Down goes Diaby

I wasn’t going to do a blog today because A) there’s no evidence that the Fabregas quote about being tapped up is real (it’s been picked up but not widely AND Arsenal are being quiet on the topic) B) I got up late, owing to the fact that I now put in 14 hour days between work/school on Mondays and Wednesdays and C) because there should have been fuck all to report.

Unfortunately, there isn’t fuck all to report as Abou Diaby has picked up a hip injury during training for France. My regular readers know how highly I rated Diaby over the last few weeks, going so far as to say that he was the key ingredient to our midfield success lately. So, even with Cesc coming back I imagined Diaby would keep a starting spot. Especially with Arsene hailing Diaby as the new Vieira. In my dreams it would have been Cesc/Diaby in the “holding/box-to-box” spot and Arshavin in front of them. Now it looks like we’re back to defensive midfielder by committee for a few weeks.

No news on Bendtner and whether his national team will see fit to let the guy see the doctors on the team that pay his salary. Robin van Persie, on the other hand, has been flown back to London to have his groin looked at <insert joke>.

I would say “knock on wood” that no one else picks up an injury but each time I’ve said that we’ve picked up another so now I’m going with a more traditional English phrase: touch wood.

I’ll be touching wood all day today. Hey if that’s what it takes to keep Arsenal’s players safe, I’m willing to make that sacrifice, are you?

11 Comments on Down goes Diaby

  1. So right, this is terrible, newcastle result was a good one…. thats 1st/2nd longest journey the lads must make in league fixture so to come away 1-3 was terrific… had fans looking forward to a revengeful attack on the blues… now a little wary… maybe song will come through who knows.

  2. Depending on duration of injury its devastating. I think in order to win one of the trophies we needed cesc back and the continuity of Diaby’s rise. We needed time for them to gell together.

    On the other hand, maybe Song or Denilson could do it. This is a little optimistic though I feel. Could we play Nasri there with Fab? Very creative option but lacks power and tracking back, although Nasri has come out and said he is prepared to play box to box.

    Either way, losing Diaby is a blow.

  3. touch wood! hahahaha.that is awesome..is it really an “English phrase”?.hahah. hope Van P and Diaby are not serious injuries..cant lose RVP now…its crucial times!

  4. To hell with Internationals now. Why is it that when club players put on their nation’s jerseys they get injured, whereas they’ve been playing for 90 minutes week in, week out for their club. What’s the injury count now? 4 or so? Diaby, RVP, Arshavin supposedly has a slight knock I hear, Nicky B – am I missing anyone? There’s still mid-week WCQ to play too. The non-club med teams must be all morons to have OUR players sustaining so many injuries.

  5. Tim,
    Thanks for the update,
    I dont understand how you think it could work having cesc or diaby in midfield with arshavin,
    that would wayy too attack minded

    ive read many others saying similar things when arshavin was on his way
    something like: nasri cesc rosicky theo, as their starting midfield

    I know it holds no relevance to reality, as wenger would never pick a side like that, but i just dont understand why people think such an attacking system would work
    ive never seen a side with no reasonably defence-minded midfielder in their 11 be successful
    it needs balance
    imo we need either denilson or song from our current pick of players to play alongside cesc or diaby
    and those are our 4 main CMs
    imho arshavin is better as a winger, although im happy to be proven wrong on this, but ive only ever seen him play really well out wide (not that ive seen THAT much of him)

    sorry for the semi-rant, ive jsut heard this so often in articles like this and dont understand it
    i agree with the article tho, in that diaby will be a bit of a miss and has been playing well recently
    i really like the finishing ability he brings to the side – when he had that chance last match, i knew he would score (cant say that of many arsenal players)

  6. Davi,

    You raise some good points and it could just be a matter of interpretation. I see Cesc and Diaby as combination players in a system that basically plays defense through possession. Which is to say that the Arsenal system is largely attack minded and relies on a combination of possession and tracking back along with reading the game properly for defense. So, when Cesc goes forward, Diaby stays back, when Clichy goes forward, Sagna stays back and vice-versa.

    At the beginning of the season this caused me much consternation: seeing Song go forward and Denilson stay back drove me nuts.

    But that’s the system and I totally see Cesc and Diaby able to handle those duties. Both of them were originally slated to be defensive midfielders and I still remember Cesc’s game against Vieira. So, I have no doubt that Cesc can do it and given his performances of late, Diaby seemed capable as well.

    I would say “we’ll have to wait and see” but I’m worried we’ll never get a chance because he’s injured so often.

  7. In theory it’s not exactly the first time we’ve had similar players doing close to what has been proposed. However, the formation depends largely on Diaby’s motivation to do a large amount of workhorse duties in the midfield. You could argue the Vieira/Edu paradigm where both players were forward thinking but Edu did quite a bit of work when he made appearances beside Vieira in order to give Vieira more freedom and Edu picked his moments to make advances into the attack. The formation relies on exceptionally intelligent and experienced players to pull it off though and both players need to possess a deft touch and finesse because a turnover could leave the defense with no midfield cover. Vieira and Edu both had this and my jury is still out on Diaby really possessing the technical skill to pull it off as I’ve seen him give away his fair share of possession for no reason whatsoever. His saving grace is his determination in the few tackles he does make so perhaps he could suit such a system beside Cesc with Nasri and Arshavin insterchanging on the flanks. However, if this system were to be tested it would have to be in a game where we are comfortably up 3 or 4 goals or against less skilled opponents.

  8. i just dont understand how so many players get injured in practice during international games. what the hell are they doing in practice? are they sparring??

    it will be interesting to see who partners cesc. denilson will probably get the first shot. song has improved some ways too, so he will probably get a chance too at some point. hopefully diaby continues to work on the defensive side of his game because that could be immense for us but as long as his passing remains a liability, its tough for me to imagine him partnering cesc on a regular basis.

  9. any chance that the rvp injury is a fabrication? holland doesn’t need him at all for this next game, they’re basically already qualified, and snezder(sp?) was just bitching about not getting to play enough, so maybe this is all being fudged in order to keep everybody happy and keep rvp healthy going back into the league? just like i think the theo knee injury in training was very conveniently timed, so probably also made up. am i being too optimistic?

    g

  10. geraldino,

    sometimes players will fake injuries but with Theo and RvP I don’t think that’s the case: they both really love playing for their national teams, Theo went so far as to publicly say he wanted to play for the U21 team.

    so, I think they are real.

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