Diarra not wrong, just lacking ambition

Diarra not wrong, just lacking ambition

The slow news week for Arsenal continues to roll on with team and transfer news more difficult to find than my TV remote control. I’ve been pretty unwell of late and spent all of yesterday in bed and most of today on the couch bored out of my brain so both are equally irritating.

Ljungberg was an exception to Wenger’s preferenceWith the lack of interesting Arsenal news going around I’m thankful the Australia v India test match began today. Normally test match cricket can be a bit hit-and-miss, especially when Australia are playing (they tend to destroy most other nations), but as I speak to you the Indians are putting in quite a decent effort thus far. Anyway, enough about that for now.

More and more little tidbits are coming from Arsene Wenger’s interview yesterday during the launch of Arsenal TV and the latest comments made by the Arsenal manager are about assessing potential signings. Wenger *shock, horror* revealed that he felt the best way to assess a potential player for his squad was to watch them play in person because he feels he is able to see a particular player’s true personality come out.

“There is no better study than to watch somebody play. When he goes on the football pitch he becomes who he really is. In normal life you can hide. That is why you should watch a player well so you can see behind his character because he delivers that with his performance.”

You would think that every manager who signs a player, wherever they are in the world, would see the player in the flesh first. But the modern game is such that I’m sure there are numerous players, even at the big clubs, who have been purchased based on their performances on video or via talent scout reports. Wenger himself famously purchased Fredrik Ljungberg after only seeing him play on television for Sweden against England and went on to provide some sort of explanation as to why managers may not have the luxury to see potential signings play in the flesh before bringing them in.

“It is sometimes a question of time. We need to make quick decisions because we are competing with the other clubs. Some you have to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ without the time to get all the guarantees. You can go home at midnight and if you don’t make a decision by 5am then the guy has gone somewhere else.”

Diarra wants to leave ArsenalDiarra to Portsmouth?

One player who may be going somewhere else very soon is Lassana Diarra. The French midfielder has been linked with the likes of Newcastle, Tottenham and Lyon in the past week or so but the news is that he has held talks with Portsmouth and is likely to join them for around £5.5m.

A lot has been said about Diarra’s behaviour of late but I have say I’m a little bit impartial to the whole situation. If, as Diarra claims, he and Wenger had made an agreement when he signed with Arsenal that he would be playing a decent amount of first-team football then I feel he has every right to feel aggrieved. After all, he has only started four matches this season and that does not represent a decent amount.

That’s not to say that on form he has deserved to start. Indeed, Cesc Fabregas and Mathieu Flamini have clearly been the best central midfielders at the club this season and there has been no reason to break up their partnership. But if an agreement was made between Wenger and Diarra – and who is to say there wasn’t – then I think Diarra has every right to seek a transfer without facing excessive criticism from the supporters.

However, his desire to leave does suggest that he’s not the smartest of lads. On current form I’d suggest he is the third-choice central midfielder at the club and is only an injury away from a decent run in the starting team. But if all he wants is to be playing games then it’s possible that he may not possess the drive and determination to be a success at Arsenal anyway and a move to Portsmouth might be the best outcome for all parties involved.

Long story short; Diarra is not necessarily in the wrong, he just doesn’t seem to be the most ambitious player going around and it’s fair to say that Arsenal are not a club who should be content with having players in their squad who are not ambitious.

It’s definitely an interesting situation and always, I’d love to hear what everyone thinks about it.

Have your say on Wenger’s methods or Lassana Diarra by leaving a comment.

24 Responses to “Diarra not wrong, just lacking ambition”

  1. ramugunner
    January 16, 2008 at 5:27 pm #

    Spanishfry, I read your comments from yesterday about bringing new faces like Benzema and Richards. I absolutely agree with you, we don’t need a striker because we already have 4 good strikers with different varieties and qualities. Moreover, if RVP can play rest of the matches, we will be alright upfront.
    Also Richards is a awesome player and can be a worldclass defender like Nesta. But at the moment we should be alright. Senderos lacks pace and struggles against Drogba but besides that if he can get a run of good games he is also really good. Only player I was happy against Brum was Senderos cause he improved a lot and was confident. But main thing is both Benzema and Richards are good players but they are raw product too. So they cannot improve our current form and win matches for us. But for future consideration or maybe coming summer both are the type of players who can play for Arsenal.
    But I want to ask you one thing, don’t you think we need to sign a good reliable wide player(LM) to win league this season. I think so. No Pires, No Lgungberg we are so weak in the wide midfield position. Hleb, a wonderful player with a good vision and can hold the ball better than anyone in our team but never shoots. I also like Rosiscky but is a sicknote and we can’t depend on him. Also both are not wide players naturally. If we talk about Eboue or walcott playing in the wide positions that’s crap. Eboue can be a good wide player in 2 seasons but right now he cannot be a member of a league winning team. As for Walcott, if we watch Brum game we can find how he is when playing wide. So In my view we need to strengthen our wide position.
    I would love to see either David Silva of Valencia or Arfa of lyon or Manicini fo Roma joining us in this janaury. All 3 players are gettable in a reasonable price in the range of 8-10 million. All 3 players have good pace, skills and goal scoring ability. So, lets get one of them we will be far better than how we are at the moment.
    Also If we are to win the league this season, we need that Fabregas like the one that scored 11 goals in the begining of the season. We need RVP back and all our attacking players playing really well untill May. Right now our most dangerous problem is we look like we cannot score when needed and simply our attack is not sharp enough. We need to find ways to score a lots of goals sooner than later.

    I still think we will win the league this season and what I think is this year is the best chance for all the young players to taste trophies. We have already overachieved and sometimes we let ourselves down with some poor performances but still we are in avery good position. Most of us had not predicted we will be top of the league this time of the season. So we still have very good chance to celebrate coming May. What we need is a good wide midfielder and commitment from the players.

  2. matzyzy
    January 16, 2008 at 5:32 pm #

    loan this frenchman to the pompey (not spurs) until january next year, say no to his exit after our missing trio of african players to the ACN .This frenchman is a good quality talent we got, hope all the french legion at Arsenal can persuade him to stay or at least loan him out for enabling him to make a comeback later.

  3. Spanish Fry
    January 16, 2008 at 5:40 pm #

    ramugunner – The point you make about needing a left-sided midfielder is an interesting one. Personally I don’t feel it will help us win the league. Remember we have Carlos Vela waiting in the wings over at Osasuna and he will play on the left when he returns.

    The three players you mention are superb, especially David Silva, but I couldn’t see any of them joining the club in January. If Silva came then maybe I would change my tune about needing wide players. 🙂

  4. ramugunner
    January 16, 2008 at 6:32 pm #

    Spanishfry, If wenger wants to buy, then, I think we can get David Silva. He has a big potential and I think he is one of the best from Valencia team and spain. Also Valencia are playing really poor and that should compel Silva to leave Valencia if he can play in a team like Arsenal. He is a good mate of Cesc and he can score goals consistently unlike the midfielders we have in our squad(besides cesc in the begining of the season). I heard that he has a buyout clause of around 10 million and that’s a bargain. But personally I also don’t think Wenger will splash money in this janaury.

    I am dreaming of the title for a long time and still hope we can get but if I have to bet I would say we will be 2nd behind Manchester. Thay have enough depth in thier squad and they will be more clinical when Scholes get back from injury. A long term injury for Ronaldo can win league for us though but Ronaldo is not a injury prone player.

    I am dreaming one thing though. We win at old trafford and stamford bridge and Manu losing in stamford bridge. Is it possible? Why not?

  5. Spanish Fry
    January 16, 2008 at 6:54 pm #

    I think its possible. We beat Manchester United away last season, why not do it again? With Chelsea’s signing of Anelka they definitely have the firepower to trouble both United and us so we’ll see how it goes. I will remain confident until we fall of the pace and I can’t see that happening just yet.

  6. slick
    January 16, 2008 at 8:32 pm #

    I believe Silva will leave Valencia. It’s incredibly difficult for me to believe he can be bought for only a mere ten million but if he has this clause then let’s go for him. I don’t think he’d be interested in leaving Spain though.

  7. Spanish Fry
    January 16, 2008 at 8:35 pm #

    Why do you think Silva would leave Valencia? Because of the poor situation at the club?

    I’m intrigued. From everything I’ve seen from him he’s an absolute top-class player and as you say, I would be surprised to see him come to Arsenal for only $10m.

    If anyone has anything to add on Silva please let me know.

  8. Le Gunner
    January 16, 2008 at 9:37 pm #

    Latest news Ranieri wants to take Flamini on a free transfer to Juventus. It hard to imagine him leaving but in football anything is possible specially if he is offered more money by another club. In terms of his development it is better for him to stay. As for Diarra he has a history of hopping from one club to another when he feels he is not wanted he played for FC Nantes, Le Mans and Le Havre before joining Chelsea .If I was him I’ll stay at least this season specially when Flamini hasn’t sign a contract that’s been offered to him a month ago so who know if Flamini leaves this could open the door for him. Clichy waited for years never gave up we never thought that Cashley would leave one day but he did and that is the best thing that happened to Clichy. Look at him now he is better than Cashley

  9. millefiori
    January 16, 2008 at 9:54 pm #

    persie is injured ?. he goes away with a thigh injury. Next we hear it is flu. I am beginning to get some waves about this. already its been 4 painful weeks with the injury before all this. been dying to see him in vintage 2005 style.

  10. Frichie
    January 16, 2008 at 11:38 pm #

    Diarra can go, and as with all transfers out of Arsenal, they usually a bad move. I expect to see him move on from Portsmouth at the end of the season when he finds Pompeys MF’s coming back from the ACN, and then having to fight for his place. I also think he is going to struggle at portsmouth and if anything he will fall down the pecking order and Flamini will be called up to the French squad

  11. darragh
    January 16, 2008 at 11:47 pm #

    Diarra couldn’t get a start at Chelsea, now he can’t get a start at Arsenal. What does that say about him? Obviously, he ain’t good enough. Let him loose.

  12. Nick
    January 16, 2008 at 11:55 pm #

    Although I hate Diarra’s attitude I feel AW should have given him more games. At the very least he was our 3rd best central midfielder, better than Dennilson, Bert and diaby.Flams has been in very good form, but on the whole I think Diarra has the greater potential and will become top top player.It’s a shame.

  13. Jay
    January 17, 2008 at 2:30 am #

    Diaby is better than Diarra. Diaby is a very skilful player and I have been so impressed by this guy this season. He scored a stunner at Derby, another stunner at sunderland (didnt count due to a FK) and scored another (didnt count due to offside, when he wasnt) he scored against Blackburn in the carling and vs. Steau in the champo league. He can score, he can pass, he is young and I think he can break in first team if the Flamster goes. Denilson and Diarra are the same i think. No player is better than the other.

  14. TayGoon
    January 17, 2008 at 2:48 am #

    I agree with you Jay on Diaby. Let Diarra go. and if Flamini really wants to leave, let him go too. We have enough cover there and it will just take a few games for Fabregas to forge an understanding with a new partner. Hleb can play there too.

  15. Demetrio
    January 17, 2008 at 5:47 am #

    Why the hell would you let Flamini go? He’s been one of the better players all season.. besides, i dont hink he even wants to leave the club. He has formed a nice partnership with Fabragas in the midfield.

  16. Spanish Fry
    January 17, 2008 at 8:08 am #

    I would never want Flamini to leave, but I’m confident he won’t. There’s no reason why he would and frankly I’m not worried about his contract situation.

    Jay and Co, I agree with you about Diaby. I think he has potential to be an amazing central midfielder. I just wish he was played there a little more.

  17. Ronaldo7
    January 17, 2008 at 10:08 am #

    Flamini wont leave…he has finally made a name for himself at arsenal..he even looks like a arsenal player!

    On the Silva topic…he is the perfect player for arsenal..not Richards not Benzema……..Silva! why? because arsenal need that specialist left winger and silva has it all…he can cross, score, and is silky smooth, with amazing touch and great technique…also is very very young..Valenica are in a rebuilding phase though and he is a valencia jnr so id say he wont be leaving anytime soon and if he did he would cost alot of money and alot of clubs would be after him!

    maybe arsenal can go for someone like Vincente ?

  18. Le Gunner
    January 17, 2008 at 10:16 am #

    Diarra is too young to join the Arsenal’s old peoples home (Kanu Laurent Campbell and Tony Adams).Anyway good luck to him . Diaby has the the skill and the swagger of Viera the only thing is, he is not a fierce tackler like Viera or Flamini and also dwells on the ball a bit longer. Wenger can work with him and turn him into a complete player. I’m sure Flamini will stay but this is football and sometimes money talks. The Boss dropped our best player last season Gilberto to give him a run in the team so he can’t let him down. If he goes the Arsenal fans will never forgive him.

  19. Spanish Fry
    January 17, 2008 at 10:26 am #

    Vicente, while a good player, is more injury-prone than Robin van Persie. For that reason I would never want to see him signed.

  20. Jon
    January 17, 2008 at 5:28 pm #

    It was Diarra’s ambition that drove him to leave. He was largely led by the French International manager who speaks to him more than Wenger has in the last 4 months. Domenech told him that only regular first team football would secure him his desire of a starting position in Euro 2008 so he had to move. He is a very confident lad and believes that Harry of all managers will sell him on to a top club and make a nice profit once everyone can see how good he is week in and week out. Even Wenger admitted that he was likely to be a top player but could not change team selection at present. I know he was desparate to stay at Arsenal. He sacrificed a cut in money to come to Arsenal rather than stay at Chelsea on a very good new deal but his International ambition has driven him to this.

  21. TayGoon
    January 18, 2008 at 2:42 am #

    Demetrio, I like Flamini and I don’t want him to leave. Having said so, Who was arguably one of our best players last season? Ans: Gilberto. My point is, if a deal can’t be agreed and he ends up leaving, we have more than adequate covere. After his example, I believe if Diaby gets his chance, he will work like a madman to keep it.

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