By 1970's Gooner
Never the mind the defeat. It was only a friendly and Arsenal played some beautiful football albeit without penetration again. But more on the game in a later posting. What has inspired me is Diaby’s performance. He is the new Vieira and even better.
Until he was substituted in the middle of the second half, he was immense, running the game from the central midfield position with power, determination and an overall presence that points to a very exciting season for him and for Arsenal.
He is of course built and looks like a young Vieira but he is in my opinion a more skillful player. He was not only making tackles in front of his defence, he was taking the ball forward with pace, transforming defence into attack in seconds. Just like Vieira used to do.
There was one instance when he won the ball in the central midfield position and took it forward in a strong run, passed several opponents ending up right into Salzburg’s penalty area. His cut back was intercepted by the goalkeeper.
Fantastic play from a box to box galactico in the making! You can watch some video clips of Diaby on the video window which shows him in action at the age of 13.
It’s a pity that Arsenal are not yet playing that quick counter attacking football they used to. If they do again this year then Diaby will be even more effective.
He has Viera’s temperament in that he gets carried away with his desire to stop the opponents. And by utilising his long legs he sometimes tackles from a distance which can of course look bad when the tackle is slightly mistimed.
He will get a lot of bookings next season, like the one he got in this friendly game, but I don’t see him getting as many reds as Vieira did in his earlier years.
Wenger simply has to start with Diaby in every game next season and this may point to a three pronged central midfield of Fabregas, Silva and Diaby unless the captain drops to the bench; which I don’t see happening. All this implies that the formation next season is more likely to be a 4 3 3 or even a 4 5 1 depending on the occasion.
Vassiriki Abou Diaby Fact File
Date of Birth 11th may 1986
Place of Birth Paris, France
Height 1.88 m /6 ft 2 in
Weight 78 kg /12 st 4 lbs
Squad No 2