Told you this was going to be a quiet week. I was playing football late last night and had that thing where you can’t sleep afterwards, but when I did I was dreaming about FA Cup final tickets.
All of the tickets for Arsenal fans were being sold from a kiosk in space and you had to take this weird shuttle craft to get there. However, for some reason they located the kiosk in the middle of an asteroid belt so loads of the shuttles were being smashed by space rocks and people were spinning off in the vast expanses like they were Sandra Bullock in Gravity.
The club defended this by saying that tickets would only go to the most committed fans and even in my dream I knew this was nonsense because there’s committed and then there’s suicidally mental which is what all the people who were going off into the blackness to be utterly Bullocked were.
I don’t remember what happened after that but then Mrs Blogs, awake before me, decided the funnest new alarm clock is a 40 kilo German Shepherd who leaps onto the bed and then slobbers you into consciousness. I have to say, as a method of waking somebody up it is most effective. Then the German Shepherd ensures that his butthole must sparkle so it’s win-win for everyone.
In terms of Arsenal there’s not much going on. Abou Diaby played 45 minutes for the U21s last night which is good news for him. Asked if he might play for us before the end of the season, the manager said:
He is fit and ready. Physically he’s ready to play, completely. It’s just now decision making, getting used to challenges again. He needs a game.
In the build-up to the game, Arsenal posted a picture of Diaby in the dressing room and it’s hard not to look at that knee:
It looks like it’s made of 99% scar. I have to say I’m sympathetic towards Diaby in the main. You read people lambasting him for some reason or other, but it’s not as if he’s deliberately ruptured his cruciate and spent a year out of the game just so he can lie around, be fed grapes by his many concubines, and pick up his wages.
The issue for me was always that we left ourselves in a position where he was missed when he was injured, and as harsh as it may sound that’s no longer the case. The squad is choc-full of central midfielders. Sure, what he brings in terms of height is probably unique in our team of less than tall players, but his absence no longer hurts the team or leaves us short of options.
I think this season is probably too soon for him as well. He might well be fit but after a year out he’s got some way to go to regain the kind of match sharpness and composure you need in games of high intensity, and it might be best for all concerned that he eases himself back into things without the expectation of a high level of performance – which is exactly what we need in the last four games of the season.
As for his future, well he’s got a contract which runs out next summer, and I can’t see that there’s any justification for extending that. If he can play a part in the next campaign all good and well, but we’ve been as loyal as any club should be to a player. It’s the club that assumes the risk of an asset breaking down on the job. It is not incumbent on the player to make reparation because he’s banjaxed. Would you, if you were busted up doing your job?
If there’s a feckless waster or two that takes advantage of that, that’s a different story, but behind the scenes Diaby has been incredibly hard-working and conscientious. He’s tried everything he can to stay fit and available, but his body continues to let him down, and that’s what will drive any decision making about what happens to him, I think.
Anyway, assuming there are no midfield departures in the summer, and that we add to the squad in that area to give us that bit more quality, his role could be even further reduced. Certainly we’re not going to be reliant on him when we sign that world class physical ball playing super-strong goalscoring goalstopping reducer-inducing DM with all the skillz that we have to have like the fat child in Willy Wonka had to drink out of the chocolate river.
And look what happened to him. He was sucked up a pipe. That’s the danger we face. Getting sucked up the pipe and all of a sudden you’re spat out into a room with a monster with the face of Carlton Palmer and body of Mickey Quinn and talons like griffin.
It could happen. You don’t know that.
Anyway, here’s to something happening today and for there to be something else on the radio apart from people talking about Man Utd and David Moyes. Never before has ‘Man crap at job loses job’ got so much coverage.