Diarra Off? Flamini To Stay Or Go? Centre Midfield Options...Left Winger In?

Yesterday, for a brief part of coverage time, Sky Sports News broke some breaking news to fans.  It disapeared soon after and I have not heard much since but it still disapointed me and it seems he is off.  It stated that Arsenal and Portsmouth were in the middle of negotiations regarding the transfer of Lassana Diarra.  I have stated many times my views that Diarra must remain an Arsenal player.  The guy has shown excellent potential and has the opportunity to have a good career with us.


He is a very able back up to Flamini, who currently has a similar future, one that is up in the air.  He can legally speak to any club in Europe and sign a pre contract agreement to join them in the coming summer for the great fee of £0.  Flamini has revolutionised our midfield this season.  His sudden rise in playing status surprised most Gooners but there is no doubt he has played a large part in Arsenal’s ability to fight it out with the toughest of teams.

Since Vieira left Gilberto has taken up the mantle as the midfield “invisible wall” but right now only the first word of this phrase applies.  His form has dropped off alarmingly and right now he seems to breeze through games as he fails to really help the team in a meaningful way.  He has given the ball away more times so far this season than he has in the previous two; he has hardly played.  His passing accuracy last season was at a very high level but this season it is far closer to the other end of the scale.  Until Flamini came into the side, teams found it easy to bully us in matches as our midfield lacked bite.  Now we have it with two players but one is now off.

My Revenge On Ben Foster

The fee is supposed to be around £5million which means at least a £3million profit.  He cannot really be seen as a flop signing, he has simply not been here for long enough.  Oh well, move on and get Flamini signed up pronto!

Our central midfield players currently are Fabregas, Flamini, Denilson, GIlberto and Diaby.  I cannot see Gilberto being here past the end of the season.  It may however mean a chance for Diaby to play inside in his favoured position.  We know he can tackle hard and get up and down the pitch.  He adds presence to the side and I can see him being a real success in the centre of the park.  Many have compared him to Vieira but should we want him to fulfil this belief, then we must move him inside.

Diaby is not a left midfield player and Wenger must see asap that playing him there does not work.  He does not have the drive and potency of a player like Rosicky or Hleb, who as attacking midfielders, can adapt to palying out wide rather than in the “Bergkamp role”.  Diaby can be a suitable deputy to Flamini should he need a rest or get injured.  We need a real box to box player in our midfield and if Wenger sees potential in Diaby, he has to start using him in his rightful position.

Another experiment that has not exactly worked is the one where Eboue has been moved to right midfield.  He has not set the world alight this season as many hoped after such a promising performance in the Emirates Cup against Inter Milan.  His final ball has been largely poor and he has failed to hit the net this season.  Our midfield players need to get goals.  I have stressed the need to sign a winger in a previous article and a bit more news has developed, well rumours really.

The trialist Nikolai Dimitrov has apparently impressed and one user on an online forum assures fans he will sign within two weeks.  That promise will hopefully come to fruit and a left winger will sign soon.  Wenger has hopefully seen we lack a left sided player and is addressing this with a potential signing.  Whether this guy is an automatic fix I don’t know, I doubt it really as he will need time to settle to the way we play.

Another player linked is Andrei Arsharvin, the Russian captain and playmaker.  When I saw him against England in the two matches he was the best player on the Russian team and is similar to Rosicky and Hleb in playing style.  If Wenger wanted a player similar to these two to come into the squad, it could be the perfect signing.  Tomas and Alex will never get a huge amount of goals and there are questions over their fitness.  The guy is a talent and I would be pro this signing should it happen.

Andre Ayew is currently away on international duty for Ghana but the papers believe we will sign him for a fee of around £5million.  He would be a player for the future being only 18 but he is also a left winger.  At this age we have two players that can play here in Gibbs and Vela.  Wenger must be careful who he signs should he plump for a new left sided player.  I would prefer someone older with experience before the players mentioned above are ready to get into the team on a regular basis.

I leave you with Newcastle about to kick off against Stoke to see who we meet in the Fa Cup 4th round.  Newcastle have Keegan back but he will struggle to better his previous achievements in charge of the Geordies.  We will wait to see if it was a wise decision to bring him back.  It will mean a tougher match (or two)  come the end of January, of that I am sure.


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