Having only just started his first game for Arsenal in around 19 months, you would not expect Abou Diaby to start the very next one as well, especially one as important as a north London derby with Tottenham in the Premier League, but I have a sneaking feeling that the Frenchman could be on the team sheet on Saturday.
In the latest injury update on the Arsenal.com website, Arsene Wenger has revealed that another French midfielder, Mathieu Flamini, has a chance of being available again for the Tottenham game, after missing out on the last two squads due to a small problem.
The manager said, “The only difference compared to Villa and Southampton is that Mathieu Flamini might be available again. He had a dead leg. I feel he should be back.”
But might is a bit vague from Wenger and what if Flamini is not at 100 percent? Well that is when I think Diaby could be called upon. I know that Mikel Arteta would be the more expected choice, especially as the Spaniard is now the club captain, but Diaby did pretty well on his return against a talented, hard working and pressing Saints team. If the boss thinks he is fit enough to face another game four days after that, he might think that Diaby’s qualities would be more useful than Arteta’s in the high pressure of a local derby.
Diaby could help us to see of what is likely to be serious midfield pressure from the spuds. If he cannot last the whole game, Arteta’s artistry could be used once the Totts are more tired. Let’s be honest, Gooners, comparing the two on recent form, who would you pick?