So here we are, arrived at St George’s Day, where the good people of England celebrate their patron saint by indulging in that most fanciful of things: going to work as if it was a normal day. Because it essentially is. You’ve gotta love our sense of nationalistic pride, eh?
I’m sure John Terry is celebrating his Britishness with his white cloak and pitchfork. After all, he helped to snooze-fest his team last night with one foot in the final after a bore-draw with Athletic Madrid, who were stifled by Jose and his double-decks ring by the sounds of it. Thankfully I had a football free evening which meant I don’t feel I’ve lost a small part of my life this morning. But chastise as we may, if they scab the Champions League trophy again, we’ll all be admitting we’d take a dose of ‘boring-boring Arsenal’ for that particular piece of silverware.
Of Arsenal, there is relatively little news to speak of, such is the length of time that remains before we play Newcastle on Monday night. There’s plenty of transfer gossip talking about Karim Benzema but, as much as I’d like to preach to you that I won’t get caught up with it in the summer, I inevitably will. So I’ll try not to peak too early by talking in great detail about any more possible signings before the season finishes. Besides, there is still plenty of work to be done and we need to secure top four and win ourselves a trophy before we can start getting all speculative on what acquisitions will be made during the close season.
The most substantial bit of Arsenal-related stuff that occurred yesterday was the return of Abou Diaby, who after 400 odd days out injured, has finally graced some green turf (warts and all if you saw the picture of the scar on his knee). It’s a welcome sight for one of the most injury prone footballers I have seen in my time on this here earth. I’m told he’s now made of 67% silicone/titanium hybrid materials and sleeps within a cryogenic chamber every night to delay the ageing process on a body that resembles a 78 year old man rather than a footballer just the other side of 25.
It’s ground that has been gone over a million times, but it’s a shame that a promising career was reduced to rubble and with just a year left on his contract, this really is last chance saloon for the Frenchman. He’ll probably not make any games this season I would have thought, but a good pre season and an injury-free summer will stand him in good stead for trying to make an impact on this Arsenal team come August.
The only trouble he’ll have is actually getting in to the team. Arsenal has moved on. We’ve signed and bought through replacements in midfield and even a fully fit Diaby would struggle to get into this Arsenal team I’d wager. He certainly couldn’t replace Özil or Ramsey – the most likely positions he’d adopt – and I’m not so sure of his defensive capabilities, so I wouldn’t think he’d fit the defensive midfielder-style role at the club. At a push he could be a square peg in a round hole occupying one of the wide attacking positions, but that would surely only be a temporary thing in light of injuries sustained to other players, no?
We’ve all seen his talent, hopefully he can stay fit, but even if that does happen for the whole of next season (stop laughing) I still think he’ll be looking for a new club at the end of it. The question would then be asked who might take a Kieran Dyer-esque punt on a player who spends more time on the treatment table than the professional green playing fields of England and Europe?
But that’s a debate to ponder long into the future. Let’s worry about How to solve a problem like Diaby when we have a problem to solve. At this moment in time it’s just good to see him back playing football.
Right, well, I’m off to…err…not celebrate St George’s Day and work. See you tomorrow.