Saturday, September 01, 2007

Diarra is a good signing, but is he what we need now?

So, with the predictability that can only come after weeks of winking denials, we added one more body to our squad at approximately ten to midnight last night.

Lassana Diarra is an excellent player. A Chelsea supporting friend of mine told me how he had become frustrated at Mourinho's unwillingness to give young Lassana more of a chance, as he was clearly a very talented guy. Indeed, and as Gunnerblog has already pointed out, the sale has raised the ire of internet-using Chelsea fans. They clearly wanted to hold on to him, even if Mourinho didn't.

The eleventh hour nature of the deal was undoubtedly due to the fact Chelsea didn't want to sell Diarra to us; but, and like the Ashley Cole situation last year, the player must have clearly have wanted to leave, and to specifically join us. Chelsea, even with their wealth, don't want to carry dead-weight, just as the sale of Glen Johnson earlier in the day had shown.

But notwithstanding his abilities, do we really need a player like Diarra? He's a central midfielder who can fill in at right-back. Now, of all the positions in the squad, central midfield seems, just about covered, as does right-back. The signing seems to bolster my belief that Arsene likes to target central midfield players due to the fact that technical and passing abilities are needed above all in this position, two attributes that Arsene values most highly. As he has consistently shown, he clearly feels that if a player has sufficient technical ability, he can play in a range of positions.

Yet what we clearly needed, and what we've needed for over a season, is a left-winger, and we've done nothing in this transfer window to remedy this deficiency.

I would hazard a guess that Diarra is being earmarked by Arsene as Gilberto's long-term replacement. The combination of a contract that soon needs to be renewed, reaching the dreaded 'logan's run' age, and the fact that Arsene overlooked Gilberto when it came to the captaincy seems ominous. Is Gilberto still in Arsene's long-term plans?

If nothing else, another body is always another body, and Diarra is clearly a very good player.

But is he what we need to compete this season, or is he another part of a future machine? I'm not so sure.


Anonymous said...

I want to know why we need a winger? If its for cover then fair enough but we dont need to change the first 11.

We just need to finish off our chances.

Anonymous said...

Quite right actually. If we had bought a left back or legt mid that would have made sense. But nonetheless we are making the defense stronger with Diarra.
Maybe flamini will decide to leave Arsenal cause his playing chances are getting quite thin.

Anonymous said...

Diarra is OK

There is no longer English Premier League, there is F_O_R_E_I_G_N Premier League.
Ar$enal and Chel$ea full of French players.
Russian and American money scooped up Chelsea, Man United and Liverpool. Liverpool full of Spanish players and led by a Spaniard, Arsenal led by a Frenchman, Man Utd by a Scot, and Chelsea by Portuguese.
Foreign money + foreign players = Foreign Premier League.

Fight for your bragging rights.


Jithin said...

Dont worry about the left winger issue. Arsenal got many in their reserves n youth. Just check them. Arsene should have that in mind. He'll bring a good one for us when the time comes. I've heard there is a boy of Giggs' quality. Wenger hails him as the next Giggs.

Arsene Knows!!!!!

Anonymous said...

A good buy for sure.

Anonymous said...

We have missed Gilberto when he hasn't played in the holding role as we lacked a real replacement for him, Diarra does add cover in an area we needed so a good add. Still would have liked a left winger for cover myself but otherwise the squad seems great.

Anonymous said...

True that the central midfield position is well filled. I see Diarra as pairing quite well with Fabregas, and making it more feasible for Gilberto to drob into central defense if needed. Obviously would be best to play Gilberto in his favoured position, but with seemingly every pundit's opinion that our squad is light, it can only help.

And it is the English Premier League. It's in England. Just accept it - it's the best in the world.