Sorry, Abou.

by .


Quick one today, more work shiz on my plate.

Amy Lawrence has penned an interesting take on About Diaby drawing parallels between the Rosicky injury situation back in the day…

For me, harsh as it may sound, you have to give it up. When someone contributes nothing for the best part of four years at a cost of £14m, you have to say enough is a enough. The role that he plays requires an intense level of fitness. He’ll be 29 by the time he gets back into the swing of things, then he’ll be on the way down because that’s what life does to you at that age.

It’s a shame. But listen, we’re not a charity.

There’s another article from Gary Neville about the death of the gaffer. He cites that the manager is no longer the be all and end all. He’s the flag bearer, not the guy that kills the club if he leaves. If you’ve been reading this site over the last couple of years, you’ll know that’s exactly what I’ve been saying.

I own this story.

Gary needs to back off or I’ll give him a big piece of legal action.

Jokes aside. He’s bang on the money. The strength isn’t in the manager, it’s in the infrastructure. It’s the distribution of eggs… don’t stick them in one basket because that basket is creaking if it thinks it can handle all the eggs.

Stupid basket.

You can’t be the best in class at everything. If you’re running all the departments, you’ll be weaker for it. Arsenal have slowly been chipping away at the control Wenger has behind the scenes (albeit unsuccessfully). They need to start putting things in place now so that when the new manager comes in, his time isn’t spent building out a whole new regime.

Head of fitness is half sorted, the half that’s not sorted is the half that’s still in a job. You’d imagine the scouting network will get an overhaul. I’d guess you’ll see more sport scientists. More data analysts. A whole new philosophy.

It has to be that way because one thing is for sure, we can never, ever, allow ourselves to get into a situation where we have a dictatorial power ruling the roost. The tail should not wag the dog.

Interesting that no sooner had I praised a change in tact in fitness… Sanchez picks up a hamstring injury. Maybe the luck is in not having hundreds of broken players. Shame that, but predictable when you play someone in all the games. Our plan shouldn’t be see how far we can push, it should be see how fresh we keep him…

Anyway, have a great day, see you on the other side.

Gary, I’m coming for you…

500 Responses to “Sorry, Abou.”

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  1. Nasri's Mouth


    I was only kidding about Bielik. Hard to see how big he is. There was apparently some proper praise from Mark Gonella about him.

    I’d take it with a pinch of salt though.

    1) it’s 2nd hand info and everyone is always so desperate to hear that there’s a new wonder kid coming through that it can be exaggerated

    2) Gonella wouldn’t be averse to wanting to give good news

    3) For all we know everyone was ‘blown away’ by how good he was given his age, rather than simply being ‘blown away’ because he’s just amazing for any age.

  2. Romford Ozil Pele


    Yeah it’ll be interesting. I too think Crowley is a 10 but you know Wenger doesn’t like to define a player’s position. And if this 4-1-4-1 is anything to go by then it’ll all be about interchanging, bar the DM.

    Out of the guys you mentioned, only Wilshere ever looked like he’d make it to me. Remember the loan at Brighton when he was smashing it up? And a lot of that time he played LM if I remember correctly?

    But yeah, back to Crowley. Already has the advantage that he’s two-footed, a free-kick specialist, and scores goals, lots of them too. We’ll see.

  3. N5

    Cheers gambon, my opinion is based on such a small amount of viewing, it’s good to hear from those of you that have put a bit more time into watching the reserves.

  4. Dream10

    On the DM/CM front for the summer, Christoph Kramer fits the bill for what AW will look for. Height, energy and a competent passer of the ball. May be an alternative to Schneiderlin especially if the big three spenders in the PL attempt to sign the Frenchman

  5. Romford Ozil Pele

    Dream, Kramer just signed a new deal and is going back to Leverkeusen, isn’t he? Would love him but if his words are anything to go by, doesn’t look like he’ll be leaving.

  6. Insomnia

    Oh gotta go – real life intervenes. Final thought – could resting Sanchez be good for us in terms of getting ozil back in the team for some game time?

  7. Romford Ozil Pele

    With Wenger saying he won’t risk Alexis this weekend, I expect this:

    Bellerin Mert Kos Monreal
    Theo Ramsey/TR7 Santi Ozil


  8. gambon


    Chill….Joel Campbell is firmly in the shop window.

    He will be at a Valencia/Benfica/Fiorentina type club this time next year.

  9. Nasri's Mouth

    I thought Maitland Niles did ok in the DM role when he came on, but it’s such a small sample size that any judgement is really only a guess.

    Like RP I’m curious about him because of the change in position they’ve given him. Winger to DM can be a pretty big change. Suggests he has a wide range of ability maybe.

  10. Timao

    when you reduce the role of the manager to two simplistic and inaccurate descriptions, either “flag bearer” or “someone that kills the club when he leaves” , you are being deliberately disngenuous to make a point – presumaby that the role of the manager is reduced in modern football. that may well be the case but as a result of bean-counter management at board level, not on footballing grounds. enlightened absolutism is a cornerstone of footballing success the world over.

  11. N5

    I find it a little odd that Maureen stated there would be no one coming in or leaving the Bridge, when it looks like they’re about to tie up the deal with Cuadrado?

    He’s not normally that private is he?

  12. Dream10


    That deal is for Leverkusen to get proper value, no? Perhaps he’ll wait till the Euros to move on. They won’t be challenging for a title, basically a fourth place team. Teams like Arsenal and Liverpool can offer a chase for a 4th place spot and more money. So we’ll see. Perhaps Man City as well

  13. Romford Ozil Pele

    Winger to DM suggests he has good passing range and is snappy in the tackle. This is all stuff I’ve never seen from Maitland-Niles tbh. His pace and his hard shot are his biggest strengths from what I’ve seen so it really is some transition. Against Galatasary he didn’t do anything too complex so hard to make an affirmed opinion.

  14. gambon


    I think they werent expecting to be able to sell Schurrle this window, and Chelsea these days tend to operate a “sell one to buy one” policy.

    Cuadrado is such a good signing IMO though.

  15. N5

    NM he didn’t touch the ball did he and flinched the 2 times it came near him?

    I’m not saying he’s a bad player, in fact I’m openly admitting I’ve got no knowledge on him but I did find romford and gambon’s comments encouraging!

  16. Nasri's Mouth

    @Gambon / RP

    Yeah of that list, I only thought Lupoli would make it because he was an absolute goal machine, yet didn’t seem to rely on being stronger / bigger than the rest of his age group, and settled very quickly into a foreign country at a young age.

  17. Romford Ozil Pele

    Dream, why would Le Coq be replaced by Wilshere? Assuming we’re keeping this 4-1-4-1, surely Jack is looking at displacing one of TR7/Santi/Ramsey?

  18. gambon

    I think the thinking behind Victor Maitland is that Wenger is looking to find a different kind of CM.

    Hes tried it with Ox, he tried it with Cazorla.

    And to some extent I agree, a CM that is a good forward runner and dribbler can be a huge weapon. This is why hes persisting with Wilshere, cos at 18 Wilshere was doing some exciting things.

    Look at a player like Mo Diame. Not the greatest in the world, but very different from most CMs in that he clearly was an attacking player as a kid. Brilliant dribbler, and when he has good days hes hard to play against, Dembele as well.

  19. Romford Ozil Pele

    Ah Moussa Dembele, always thought he’d rise to the top. Pochettino doesn’t seem to fancy him or Paulinho. Spurs are like us, 350 midfielders.

  20. Romford Ozil Pele

    “And to some extent I agree, a CM that is a good forward runner and dribbler can be a huge weapon.”

    Rosicky fits this mould perfectly, especially in this new formation. Problem with Rosicky is that he’s old, prone to injury and shooting can be quite erratic. But has that dynamic of being able to change the pace of a game. I think Wenger sees a lot of Ox in Rosicky. Ox is direct, good dribbler, can run past players with the ball easily. Ox’s positional play is pretty bad when he plays CM though. Prefer him wide.

  21. gambon


    I think Rosicky is too weak at the defensive side of the CM role.

    Pogba is the ultimate example of what im saying.

    Brilliant defensively, but a driving force going forward.

  22. Nasri's Mouth


    Against Galatasaray?

    He only came on as sub, but had plenty of touches and put in a few good tackles. There were a couple of important ones in the box.

    Looks to move the ball forward quickly, which is what we want from a player in the DM position

  23. Romford Ozil Pele

    Gambon, I guess so but it depends on the profile of the player you’re going for. Rosicky is positionally-astute and isn’t afraid to fly into challenges himself. If you’re going for a midfield three, providing the other two are strong, you should be able to offset this. Agree though, Pogba is the perfect example.

  24. Dream10


    When fit, it’s almost guaranteed that Sanchez and Ozil will start in the 4-1-4-1.
    Give Ramsey a place in the middle as well. Cazorla in great form at the moment. That leaves Coquelin/Wilshere

    But in order to accomodate Jack, I can see AW going back to a 4-2-3-1 so he can paired w/ Ramsey in the pivot for some matches. Hope not though

  25. N5

    NM, I’ll be honest I can’t remember what match it was now. I’m absolutely fried today! It’s possible I’m misremembering it also.

  26. Dev_gooner

    @Nasri’s Mouth

    I get that, almost all articles on the internet and newspapers twist the words to their liking to get hits or sell the paper. that’s not the point im making.

    my point is Not everybody speaks english. So if you want to experiment non english speaking players, you do it in the summer. or do it when you have a decent squad to help him out a little. Give the bloke a little time to even learn the basics of the language. As it stands, he has very little time to settle in, get on the same brain waves as his team mates, especially when some of them are a little erratic lets be honest. Communication then becomes very key. And since he is one of those “Wenger likes” signings, you can be Wenger will overuse him just to prove his point. He makes one mistake, even a tiny one, the media, press and even us fans will be right on his back shattering his confidence to a point where he never recovers! Reid who has played in the premier league would’ve been a far better option as a January signing and Gabriel. I’m not doubting Paulista’s quality. He is well built, has agression and can be a comanding figure, all of which we currently lack in that dept. But I feel for him because he will be under so much pressure right from the moment he steps out to make his debut.

  27. Carts

    N5 – There’s no excusing Chelsea financial doping for so many years but if they’re proving to be compliant now then we have to accept that.

    Same goes with the alleged 20 odd players that have out on loan. There’s no law against it and frankly till something changes we should just get on with it. Hell we’ve just loaned out JC again for the 4th time and Coq was on his 3rd loan at Charlton. Wellington is just a loan machine on to himself.

    Yes 20 odd is a lot but at the same time, anyone can do it if they want.

  28. Romford Ozil Pele

    Dream, but Coquelin is a thoroughbred DM whereas JW is a B2B midfielder so he’d be part of that 4 rather than the 1 infront of the back four. I’m sure he will try and shoehorn Jack back in at some point. At a guess (just my opinion), Wenger’s ideal midfield looks like this:

    Sanchez Ramsey Wilshere Ozil

    If you take out Coq/Arteta, that’s the midfield that started at home against City this season though Alexis and Ozil swapped sides.

  29. N5

    Fudge me NM, I was well off, I was just reading up a review from his perormance against Gala and this is what it said.

    “He completed a remarkable 93.1 per cent of his 29 attempted passes – including playing a couple of nice through-balls to release Joel Campbell as the game became stretched late on.

    Unorthodox for a winger, but Maitland-Niles also provided an important clearance from a dangerous Galatasaray attack. He is renowned for his pace and crossing ability, but unfortunately had little-to-no opportunity to show it on Tuesday night.”

  30. tunnygriffboy

    Coquelin, Flamini ( ugh ) and lego head are our DM’s. Wilshere has to fight with Ramsey, Rosicky and now Santi for his position. Can see him being used in rotation but missing out in the big games.

  31. N5

    Carts, I hear you mate. It is what it is.

    I was just a little confused to suddenly see business happening down the road when they were so adamant nothing was going to change.

    gambon fair reasoning for it and as I said, if it works out, they’ve seemingly done another good bit of business.

    Did someone say the other day that Real’s loanee’s dwarfs Chelsea’s?

  32. Nasri's Mouth


    I’d imagine he could pick up all the English he needed to play in about a week, and that’s being pessimistic.

    As long as he knows the terms for push up, drop back, mark him, man on..

    He doesn’t need to be able to construct sentences.

    Alexis didn’t speak a word of English when he joined and he was playing very soon after he signed.

    Adapting to a new defensive style at Arsenal will take longer than that.

    If we signed Reid, then we have an inferior (based on cost) player who we’re stuck with, who would still take time to adapt to our playing style. That’s the issue, not the language

  33. Goondawg

    Im not too concerned about this language barrier of Paulistas

    Apparently he came to spain, not knowing any spanish, picked it up and is now fairly competent along with his Portuguese. In defence he will have Monreal and Bellerin helping him out, not to mention Arteta in front of him. He will learn english, it’s not too difficult to pick up when he is in london and surrounded by english people. He is supposed to be a hard-working proffessional and not an idiot like Anderson or Tevez

  34. N5

    Cheers NM. I’m glad there are people on here that invest more time than a quick look and a sneer! at least now I understand he’s unorthadox but quite an exciting prospect.

  35. London gunner


    One of my girls is Portuguese. She says Spanish and Portuguese is very similar they have near enough the same words just pronounced differently. Though it’s easier for a Portuguese person to understand and speak Spanish than vice versa because Portuguese have more types of sounds than Spanish so learning Spanish doesn’t require as much training as the tongue to pronounce unusual sounding words.

    So learning English might actually represent a tougher challenge for paulista as English is a mixture of Anglo Saxons, latin and Scandinavian.

  36. Carts

    N5 – that’s Mourinho for you. I suppose when you apply perspective Mourinho had to do something. He’s played 85-90% of the same 11 weekly! He’s managed injuries really well, especially if you use Arsenal as a comparison.

    The fact Salah and Schurrle have barely seen game time tell us that 1) he doesn’t rate them 2) he doesn’t particularly trust their effectiveness.

    With Cuadrado in the mix, it’ll allow Hazard and Willian to be rotated in both the CL and EPL.

  37. Le Prof

    Div Gooner

    ‘my point is Not everybody speaks english. So if you want to experiment non english speaking players, you do it in the summer. or do it when you have a decent squad to help him out a little. Give the bloke a little time to even learn the basics of the language. As it stands, he has very little time to settle in, get on the same brain waves as his team mates’

    Relax brother he speaks the language of football.

    He is a far better choice than Winston Reid. Younger, quicker, more aggressive and he can play…..unlike Reid who is a good but not great stopper and struggles to play. Squad standard yes but pushing Mert and Kos for 1st XI I doubt it.

    Gabriel will be pushing those two for a starting spot.