Happy Friday! Apologies for the late post, it’s a Bank Holiday over here and I took this morning out to recharge some seriously flat batteries.
So, the big, fat, massive news is that Abou Diaby is out for the next 9 months. He damaged his anterior cruciate ligaments in training and he’s finished for the season.
On a personal level, he must be mentally destroyed now. 9 months. Think about that number. You can knock up a baby in that time. You could produce a single episode of the American cartoon Family Guy. You could produce 4 Rihanna albums. 9 months is a long time.
So personally, you can’t help but feel for the man. Money aside, when you’re in your mid twenties, all you want to do is play sport.
He’s on record as saying he’d considered retiring in the past, you can’t help but think those thoughts must be flooding his mind at the moment. Now, I know lots of people are comparing this to being retired off in the real world, but it’s a little different. Firstly, he’d have to retire in 6-7 years anyway, so it’s not like being retired off for medical reasons if you were an accountant. Secondly, getting retired off if you were an accountant in your twenties would means something pretty damn serious had gone wrong. Diaby can’t play football at the top level. That doesn’t mean he can’t work like a normal person. Finally, he’ll have a nest egg of £18m to play with. He’s already set up a charity foundation… there’s a million things he could do that most would never have the opportunity to.
On a footballing front. It’s been apparent for at least 4 seasons that Diaby would never be a cornerstone to our team. He’s a good player, he had all the raw ingredients to become one of the best, but if you never play, you never grow. He was taken out in a nasty Dan Smith challenge a few years ago… and things have got worse since then… but don’t kid yourself he wasn’t a crock before that. I read a tweet that said he’d sustained 32 injuries prior to that. He’s never managed more than 34 starts in a Premier League or French League season. This quote from ex-Spurs and France manager Jacques Santini tells a tale…
“Abou was one of the players I used at the start of the season and then he had to stop because of repetitive injuries. Maybe he was attracted by England and the money there. This probably did not force him to make all the necessary efforts to come back to his best level with us.”
That statement is a sharp reminder that he was injury prone before us, the comment about effort to come back is an interesting one because it’s something I’ve heard before. I’d heard a whisper that when he picks up an injury he goes back to France for treatment, which is why it was difficult for Arsene was so vague about his return pre-Christmas.
I think the club have to ask questions of their transfer policy or there ability to be ruthless with it… because this mess of an issue has been allowed to creep on for years. Why hasn’t he been properly replaced? Why do we give players so much slack when it comes to fitness. If we’d had a fit Robin and a fit Diaby over the last 6 years, I’ve no doubt we’d have won a trophy of sorts. As things stand now, we’re heading into the run in with no Diaby and no Jack Wilshere. Two players who need cover considering the fragile nature of their bodies.
Luckily it’s Reading we’re facing tomorrow. A team rooted to the bottom of the table. My only worry is new manager syndrome. Nigel Adkins of all managers has taken the rescue job. Our confidence of the last few games and ultimately, our class, should really push us over the line.
In other news, Robert Pires says we need experience English players.
‘The club has some very good [English] youngsters now but they lack experience.’
‘The only solution for Arsenal is to buy some more English players.’
John Cross reckons Anzhi are in for Valdes and are prepared to offer him an abandoned warehouse worth of cash a week to make him join. I’m not sure he’d be game.
Anyway, I’ll have more on the game tomorrow. Have a great day and let me know what you think of the latest leaked kit below. I think they’re quite smart. Nice cut, modern feel even if they do feel a little bit samey. Almost similar in reverse colours as the original Nike kit launch for Arsenal