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Jack’s Back But Diaby’s Return Could Be Just As Important For Arsenal

Arsenal fan ‘Lloyd the Gooner’ takes a look at how important the fit again midfielder Abou Diaby could be in the second half of the season if he stays fit.


Abou Diaby and Jack Wilshere. Imagine Arsene Wenger announcing that pair as January signings. Wilshere is, of course, priceless, and Abou if he stays fit, in team terms, will be in that bracket too.

It has taken Jack a few months to return to his best. Abou Diaby must be given the same time and patience by the fans. I sensed in the stadium against Swansea that he will get both.

He was far from his best, still rusty, and it was no surprise that the odd pass went astray. As with Jack on his return, the burst away from opponents is not back yet. Then again how many players at possibly 60% of potential could play the game with such ease? He cruised around the pitch against Swansea looking more and more comfortable and composed.

The first half was poor from the whole team. Wilshere was an honourable exception but Diaby stood out too for his physical power as much as his skill on the ball.

The loss of Song at start of the season was a huge blow to the team. There is a story to be told there and I await the Wenger autobiography with interest. Why would he let him go? The answer, of course, MAY be as simple as a gamble on the fitness of Abou Diaby.

If that is the case, against the ‘Swans’ in the cup, you could see why Arsene was tempted to take that gamble. In the second half in particular he was pivotal; the foundation upon which the much improved performance was built. He was ably assisted by Coquelin who himself grew stronger as the game progressed.

I suspect we will see more of that double act from now on. To make it work Diaby needs to stay fit, get stronger and find his old ability to go past people to open gaps and create the space for those around him.

I said at the beginning of the season that Diaby ‘was the single most talented player at the club’. Perhaps I should have put Jack Wilshere in there as well! But the point was well made. If we can keep Diaby fit put a Ramsey or a Coquelin alongside him we will start to dominate games again. And once we do that we know that the talent is there to hurt teams.

Wilshere’s return has been nothing short of sensational all things considered but let’s not lose sight of the value of the big Frenchman, I know Arsene Wenger won’t!



  1. Goonerboyo

    January 19, 2013 at 10:00 am

    There is an old Nigerian proverb that says:

    “A bird does not change its feathers because the weather is bad”.

    With both players available, the team has better balance. Both players come from unique moulds.
    Lets hope for full recoveries.

  2. Gunner at Heart

    January 19, 2013 at 10:18 am

    I totally agree – the Diaby + Coquelin pairing appears to be very effective. Diaby is talented – i remain faithful that he will get his fitness back and return to his best just like Van Persie. Having Diaby and Wishere fit will allow arsenal to impose themselves strongly on opponents. I look forward to the flourishing midfield partnerships if the game against Swansea is anything to go by!

  3. Mulundu Patrick

    January 19, 2013 at 10:20 am

    Jack and Diaby comeback should not blindfold Wenger but should awaken him to buy a strong holding midfielder in this January window.

  4. Wiszley 4rm NIGERIA ABUJA

    January 19, 2013 at 10:20 am

    Please and please this is not the kind of thing we the fans need now.we dont want any maybe’s or maybe not, wenger should get a quality players now.for how long should we keep hoping for a trophy. By the time this plan fail u wil stil be the one to put a write up on websites criticising wenger

  5. rayn

    January 19, 2013 at 10:56 am

    we still one deffencive midfielder… i’d like 2 see poldi nd walcot paired up front..

  6. LarryVin

    January 19, 2013 at 11:15 am

    Diaby is injury prone asides that he is indeed some talent…buh we cant rely on his feeble and unosscified bones, this is eight years without winning even a tea cup…we need a DMF like crazy,though whatever happens i will always love my ARSENAL!

  7. adai

    January 19, 2013 at 11:33 am

    My fellow amiable fans!its gud 2 buy players but what we have fail 2 do 4 d team is we are not praying enough 4 d team.I tell u if all our players are injury free Arsenal is d team 2 beat. 2moro Chelsit is going down. Gunners4eva

  8. LOL

    January 19, 2013 at 5:24 pm

    He said same thing about Diaby at start of season. Lol.

  9. yinkami

    January 20, 2013 at 8:35 am

    coquelin over ramsey anyday anytime, ramsey kills momentum

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