Diaby: I Am More Toure than Song
Abou Diaby has said now that his injury troubles are finally over, he wants to emulate Manchester City’s box-to-box midfielder Yaya Toure.
The oft-injured Frenchman started Arsenal’s Premier League clash with Liverpool on Sunday and his marauding performance earned him the man of the match award.
Arsene Wenger’s decision of not replacing Alexandre Song this summer is a clear sign that he sees Diaby as the now-Barcelona midfielder’s replacement. But Diaby says that his playing style is more similar to that of City’s Toure rather than his former teammate Song’s.
“In our teams, Yaya Toure and me have very similar roles. I am not like Alex Song. We have many players who can take his place like Francis Coquelin or Mikel Arteta, who likes to play deep,” Diaby said before adding: “I want to get forward – that’s me. I have defensive duties as well so I need to have a good shape defensively and, as soon as we get the ball, go forward.”
Giroud Has Wenger’s Backing
Arsene Wenger has backed misfiring striker Olivier Giroud to find his goal scoring touch even though he has failed to take advantage of several presentable opportunities in the first three matches of the new season.
Two of Arsenal’s new boys (Lukas Podolski and Santi Cazorla) opened their account in the 2-0 win over Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday, and Giroud could have gotten off the mark too had he not shot Abou Diaby’s through ball wide of the target in the second half.
While some have already started questioning the France international’s credentials, Wenger says that the striker needs more time to adapt to English football.
“I am confident about him. Giroud is in an adaptation period. He has shown he is ready for a fight and I am sure he will adapt to the intensity of an English striker. Against Skrtel he discovered what the Premier League is all about,” said Wenger.
Wenger Hoping Diaby Survives International Duty
Abou Diaby’s marauding performance for Arsenal against Liverpool on Sunday has made him the man of the moment. While coach Arsene Wenger is happy to see the much-maligned midfielder regain full fitness, he is hoping that the 26-year-old comes out unscathed from his upcoming international duty with the French national team.
Talking about Diaby, the Arsenal boss said: “If he is fit and healthy, Diaby has the talent. You can see he is massive for us because he has everything you would want in a midfielder. I stood behind him because I know he is not only a fantastic player but a fantastic guy as well.
“He hasn’t played for a year but now he looks in good shape. There is more to come but let’s touch wood and hope it goes well in the next two or three weeks because he is going away with the national team. He will travel a lot and play two games in four days.”
Wilshere Nearing Full Fitness
Arsene Wenger has told the press that injured midfielder Jack Wilshere could be fully fit and back into the first-team fold within a month.
The young England international picked up an ankle injury in the summer of 2011 and has been on the sidelines ever since. But Wenger says that the midfielder’s condition has improved significantly and he could be seen back in action very soon.
“Wilshere is looking very good in training. It depends what you call close, but I would say in a month he should be starting to play again,” Wenger said.
Wenger’s Advice For Liverpool Owners
Arsene Wenger has said that Liverpool owners should keep faith with their under-pressure manager Brendan Rogers despite their poor league form.
The Reds’ start to the new season is their worst of the last fifty years, and a large contingent of their fans is already calling for their incumbent manager’s head.
But Wenger, whose own job was under threat last season after a heavy 8-2 defeat to Manchester United, is of the opinion that the Liverpool decision makers should give Rogers enough time and support to implement his blueprint at Anfield.
He said: “I faced this last year in the same period. He (Rodgers) has just arrived at this club. Of course the expectations are very high but you just want to tell people to keep confident and stand behind the man. When he comes to a big club it is important that he feels that people trust him. I am sure he will turn it round.”