Wenger: Vieira-esque Diaby an important piece in the puzzle


Arsene Wenger has backed Abou Diaby to rise like a phoenix from the flames by putting his injury nightmare behind him in a similar manner to Robin van Persie.

The French midfielder has, through no fault of his own, become the butt of many a joke on the terraces and in the media having developed a knack for being constantly 2-3 weeks away from fitness. However, despite his horrific fitness record, the boss still harbours hopes that the former-Auxerre man can come good for the Gunners

Signed in the same transfer January window as Theo Walcott and Emmanuel Adebayor, the 26-year-old has only managed 129 starts over the course of eight seasons but as Wenger admitted; he’s still central to Arsenal’s fluidity in the middle of the pitch.

“Abou Diaby, with the way we have structured the team, he is an important piece of the puzzle because he adds qualities that we need in the middle of the park,” Wenger told his weekly press conference.

“He has power and long strides, he’s the closest to Patrick Vieira in his style that we have seen for a long time.”

Asked about Diaby’s long-term viability, Wenger paid lip service to the injury travails which for so long inflicted our Judas ex-captain but now seem to have magically disappeared.

“I faced exactly the same questions with Van Persie and honestly I can’t tell you. For a while everybody thought Van Persie would never play a season but in the last years he played 54 to 55 games.

“They [players] can get over this cycle but you always have a little fear that another injury can come in[to play]. We had that for a long time with Van Persie and he suddenly got over it. I hope that Diaby will do the same.”

Having stated earlier in the week that he believes in the strength in depth of his squad (hmm…), Wenger underlined that one area of his roster that he would not be strengthening during the transfer window was midfield.

Dismissing a spurious link with Frank Lampard, he also highlighted that even without Mikel Arteta and Tomas Rosicky in his starting line-up against Swansea last night he still had young prospects on the bench including Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who he foresess playing in a more central role in years to come.

“No [we won’t try to sign Lampard]. We have a young midfield. Ramsey did not start against Swansea. Chamberlain did not start the game, when time goes on he will become a central midfielder as well. We have what we need in the middle of the park.”

Arseblog News is all for Diaby following RVP’s lead…you know, so long as it doesn’t eventually entail him becoming a backstabber / turncoat / quisling / betrayer / defector / deserter / quisling.*

(*Delete as you wish)


  1. would be happy were Diaby to stay fit and fulfill his potential as long as he didn’t do that whole being a cunt bit afterwards like RVP.

    Thumb up 75 Thumb down 9

      • They have sold that cunt, he is gone. So lets stop talking about that cunt shall we?! He left for manure, he is a traitor manure cunt and the biggest disgrace ever to wear red and white, together with some other cunts i won’t even be mentioning by names.

        Lets stop talking about “it”

        Thumb up 50 Thumb down 15

    • In all honesty – i’d rather have him turn into cunt after 18 months of once in a life time performances than watch him struggle with fitness, play every one in three or four games, whilst still being an excuse not to strenghten the midfield.
      And I say this being a massive Diaby fan.

      Thumb up 63 Thumb down 8

      • Really? So what you’re saying is, you would prefer to see him have a great, injury free season and a half like Van Persie and move on to Manure to see them prosper from our input, persistence and patience over close to a decade?

        Thumb up 7 Thumb down 5

      • @TomJ – Yeah, i would sure rather have a good player for a 18 months than not have him at all, isn’t that obvious?
        @Anon – Not mutually exclusive of course. I hope it’s the case, big time. Big question mark too, especially the ‘staying fit’ part.

        Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

      • I’m surprised that nobody has mentioned this yet, but I’d be really fucking angry if Diaby fucked off somewhere else once he got fully fit.

        Thumb up 113 Thumb down 2

    • A part of me dies inside every time Wenger talks about the integral contribution of Diaby. It just won’t happen, and yet again, we have him making excuses for not strengthening the squad. Diaby will never, ever play more than a handful of games in each season. It’s completely wishful thinking to say otherwise.

      If Wenger thinks Diaby is an important piece in the puzzle, then be prepared for a squad always missing that final piece.

      Thumb up 9 Thumb down 13

      • I see your point, but then, you probably said the same thing about Van Persie, til he became our most important player, then you had his name tattoo’d on your bum..

        Have some faith in a guy trying to get over his injury problems. He is class. Judging by his performances this season when he has been fit, i’d say we’d be stupid not to see if he can make it.

        Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

  2. I/we have never doubted his skill but we need back up for him and striker options we can use for different clubs.

    Cant help thinking that we are limping through till we get the new sponsorship money.

    Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  3. At last Wenger admits that we need a holding midfielder. But I am dumbstruck as to why he will keep faith with a player that gets injured by taking a shot.
    Let’s not forget that during Diaby’s’ only relatively fit season in 09-10, he was criticized for being lazy. I remember an Arsecast in which Blogger played the voice of a mom saying “Doctor Doctor, my son DOES NOTHING. And even when he does something he DOES NOTHING.” The doctor (blogger) responds “Madam, I am sorry but your son is suffering from overexposure to Abou Diaby.”

    I would LOVE it if Diaby stayed fit, he would really add something to this team. But we need players who we can COUNT ON to play at least 40 games a season. For the past few seasons we have always had 2 or 3 players that we needed who were constantly injured.

    Thumb up 29 Thumb down 5

  4. I thought of Viera, if nothing more than his size, baldness and blackness, as he was striding around the pitch last night. He looked like a giant next to Santi.

    Thumb up 28 Thumb down 1

    • The look of Diaby in is Vieira-like. I am forever pained that he cannot stay off the disabled list, because I think his size is an asset in behind Jack for his protection.

      When I see Diaby, Mertie, or Giroud run past our little midfielders, I am reminded how we miss some size and intimidation to compliment our skill and speed. Someone with Diaby’s size and Wilshere’s attitude, who can back up when they tell opponents “Don’t F with The Arsenal.”

      Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0

  5. I’m sure he’ll always be an important part of any Arsenal medical team member’s training.

    Thumb up 55 Thumb down 1

  6. I do believe that Diaby has serious potential, but he needs a lot of games to get into a rhythm. We saw him play well at the start of the season, he was rested and got some games under his belt, but then boom. Injury.

    I really have my doubts about Diaby and fitness, I always thought RvP was unlucky, he had a broken foot, and then serious ligament damage twice which hampered 3 seasons. But with Diaby it always seems to be muscle problems, that appear from nothing, that worries me. I know Wenger puts it down to the broken ankle, and I don’t disagree with that but it may never go away.

    Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1

    • Say what you want about Arsene, you can never question the mans faith, Diabys arms and legs could fall off in the morning and Arsene would have another contract waiting for him to sign with his mouth. I really hope Wenger proves everyone wrong with this one tho.

      Thumb up 25 Thumb down 0

      • Press: “So Arsene, what were u saying about Diaby being a huge part of your plans? Since he lost his leg and arm after falling over his personalised scalpel in his personalised medical room, do you plan on dipping into the transfer window and buying Sebestien Frey or Yoann Gourcuff or perhaps Lucas Biglia?

        Wenger: “No, first we need to get Rosicky, Gibbs, and a few others fit again, re sign Theo to a £200,000 per week deal of which after 18months trying, I am 99.99% sure he will sign, we will not pander to his wishes and play him in goal or allow him to take team talks etc…. Diaby is 2-3 weeks away from training then he will be 2-3 weeks away from being 2-3weeks away from U21 game time, this window is very hard to buy top top super super world class exceptionally exceptional players, our squad is complete”

        Press: “But Diaby has only one leg and one arm??”

        Wenger: “It’s but a flesh wound you fools, in I you should trust”

        Thumb up 17 Thumb down 2

    • He’s not only physical strong, but also technically insane, plus he’s apparently extremely good at ariel duels. So how can he not have ‘it’?

      Thumb up 12 Thumb down 3

      • ‘Technically insane’ is probably not the best choice of words.

        Perhaps ‘technically great’, or something similar, is most likely what you meant…unless you actually do mean that he is as mad as a box of frogs.

        Thumb up 10 Thumb down 4

    • I’m sure Assshavin that he can take out the Little Mermaid, but that’s immaterial.

      Diaby is the real deal if 100%. It’s tough to criticize him for lack of skill when lack of fitness that stops him from demonstrating it. That’s the criticism, if any.

      Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  7. If Diaby never has a 2-3 season spell of being fit he might be the biggest ‘what if’ player we’ve seen in decades. When he is on song he can be imperial (Liverpool away) and who knows how much more he might develop if he ever is fit for long period..

    Love to see it happen, but you wouldn’t bank on it naturally.

    Thumb up 38 Thumb down 0

  8. We have what we need in the middle of the park. << Someone please tell me this a joke, I completely agree we don't need another attacking midfielder but not signing a big physical player that can play for or with Arteta is just nuts. And so is hoping Diaby will stay healthy, It's fine if we keep him as the starter because Diaby's freakin awesome when he's fit, but that doesn't/shouldn't mean Wenger can't buy a physical midfielder that can also be the 4th CB ( CAPOUE/Mbiwa/Kouyate <<All three can play as a CDM or CB and just as well).

    Thumb up 10 Thumb down 8

  9. Constant denigration of van Persie, says more about the denigrator than the player himself. And every goal he scores for Utd., makes the said criticism look and sound, more and more petty.

    If Wenger had made a proper effort to put into the team the sort of players that RvP now has round him, he might not have concluded that staying around at Arsenal was a ‘trophyless’ waste of time. Same goes for Cesc.

    But I guess that’s too close to the truth for some to take.

    The fault if Wenger’s not the players.

    Thumb up 11 Thumb down 40

    • So it has nothing to do with the financial constraints imposed by the stadium move, which have just been eased by the recently renegotiated Emirates sponsorship deal?

      For 7 years he was a drain on the finances, then he has one good season and fucks off for loads of money.

      Arsenal showed him loyalty, in the face of criticism from their own fans, and he showed none…I believe that is the reason why people believe that he is a cunt.

      Thumb up 45 Thumb down 1

      • Some players are motivated purely by money. But for some it’s primarily about success. Would you rather play for a team that wins the PL or play for a team perennially fighting for 4th ? Particularly if it was you last career move – which would it be ? I know what I’d do.

        It’s also a myth that he had only one good season. He had one outstanding one and a couple of good ones and only one season was really wrecked by injury.

        I don’t think he owed Arsenal in that sense. Certainly not as much as Diaby or Rosicky under the same conditions.

        If Walcott does – as I suspect he will – run his contract down and bugger off in the summer on a Bosman, then the same criticism would be justified, as he is clearly listening to the sound of cash. And this is by no means the last move of his career.

        But that cannot be said of RvP or Cesc for that matter.

        And if Wenger could afford to staff the squad with deadbeats like Denielson, Squillachi, Park, Chamakh, Bendtner and several others, he could have used the resources better to get in the type of player that is closer – if not identical – to those RvP now plays with at Utd.,

        But having placed such ‘faith’ in transparent duds, it was clear to many including RvP that Arsenal were going nowhere on the trophy front. Hence his desire to look elsewhere.

        The fact that we can’t spend like Chelsea, doesn’t preclude us using our resources a damn sight better than Wenger has in the last 8 years.

        Thumb up 15 Thumb down 20

      • I’d rather fight for 4th for the team i love and the teammates/coach that were there for me than win with a team that should be my enemy

        Thumb up 22 Thumb down 1

      • Surely you jest, Rob. All around professional sport, the players are not always motivated by team pride. I see a Yankee on First Base speaking to the Red Sox baseman, all smiles. I see the Campbells play for Sp*rs and the Arsenal. Di Biagio for Lazio and Roma.

        The truth is, whether RVP wanted more cash or silverware, he left after our manager showed tremendous faith and patience.

        Consider young Jack- signs a new deal with this very team and it’s results in 2012-13. Doesn’t quit on a frustrating game at the weekend, and compels Arsenal into the FA Cup 4th round. Bring people in to help me, his face says, not audition me for a transfer.

        Sure it’s likely his last major stop and RVP wanted what his little boy wanted. At the same time, has Gerrard given up on Liverpool? Lampard on Chelski? Come now, an honest Gunner would behave more like Cesc than RVP. A true Gunner would behave like Jenks or Wilshere. If you told Jenks there was an offer accepted from Sp*rs, I’d expect him to be very creative with the F word.

        People are just nervous about the possibility Diaby would do the same.

        Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

      • @Rob’67
        Wenger could certainly have spent better in recent years but that’s a long way off being able to bring in the type of player surrounding van Persie. Have a look through the Utd squad and tell me where Wenger was supposed to pick up players like Ferdinand and Rooney? Even the players that I would say are comparable to ours: Young, Carrick, De Gea, Nani, Andserson were a fortune. This is after they cast off flops like Berbatov. We even competed for players like Smalling but we can’t go toe-to-toe in terms of spending.

        I’m not defending RvP in the slightest. Our policy of buying potential and sticking with it through temperament and injury problems is the main reasosn RvP achieved his current standard and, as soon as he did, he claimed he didn’t like how we were doing things.

        Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    • I totally agree with you that it is completely needless to denigrate rvp, as he done everything on his own, turning his back at the first opportunity to the club and the manager that allowed him to became a great player(*), and especially making sure he will not have to see out his contract by releasing the statement.

      (*) something which would NO other top club, and utd in the first place, done for him, as he would be sold to mongolia after 3-4 years.

      Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  10. I’m a believer in diaby and I think next season he’s guna be one of our best and as important to our team as wilshere. Realistically we”re not guna win anything this season so I’m happy for him to be fit and ready next season coz he will be awesome

    Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  11. This is really worrying stuff from Wenger-I’d love Diaby to stay fit & become an asset to the club rather than a burden (which he IS,through no fault of his own),but the way Wenger is talking,he truly BELIEVES Abou is the 2nd coming of Vieira,and isn’t even looking at buying anyone to replace/cover him when he breaks again,which we all know he will.Its a shocking gamble from the manager.

    Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

  12. I can’t help but feel that trusting Diaby to be fit is a huge gamble, he said the same stuff at the beginning of the season when he had some games and that didn’t work out.

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  13. @Mistercgunner, if that is your real name….

    Are you shitting me?
    When fit, he’s the first name on the French team sheet, because of his passing, vision, power and pace!!

    Thumb up 16 Thumb down 2

  14. The fact that arsene says diaby is so important for us as he has structured the midfield in way that includes him is worrying.
    We all know we need that sort of player but if we can’t keep him fit and refuse to sign a player of similar qualities then the system that arsene says he’s relying on just don’t work.
    Arsene clearly thinks its the best way to go or woudnt play that way in first place.

    Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

    • Exactly!

      Wenger keeps on about the depth of midfield, how come Arteta had played nearly every minute of PL football this season? Cazorla ever present and Wilshere playing nearly every game after coming back from injury? If we had an adequate midfield we would see some rotation. But seeing how Coq looked capable last night, how come we don’t see more of him? Or Eisfeld? (everyones favorite)

      Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

      • Well.you see how capable coq is and he still doesn’t play instead of jack, santi, and mik because they are all better than him. And the same goes for rosicky. Because honestly, how many players out there are as good as say arteta? I think not many. While I agree with you that more rotation would be good, this is not how aw thinks and in his eyes obviously a tired, but better player is still better.(And honestly, I think this is his biggest flaw.)

        Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

    • Pretty much what I’m thinking, Wenger can see the qualities Diaby gives the team, and how important they can be…yet refuses to buy anyone with similar attributes as cover. We aren’t going to get someone with his technical ability and power but a reasonable backup can’t be tough to find.

      Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    • @ Voldermort

      Agreed. I love they guy. It’s good watching him climb his way back to fitness.

      But dammit Wenger get the checkbook out man. We are still a very thin looking squad. And as much as it pains me to say it, relying on Diaby just looks like a bad bet.

      Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  15. The little boy inside rvp was always a cunt but an injured cunt then got fit and became the biggest cunt
    Diaby doesnt have the little boy syndrome so he will stay loyal its in his religion post dna

    Thumb up 11 Thumb down 4

  16. “Abou Diaby, with the way we have structured the team, he is an important piece of the puzzle because he adds qualities that we need in the middle of the park,”

    Sorry but that just seems like poor planning to me. His presence should be considered a bonus at this point, not vital to the team. If he gets a run of games in January that precludes Wenger from buying an extra deep midfielder then we may very well be in trouble.

    Besides, I like Diaby but I don’t think he’s very good at defending. Same goes for Ramsey and Arteta. I’d really like to see a dedicated defensive midfielder come in.

    Thumb up 8 Thumb down 4

  17. Remarkable that he is just still 26 years old. Imagine how usefull he can be for us if he stays injury free for the next couple of years (knocks wood).

    I just jinxed him now, didn’t I?

    Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  18. Just wanted to point out that Wenger has never said that he wont be buying a DM because Diaby is (or is nearly) fit.

    Trust Arsenal fans to find the negative in news that one of players with arguably the most potential is back from injury

    Thumb up 7 Thumb down 3

  19. Surely the way to ensure that Diaby stays fit is never to play him more than once a week? Who else was surprised that he started yesterday after playing on Sunday – especially with Ox and Ramsey rested on Sunday.

    And not play in any Internationals!

    Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  20. B.T.W

    Wenger would like to sign Cavani?. I’d like to win the lottery. Both are as likely as each other. In fact, I have a better chance.

    Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  21. Fingers crossed,you wouldn’t wish his luck with injuries on anyone,but I still think we need a nasty horrible (yet talented) presence in midfield. I like what I’m hearing about Capoue. Let’s hope he doesn’t keep using Abou’s three games a decade from stopping him adding to the squad which the world and his wife can see we need.

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  22. We have not been the same since Flamin left. He was the hard man that allowed the rest to play. We need the hard man. Van Persie, I’m afraid, is class and we also need a goalscorer. Not sure re the Defence but get the holding midfielder please!

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  23. Don’t buy anyone. I’m sick of it. Just play better (I know, easier said than done) and rotate the squad so that the young players develop and the old players stay fit. Arteta plays too much and Coquelin is earning a shot. Our ideal midfield is probably Diaby and two of Wilshere/Arteta/Santi. Swap Coqulin for Diaby (or Arteta) and Ramsey for one of the others and that’s still better than most premier league teams. Plus I forgot AOC and Frimpong. Also Vermaelan could probably play further up. That looks like squad depth to me. The problem is disapointing performances not lack of talent. Giroud and Podolski are good for goals once the midfield gets practice with each other. Next season is looking good.

    Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

    • EXACTLY. We’ve got the players (35 of them, last count!), but Wenger chooses to play the same 11 every match Satruday-Wednesday-Sunday-Tuesday-Saturday and they get knackered. What a surpirse!?

      A fresh Arshavin is better than a jaded Cazorla.
      A fresh Coquelin is better than a jaded Arteta.

      Dump the 13 ‘deadwood’ players (if you can’t give them away, offer to subsidize half their salaries at their new teams too!).

      And we have a proper 22-man squad that can rotates properly and compete in all four compeitions (about 60 matches if we win all four trophies, btw).

      Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  24. Also, I’d rather Diaby sitting on our the bench with whatever he’s got than if it was man u’s Fletcher with shite in his pants. utd fans don’t care because they are winning. If Diaby stays fit though he’s a much greater talent than Fletcher.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  25. I really like Diaby, although he has his share of brainfarts, when he’s fit and focused, he’s an excellent player.
    But I think it shows how much Arsene has lost the plot if he thinks we can rely on Diaby. He could have been great, he might be a great option to have if he doesn’t happen to be injured, but to think of him as some sort of lynchpin is delusional.

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  26. we dont need a dm, arsenal have never used a out and out dm, even gilberto silva was more of a cm, all our midfielders get forward on the attack, thats the arsenal way, best form of defense is attack. We have a super talented midfield plus we have two upcoming younger more defensively minded mids in frimpong and coquelin although i think frimpong will go in summer. Coquelin is looking the real deal. We need a goalscorer and a full back maybe.

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  27. So wilshere and the ox will be number 10? i cant see the ox going into a deep lying midfield roll. I would say the ox’s future has to be out wide simply because we have Jack?

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  28. It’s not wise for an important piece in the puzzle to be broken half the time. Or more.
    If you could guarantee to me that Diaby could be fit 90% of the time for the next five years then absolutely, I’m happy to have him around, but injury seems inevitable.

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  29. I do not understand why the return of Diaby is somehow a reason not to still buy another top midfielder? Other teams have 2-3 world class players sitting on their bench every game because they know that injuries happen and when your in all competitions you need rotation maybe had we had more options Wilshere would not have had a stress injury and Fabergas would not have had all those hamstring injuries and maybe RVP would have stayed. We need NOT just great players for the starting 11 we need strong players in rotation so we can fight in all competitions. and NOT make our bets players play 90min every match

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  30. relying on diaby to be the missing piece in the jigsaw puzzle is like building sand castle on the beach and hope the tide never changes.
    which in other words mean putting all the eggs in one basket with dodgy base
    which in other words mean that arsenal is just few seconds away from the ticking injury time bomb aka diaby,rosicky, arteta, jack, santi and relying on reserve players.Which might be very injurious to arsenal’s health.
    But arsene knows what he is doing (hopefully) and the difference between the 4th & 6th place lies entirely on the manager now. everyone knows some of our players are already in the over-exhaustion zone. I just hope wenger can do justice to all his faithfulls, if not, he should be ready to face some fine quality music come this august.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  31. I remember a few weeks ago Wenger talking about the injury prevention methods they’ve introduced this season which is why we’ve had less injuries than in the past. I also remember him saying that Diaby has an issue with recovering properly after games and how his muscles take longer to be able to play again.
    Maybe this approach will make the difference with regards to Diaby? Lets be honest most of us aren’t Medical/Sport science specialists so we’ll have to accept what comes out of the club to a certain extent.

    I really hope he can get a good run of games till the end of the season because he’s a crucial player when fit.

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  32. A fit Diaby is probably one of the best midgielder in PL. What AW says is what you call management… By this kind of comment, he motivates his team and his players.
    It might be a gamble but at the end of the day apart from Yaya Touré who is Viera-esque? Certainly not M’Villa, Song was surely not…. so I understand why, even if it is a huge gamble, why he keeps having faith in him.
    The problem we’re having today as many of you said is squad rotation. With so many injuries it takes time for players to get a rythm again, so fielding Rosicky for a tired Cazorla is another gamble that AW doesn’t want to take as we need results week in week out.
    But it is a catch 22, they will never get rythm if they don’t play….
    Why Diaby plays as soon as he’s fit? Probably because he is such a great player when fit and brings what we are missing in midfield (and from Walcott upfront) muscles and size.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  33. Diaby was playing during Arsenals best spell of games this season.

    Why is he picked on when he is clearly a talented midfielder.

    With the extra 15m a year in sponsorship will go a long way to adding quality to the British core. The future is bright but this season still hangs in the balance, but isn’t that due to the fact Diaby got injured by the ex Chelsea cunt called deschamps

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here