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An Embarrassment of Riches

An Embarrassment of Riches

Reports persisting of Lassana Diarra about to sign for Arsenal, Gunnerblog reports he did not travel with rest of the Chelsea squad to Brondby.

Diarra plays as a defensive midfielder, or as a right back, at least he has under Maureen. We all know how well stocked we are for right backs right now, so it's inconceivable he'd be brought in in with this in mind, so that leaves central midfield.

Is another CM what we need?

As well as our first choice central pairing of Gilberto and Cesc, we are already additionally fortified with the likes of Diaby, Denilson and Alex Song, all vying for a one of the two (maybe three, given Wenger's recent formational tweakings...) central midfield berths in the side, we have allowed Fabrice Muamba to depart for pastures Brummie this summer.

Diaby and Denilson's qualities and potential are there for all to see, and whilst Alex Song has many critics amongst Gooners who do not appreciate him/think he's not good enough, when i had seen him playing whilst on loan for Charlton, he looked more than useful, and seemed to knit their midfield and defence together.

Alongside this, we have Rosicky and Hleb, both central midfield playmakers - indeed, this past weekend's inaugural Emirates Cup saw Alex Hleb plying his trade in his chosen central midfield playmaker berth, and to all intents and purposes, those in attendance and watching the games on tv say that he performed exceedingly well in this role.

I appreciate the fact that, as GilbertoSilver of Gunnerblog points out, he is seen as the reincarnation of Makalele in France, and for the national side, but where would that position him within our setup? Arsene has already made reference to the fact he is unlikely to bring in another striker, as we are not 'collecting them', and said the same sort of thing regarding a wideman, saying why bring in someone like Walcott who you believe has the potential to be world class, only to then block his route by signing a 24yr old winger, thus denying him the opportunity to develop into said beacon of footballing prowess. Well surely the same is even more true regarding central midfield at Arsenal. We can sign all the world-class potential youngsters in the world, but can only offer them so much playing time at once, and in midfield, we truly have a glut of them.

Say Diarra did sign, would one of young CMs go out on loan? Song did last time, would he do so again, and this time be joined by one of Diaby or Denilson? Surely Diarra wouldn't, the supposed reason he's signing is to gain more playing time, after all. And remember Arsene's own comments about ManUre and Fergie only being able to play 11 players at any one time.

Perhaps if this were to happen, it is because Arsene must see in him something he has come to the conclusion we don't have in the squad, a truly defensive midfield shield, which might mean he views Denilson and Diaby and more attacking, creative midfielders, and that we need this option to our game.

The question is, do we have enough options already?

Date:Tuesday July 31 2007
Time: 10:53AM


Midfield looks pretty crowded with 9 players already plus Eduardo and Walcott able to play wide (plus RvP if needed). Even playing 4-5-1 is going to leave us struggling to fit them all in unless we do get an abnormal load of injuries. You would think any more recruits would have to offer something really special.
31/07/2007 11:13:00
Unless Arsene plans to play Diarra on the flanks. Unlikely I know, but I cant see why we else need to sign Diarra now.
31/07/2007 11:21:00
My thoughts exactly Wingers ol'boy - but you didn't even mention the under-rated Flamini! The only possible reason I can see for buying this guy is to get him to start taking over from Gilberto in the next couple of years, giving him 8-9 games this season, 15 the next etc.
31/07/2007 11:33:00
Oh gawd, why do I keep on missing out the Flamster? this is the 2nd time I've done this, and I really rate the contributions he makes... Matty, if yo uare reading this (which I SERIOUSLY doubt...) apologies old bean. Yes, quite right indeed Andy, and yet another reason why the centre of midfield is enjoying such a wealth of talent... »»Arsene Knows««
31/07/2007 11:46:00
I agree with the fact that we have enough midfielders. But, how many of these surplus midfielders would you rate as defensive as Bert is? The answer is no one. Bert can not only defend, but he can provide support when the defenders are in trouble. Players like Diaby n Flamini can do the central midfield job well and then can make good runs. (Flamini's incredible goal ratio is a fine example to this!). But, they cant do both.. Where as, this guy can..
31/07/2007 11:53:00
This really confuses me, we don't need him at all. Denilson, Diaby and Cesc are all young and ridiculously good. I can only think that maybe Gilberto will be sold and that is perhaps why there is a delay in naming the new captain? I hope not, that would be a bad move from the manager.
Little Dutch
31/07/2007 12:00:00
I can't see him selling Bert LD, infact I reckon he will be another player who signs a couple of one year contracts and then leaves for free. In Denilson we have the most exciting central midfield prospect around (that's right even more exciting than Cesc IMO) and we also have Diaby to compliment the rest of the team. This rumour has no legs for me, especially if you consider the fact that Diarra wants to leave to get first team action and he wouldn't be any closer at Arsenal than he is at Chelsea, even further away infact!
31/07/2007 12:23:00
No using signing the likes of Denilson and Diaby and then buying Diarra. Mind you, not sure if Denilson and Cesc complement each other in the way that Gilberto complements Cesc. As ever, Wenger has the masterplan!
31/07/2007 12:42:00
Do we really believe Chelski would sell him to you guy's, I doubt it. And as you have all pointed out, where would he play. He wants 1st team football, and in my IMO is good enough.
31/07/2007 12:52:00
Diarra's a good player but I really don't think we need him. We've got more than enough cover in CM and we could even get rid of Song and still have enough players. The centre of the midfield is looking very crowded and if anything we need another winger, not a CM.
31/07/2007 12:54:00
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