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23/03/2009 16:16:00

Thats the good thing about this improved Denilson, he's can defend and attack. For example, against Blackburn the other week he played really well in midfield and pretty much bossed it. Then he flicks the ball over Diouf's head like Vieira used to, played a one-two with Song and played the perfect through ball to Arshavin who went and scored. I cant wait to see THIS Denilson with Cesc, with Song giving Denilson a rest now and then and Diaby giving Cesc a rest now and then.
ian7
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23/03/2009 16:16:00

Diaby has half Viera's work ethic, but twice his technique, it is a tough dilema that is for sure.
LondonGooner
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23/03/2009 19:20:00

Diaby has half Viera's work ethic, but twice his technique, it is a tough dilema that is for sure.
LondonGooner
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23/03/2009 19:20:00

Is touch involved in technique? Not a dilemma at all. Sell him.
Tom14
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23/03/2009 19:28:00

Is touch involved in technique? Not a dilemma at all. Sell him.
Tom14
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23/03/2009 19:28:00

Actually I think Diaby & Cesc can work in mid field, but only in a 5 man mid field, along with Denilson. With Nasri & Theo/Eboue for company out wide and a striker up front, it might well be the formation that Wenger decides to play agaiinst Villareal away. However, I dont see this formation used frequently. The comments all sum up our frustrations at Diaby. LDs observation about him holding on are spot on, and incredibly frustrating. I tipped this to be the make or break season for Diaby, and he clearly has not made it. However, players have frustrated one sesaon, only to flourish in the next. So, not all hope is lost for Diaby, as far as I'm concerned. He cannot partner Cesc in a 4 man mid field, but he can be a useful squad player, to give Cesc a breather.
prits
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23/03/2009 19:39:00

Actually I think Diaby & Cesc can work in mid field, but only in a 5 man mid field, along with Denilson. With Nasri & Theo/Eboue for company out wide and a striker up front, it might well be the formation that Wenger decides to play agaiinst Villareal away. However, I dont see this formation used frequently. The comments all sum up our frustrations at Diaby. LDs observation about him holding on are spot on, and incredibly frustrating. I tipped this to be the make or break season for Diaby, and he clearly has not made it. However, players have frustrated one sesaon, only to flourish in the next. So, not all hope is lost for Diaby, as far as I'm concerned. He cannot partner Cesc in a 4 man mid field, but he can be a useful squad player, to give Cesc a breather.
prits
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23/03/2009 19:39:00

I think if we have a 451, it is more likely that Nasri would be moved inside with Theo, Rosicky, Eboue or even Diaby on the wing.
Tom14
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23/03/2009 19:51:00

I think if we have a 451, it is more likely that Nasri would be moved inside with Theo, Rosicky, Eboue or even Diaby on the wing.
Tom14
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23/03/2009 19:51:00

Tomf that's not what I meant - that Den's a natural AM. I've been saying he's a natural box-to-box kind of guy who does both naturally. My real point rather is: it takes a lot of discipline, willingness and intelligence for a young boy - who'd enjoy attacking more than defending (the case for both Diaby and Den) - to play further back and let other midfielders shine. But I see a lot more of those qualities in Den than Diaby. So my point was actually what you guys say - Den is mentally more mature and has the better all-round game to play in the CM role now (CM/DM doesn't really matter that much).
GoonerLou
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23/03/2009 20:12:00

Tomf that's not what I meant - that Den's a natural AM. I've been saying he's a natural box-to-box kind of guy who does both naturally. My real point rather is: it takes a lot of discipline, willingness and intelligence for a young boy - who'd enjoy attacking more than defending (the case for both Diaby and Den) - to play further back and let other midfielders shine. But I see a lot more of those qualities in Den than Diaby. So my point was actually what you guys say - Den is mentally more mature and has the better all-round game to play in the CM role now (CM/DM doesn't really matter that much).
GoonerLou
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23/03/2009 20:12:00

My argument is that he does not actuallt prefer to attack. I think he likes his role of a DM more than an AM.
Tom14
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23/03/2009 20:14:00

My argument is that he does not actuallt prefer to attack. I think he likes his role of a DM more than an AM.
Tom14
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23/03/2009 20:14:00

I also agree with Prits that Diaby and Cesc could both play in a 5-man midfield, but we need Den to be there to give a better balance. Which brings me back to the other point I made above - Den works fine with almost any midfield permutation between Nasri, AA, Cesc, Theo, Eboue, Song, Diaby, Vela, Ramsey and even Bendtner. The same can't be said about Diaby because of reasons mentioned already - he takes much longer to pick a pass, sometimes his decision making isn't ideal, his defensive skills are improving but still needs to be worked on.
GoonerLou
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23/03/2009 20:18:00

I also agree with Prits that Diaby and Cesc could both play in a 5-man midfield, but we need Den to be there to give a better balance. Which brings me back to the other point I made above - Den works fine with almost any midfield permutation between Nasri, AA, Cesc, Theo, Eboue, Song, Diaby, Vela, Ramsey and even Bendtner. The same can't be said about Diaby because of reasons mentioned already - he takes much longer to pick a pass, sometimes his decision making isn't ideal, his defensive skills are improving but still needs to be worked on.
GoonerLou
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23/03/2009 20:18:00

He told you Tomf?
GoonerLou
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23/03/2009 20:19:00

He told you Tomf?
GoonerLou
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23/03/2009 20:19:00

I remember an interview in summer or at the start of this season in which Den said he did prefer to play a creative role in midfield but he'd be just happy to get games and play anywhere the boss told him to. Don't recall anything about him changing his mind, but I'm sure he's very happy with the playing time he gets now, regardless of the work nature. Again, that shows his willingness to work for the team and level of maturity, something I'm not sure of when it comes to Diaby. That again was my point. Sorry guys to bore you with the paraphrasing.
GoonerLou
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23/03/2009 20:23:00

I remember an interview in summer or at the start of this season in which Den said he did prefer to play a creative role in midfield but he'd be just happy to get games and play anywhere the boss told him to. Don't recall anything about him changing his mind, but I'm sure he's very happy with the playing time he gets now, regardless of the work nature. Again, that shows his willingness to work for the team and level of maturity, something I'm not sure of when it comes to Diaby. That again was my point. Sorry guys to bore you with the paraphrasing.
GoonerLou
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23/03/2009 20:23:00

Interviews can tell us lots of lies. Denilson enjoys this role, he may or may not like it better than being an AM, we don't really know for sure, but he knows that it is the only position that will allow him to be a first choice player for Arsenal and Brazil because he is not quite good enough at the Cescy stuff.
Tom14
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23/03/2009 20:36:00

Interviews can tell us lots of lies. Denilson enjoys this role, he may or may not like it better than being an AM, we don't really know for sure, but he knows that it is the only position that will allow him to be a first choice player for Arsenal and Brazil because he is not quite good enough at the Cescy stuff.
Tom14
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23/03/2009 20:36:00

-_- Some more paraphrasing of the same point eh? lol
GoonerLou
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23/03/2009 20:38:00

-_- Some more paraphrasing of the same point eh? lol
GoonerLou
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23/03/2009 20:38:00

Unlike you ;-)
Tom14
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23/03/2009 21:11:00

Unlike you ;-)
Tom14
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23/03/2009 21:11:00

lol Tom you're doing the same thing here! Denilson Denilson bloody Denilson, anything to be right. ""I remember an interview in summer or at the start of this season in which Den said he did prefer to play a creative role in midfield"" answered with ""Interviews can tell us lots of lies."" lol mate you crack me up
ian7
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23/03/2009 22:28:00

lol Tom you're doing the same thing here! Denilson Denilson bloody Denilson, anything to be right. ""I remember an interview in summer or at the start of this season in which Den said he did prefer to play a creative role in midfield"" answered with ""Interviews can tell us lots of lies."" lol mate you crack me up
ian7
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23/03/2009 22:28:00

In the absence of Cesc, Diaby has some of that x-factor that Song and Denilson lack. Song and Denilson can do the simple things well, but can't break down a packed defence often enough with a touch of magic. Cesc and Diaby can. Diaby does need someone along side him who can keep things tidy and simple, at least at this point in his career. That's why he works well with Denislon but the idea of a Cesc-Diaby partnership is a big question mark, unfortunately. He's probably gonna be the back-up to Cesc at best.
krismon1
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23/03/2009 23:20:00

In the absence of Cesc, Diaby has some of that x-factor that Song and Denilson lack. Song and Denilson can do the simple things well, but can't break down a packed defence often enough with a touch of magic. Cesc and Diaby can. Diaby does need someone along side him who can keep things tidy and simple, at least at this point in his career. That's why he works well with Denislon but the idea of a Cesc-Diaby partnership is a big question mark, unfortunately. He's probably gonna be the back-up to Cesc at best.
krismon1
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23/03/2009 23:20:00

ian7, it is the truth. Interviews tell a lot of lies. I think you learn more from watching Denilson crash into a player and position himself well on a football pitch, rather than what he says to a camera, knowing full well that Arsenal fans will read it.
Tom14
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24/03/2009 14:38:00

ian7, it is the truth. Interviews tell a lot of lies. I think you learn more from watching Denilson crash into a player and position himself well on a football pitch, rather than what he says to a camera, knowing full well that Arsenal fans will read it.
Tom14
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24/03/2009 14:38:00

haha whatever tom
ian7
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24/03/2009 15:42:00

haha whatever tom
ian7
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24/03/2009 15:42:00

LOL@Tom.
Gunnerman
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24/03/2009 16:19:00

LOL@Tom.
Gunnerman
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24/03/2009 16:19:00

How can anyone disagree with that? Wenger himself has said many a time that you see real personality and character on the pitch, anyone can act off it.
Tom14
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24/03/2009 17:02:00

How can anyone disagree with that? Wenger himself has said many a time that you see real personality and character on the pitch, anyone can act off it.
Tom14
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24/03/2009 17:02:00

If Diaby can find consistantly better end product he will be a monster of a player.With most great players that comes with experience.The goal against Newcastle said a lot for me. I don't care how we set up , I just want to see this guy on the pitch.
radarman
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24/03/2009 18:58:00

If Diaby can find consistantly better end product he will be a monster of a player.With most great players that comes with experience.The goal against Newcastle said a lot for me. I don't care how we set up , I just want to see this guy on the pitch.
radarman
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24/03/2009 18:58:00

Well, he won't play. Shame...
Tom14
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24/03/2009 20:11:00

Well, he won't play. Shame...
Tom14
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24/03/2009 20:11:00

I wouldn't bet on that...
radarman
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24/03/2009 21:10:00

I wouldn't bet on that...
radarman
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24/03/2009 21:10:00

It's sure is a dilemma, but for me Diaby blows Hot and Cold, sometimes in the course of game. So I'll say no to an automatic start for the time being.
hackneyval
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24/03/2009 22:28:00

It's sure is a dilemma, but for me Diaby blows Hot and Cold, sometimes in the course of game. So I'll say no to an automatic start for the time being.
hackneyval
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24/03/2009 22:28:00

rada, he is a talented player who pretty much every Arsenal fan rates at a certain level, but he is not going to be in the first team, or even on the bench, when/if we have a fully fit first team.
Tom14
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25/03/2009 07:09:00

rada, he is a talented player who pretty much every Arsenal fan rates at a certain level, but he is not going to be in the first team, or even on the bench, when/if we have a fully fit first team.
Tom14
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25/03/2009 07:09:00

I wouldn't bet on that either....
radarman
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25/03/2009 16:34:00

I wouldn't bet on that either....
radarman
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25/03/2009 16:34:00

I don't see how a player can go from featuring in all but 3 of the last 22 games, to not even on the bench. As for blowing hot and cold...RVP,Bendtner,Ade,Denilson..... need I go on ?
radarman
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25/03/2009 16:54:00

I don't see how a player can go from featuring in all but 3 of the last 22 games, to not even on the bench. As for blowing hot and cold...RVP,Bendtner,Ade,Denilson..... need I go on ?
radarman
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25/03/2009 16:54:00

You are surely not classing Diaby as a first choice player?
Tom14
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25/03/2009 19:28:00

You are surely not classing Diaby as a first choice player?
Tom14
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25/03/2009 19:28:00

I am not saying that...but then I totally disagree that he will never be involved if we have all our players back.
radarman
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25/03/2009 21:14:00

I am not saying that...but then I totally disagree that he will never be involved if we have all our players back.
radarman
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25/03/2009 21:14:00

I did not say he will never be involved, but he would not have a chance of making the first team with all of our top players back.
Tom14
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26/03/2009 11:00:00

I did not say he will never be involved, but he would not have a chance of making the first team with all of our top players back.
Tom14
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26/03/2009 11:00:00

Really ?..perhaps you should read your post again....here it is... "rada, he is a talented player who pretty much every Arsenal fan rates at a certain level, but he is not going to be in the first team, or even on the bench, when/if we have a fully fit first team"....
radarman
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26/03/2009 11:50:00

Really ?..perhaps you should read your post again....here it is... "rada, he is a talented player who pretty much every Arsenal fan rates at a certain level, but he is not going to be in the first team, or even on the bench, when/if we have a fully fit first team"....
radarman
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26/03/2009 11:50:00

I think that pretty much means you think he won't be involved in any capacity....after all there is only the first team or the bench lol !!...
radarman
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26/03/2009 11:56:00

I think that pretty much means you think he won't be involved in any capacity....after all there is only the first team or the bench lol !!...
radarman
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26/03/2009 11:56:00

Would he make the bench? My first team bench would be this: Fanianski, Djourou, Eboue, Song, Rosicky, Walcott and Bendtner. Diaby is the next down, after Vela.
Tom14
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26/03/2009 17:57:00

Would he make the bench? My first team bench would be this: Fanianski, Djourou, Eboue, Song, Rosicky, Walcott and Bendtner. Diaby is the next down, after Vela.
Tom14
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26/03/2009 17:57:00

Thank god for rotation then....
radarman
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26/03/2009 20:32:00

Thank god for rotation then....
radarman
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26/03/2009 20:32:00

No Silvestre ?...
radarman
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26/03/2009 20:41:00

No Silvestre ?...
radarman
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26/03/2009 20:41:00

Who's your Strikers cos it's either RVP,Ade or Eduardo that don't make the bench ?........................interesting .....
radarman
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26/03/2009 20:44:00

Who's your Strikers cos it's either RVP,Ade or Eduardo that don't make the bench ?........................interesting .....
radarman
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26/03/2009 20:44:00

Ade is not on the bench. A hamstring does not take sooooo long to recover from surely? And I would not have him in the team. He as been deeply un-impressing. But I would consider a Vela - Ade swap.
Tom14
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27/03/2009 16:59:00

Ade is not on the bench. A hamstring does not take sooooo long to recover from surely? And I would not have him in the team. He as been deeply un-impressing. But I would consider a Vela - Ade swap.
Tom14
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27/03/2009 16:59:00

Ok so Ade out Vela in. So its either RVP or Eduardo to partner....somehow I can't see Diaby , Silvestre, RVP/Eduardo all miising out completely when Song, Djourou and Eboue and even Bendtner are all on the bench.
radarman
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28/03/2009 13:18:00

Ok so Ade out Vela in. So its either RVP or Eduardo to partner....somehow I can't see Diaby , Silvestre, RVP/Eduardo all miising out completely when Song, Djourou and Eboue and even Bendtner are all on the bench.
radarman
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28/03/2009 13:18:00

No, van Persie and Eduardo are in the first team. Almunia; Sagna Toure Gallas Clichy; Arshavin Denilson Fabregas Nasri; van Persie Eduardo.
Tom14
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28/03/2009 13:35:00

No, van Persie and Eduardo are in the first team. Almunia; Sagna Toure Gallas Clichy; Arshavin Denilson Fabregas Nasri; van Persie Eduardo.
Tom14
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28/03/2009 13:35:00

So now we have Adebayor,Vela,Diaby and Silvestre all not even making the bench ?...mmm..not sure about that either.
radarman
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28/03/2009 22:37:00

So now we have Adebayor,Vela,Diaby and Silvestre all not even making the bench ?...mmm..not sure about that either.
radarman
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28/03/2009 22:37:00

 

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