Diaby is No Winger

For the second big game of the season Arsene Wenger has deployed Abou Diaby as a winger.  Whilst the big man played there last season and has also been deployed in that position this season, he is not and never will be a winger.


Diaby’s best performances have either been as a central midfielder or playing behind the main striker. The size and strength of Diaby scream out central midfielder.  A few weeks ago Arsene praised Diaby’s performances and compared him to Vieira.  We all thought that Arsene had seen the light and would stop playing Abou all over the place and focus on using him as a central midfielder.


Alas both the FA Cup semi-final and the Champions League semi-final have shown that Arsene believes that Diaby is suited to playing out on the wing.  In both games the tactic did not work and Diaby’s performances have been questioned.  If the idea was to use Diaby to negate the attacks of the opposition, then his services would have been better employed in the centre.


Diaby is strong; he shields the ball well and can shoot.  When he sees space he uses his speed to rip through defences as he showed away to Aston Villa and Newcastle.  Use his strength in the middle alongside Fabregas and we have the ideal partnership.


I have stated before that there is so much to come from Diaby but Arsene must play him in central midfield.  Using his as a winger is a waste of talent and only serves to confuse the player.


Posted on April 30, 2009, in Arsenal Players and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. OK play him in central mid and sacrifice who exactly? Cesc? You want the skipper on the bench? Or perhaps you prefer Song? Bench our best defensive minded midfielder so Diaby can go on surging forward runs and lose the ball. Diaby just doesn’t have a position or at least a starting position. He is not defensive minded since he gets forward so much and he cannot dictate the game like Cesc, so by mere default he has to be a winger if he wants to start. He cannot play as another CM beside song – we’ve seen how horribly ineffective and uncreative a 2 CM Arsenal play. In truth Diaby just isn’t that great of a player. Decent sub but not a starter and he’s definitely nowhere near Vieira.

  2. I dont think he should play in the centre as we have capable talented and stronger players than him. Song, Ashavin,Fabregas in the centre is more devastating than Diaby and who and who?????I agree totally with WC, a sub definately but not a starter.Oh by the way don’t you ever forget that he makes very clumsy tackles which cost us dearly,but i wont go into that now as i would remain calm.WC im with you a sub!!

  3. agree wc

    the guy has the odd amazing game or the odd fantastic run, but even in cm or behind the striker he still only puts in one great game out of every 5 or so matches. he’s massively talented but unless something changes his development seems to have not really progressed at all since he joined. he still hogs the ball to much, he still gives it away quite cheaply and he doesn’t help out anything like enough defensively.

    if he irons out his game like song, then we have a fantastic player on our hands. if not he’s not arsenal first team quality. let’s hope it’s the former

  4. Diaby’s best position is still yet unknown because he is far too inconsistent, but he is definitely not a left winger. I cannot understand Arsene using him there. Man Utd won the game in midfield and to play Nasri central and Diaby wide is madness. We needed strength in the midfield but they completely ran that area. I am sure that with Diaby and Song in front of the back four it would have given them more protection but also given Cesc more time and space to do is damage. Nasri gives a much better balance when he plays on the left.

  5. This guy has something wrong!! out of 5 matches he will produce one great perfomance(vry inconsistent) The reason why we lost to chelsea and manu in the fa and champions league semi finals respectively is because that boy started the matches..The tendency of over carrying the ball and losing it , nobody can stand it..yesterday against manu he caused us so many problems due to his neglegence!!

  6. Good article. At least you didnt blatantly criticise him like so many other blogs. H shielded Gibbs from ronalo very well allnight and made some vital tackles. Going forward he didnt do much but neither did the rest of the team Cesc gave away more passes than Diaby.

    He has got so much potential, I think he just needs a defining moment to believe in himself and realise that potential. (Maybe a 30 yard screamer t make it 3-1 tothe Arsenal in the 2n leg???). Yes Please

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