Offering Diaby a new contract or not, what Wenger really said

By Walter Broeckx


We all have probably seen the headlines in the media that provoked a firm reaction. Headlines saying: Wenger will offer Diaby a new contract. One of them said: Abou Diaby will be offered new Arsenal deal if he regains full fitness, confirms Arsène Wenger. With an accent of course but I put the accent in there as the media didn’t.  Another one saying: Abou Diaby could get new Arsenal contract, says Arsène Wenger.

Will…could…. what did he say that brought a deal of the fans (the same part as usual) up in arms? Well to know that I translated that part of the show from French in to English where he discussed the Diaby situation.

The question that was posed to Wenger was: “how will Arsène Wenger handle the case of Abou  Diaby who is out of contract in June?

Wenger responded : “First of all it is not a mental question but a physical (injury) problem.

Wenger then continued: “He is a player for whom I have the most respect. You just have to imagine that for a player to come back each time and each time again you get another injury, you have to start again from zero, working hard every day for 6 to 8 hours to come back. He is a player that has been destroyed by the competition because of a terrible tackle. What people never mention is that to play football you need your ankle. You need a fit and mobile ankle and from the moment that mobility is held back by something you try to compensate this in every movement you make. And what has created the misfortune for Diaby was that tackle at Sunderland. 6 or 7 years ago (in fact it was 2006 so 8 years). A killer tackle that never has been punished and that tackle has changed the mobility in his ankle. And now they say he is a fragile player, he is not a fragile player. He is a player that has been destroyed by a bad tackle.  And I hope for him that he will come back and regain full fitness and if he comes back to full fitness of course I would want to hold on to him and offer him a new deal because after all I have always believed in him and wanted him to stay and gave him a new contract in the past.  And I have the utmost respect for his mental force that he has shown all these years.  It is unbelievable what he has done in those years. But unfortunately, the most important thing in our job is having a good health. “

This is almost literally what Wenger said or as close as a translation can come.  For those who think they can do a better job be my guest

First of all let us start with the point from where Diaby had to come back from. One pictures says more than a thousand words. Just look at his ankle and the angle with his leg in the picture


The thing facing the Sunderland player is the bottom of
Diaby his foot. Completely unnatural….

Ouch. Terrible. I remember in the first days that the surgeon even said that he didn’t knew if Diaby would come back from this terrible injury. It was described as possible career ending tackle. How true this now seems to be.

Since that moment Diaby has come back, shown some amazing prospect of the player he could have become only to find himself injured again.

Get rid of him shout some. He only cost us money that we should spend on other players. I wonder it these are the same who otherwise don’t worry about money at all and shout: spend, spend, spend as if there is no tomorrow. And there will be a tomorrow, hopefully.

Let us look at it from Wenger his point of view. He has brought him to Arsenal and some 100 days after his transfer his career was kicked to pieces. Wenger knew the immense talent was there. So he didn’t want the talent to go. But as we have heard from several players who have left us Wenger is also a bit of a father figure for the younger players. When Diaby was kicked to shit he was 20 years young.

So maybe as a human being Wenger felt somehow guilty about it?  Of course he didn’t commit the tackle but if it wasn’t for Wenger Diaby wouldn’t be out there on the field. Wenger brought him and played him and then it happened. It can be compared with telling a friend to wait a few minutes before to drive off with the car because you have to do something first and then when you start driving a terrible accident happens and he gets killed. Of course you didn’t intend to kill him by letting him wait for you. But the chance that you think to yourself: it is my fault might pass your mind.

So does Wenger feel guilty for Diaby? If he does it only shows him to be a great man. And if you see the fire he has when he talks about Diaby he sees himself as a bit of a father figure for Diaby. And a father that feels guilty without reason in fact but still I think it is his human reaction.

I cannot like Wenger for having this reaction. I also don’t think that Diaby will have the biggest contract of the team. And when he did his knee last year it was said that Diaby told Arsenal not to pay him till he was fully fit one year later and played at Norwich.

Now the main thing is that it is up to Diaby to get a new contract or not. I think it is clear that if he proves to be fit and to remain fit between now and the end of the season he could get a new contract.  If not…then I think it will be the end for Diaby not only at Arsenal but also as a footballer. I then hope that Arsenal will do the honourable thing and offer him some kind of job. A job as a scout or maybe even in the coaching staff. Or somewhere in the medical team where he can try to help younger and older players in their recovery and support them in their usual lonely battle to return to full fitness.

A lonely battle that this man had to fight oh so many times on his own. His football career may have been ended on that terrible day in May at Sunderland by that killer tackle from Dan Smith. I really do hope that he can somehow give something back to Arsenal. He gave his health for our club. I wouldn’t want him to be put aside or thrown away like the garbage in the bin.  Yes he has cost us a lot of money but not because of Wenger making a mistake by bringing him, not because of Diaby not having the talent, not because of Diaby being too fragile. No because one stupid player felt the need to show what a hard man he was in the extra time of a match that was going to be won (by Arsenal) and lost (by Sunderland) anyway, in the middle of the field with nothing really going on any more.

So yes I will always have a warm place in my heart for Diaby. Whatever happens in the next months or years. He was one of the most unfortunate Gunners in recent history.   And as a friend of mine can testify in person he is a very nice person in his daily life when he had the chance to talk with him.

I talked about keeping our fingers crossed for the health of our players on international duty, maybe we could do the same for Diaby?

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56 Replies to “Offering Diaby a new contract or not, what Wenger really said”

  1. Rarely, if ever, mentioned by any football writer or media pundit: the 3 worst injuries of the past 10 years have happened to Arsenal players – Diaby, Eduardo, Ramsey. I’d be interested to know the 3 worst injuries in comparable leagues [Germany, France, Italy, Spain] over the same period.

  2. I do genuinely sympathise with Diaby and his incessant injury problems but after only appearing in 22 matches in the last 4 years enough is enough.

    Wenger would have to be extremely foolish to extend his contract once again.

  3. Outstanding article on a very good player whose potential was wiped out by a nonentity.
    If I recall correctly, and I hope it’s true; Dan Smith never played for Sunderland again. I think that marks Sunderland out as a great club. Play the game hard but fair. If only Stoke City could aspire to that attitude!!
    I also recall that Smith was given a yellow card for this heinous offence. Why not a red card? Maybe the referee had no cajones and knew that a red card for violent conduct could result in legal proceedings and he bottled it!!
    Good luck in your future Abou; I hope to see you play for Arsenal again.

  4. There are a few things going on here. First, on a human and personal level, every Arsenal fan should be proud of the way the club handled Diaby situation since his original ankle injury. To be given this many chances to prove one’s worth to the club, is every player’s dream.

    And then there’s the second level, the competition and trying to win the league title and the CL . Arsenal can ill afford to carry any players in their squad who aren’t fit to play. We already carry players who don’t contribute much for a variety of reasons . Some are ‘ projects’ (Sanogo), others out of favor( Rosicky, Campbell and to certain extent Podolski).

    Then we have players who never give us a full season because of injuries .
    Gibbs, Monreal ,Arteta, Wilshere, Ramsey and Ozil can be included in this group.

    Of course one could say ‘wait a sec Tom, no one could’ve predicted Diaby would’ve had all those other injuries, so it was only right for the club to stick with him. Well , not exactly.
    Some people ( including myself) have looked at his ankle break and the subsequent slew of injuries, and had said that Diaby would never be the player he once was. Two seasons ago to be exact I wrote a post on here saying so, so not much hindsight there.

    There’s no debating how tragic for Diaby his Arsenal career has turned out to be, but there are bigger tragedies in life and we move on.

    Whether he can prove his fitness or not before his contract runs out, offering him a new one at the end of the season will be more sentimental rather than based in reality of what he can deliver.

  5. What a wonderful article.this is what football and especially Arsenal should be about
    Even our past “hard men” did nothing like Smith who I hear is playing non-league football
    Without trying to sound too grandiose, thanks for bringing the humanity back to our game which has all too often, lately simply been about cash !

  6. Derek Paget, the Gunners that have suffered the most crushing injuries in the last 3 to 10 years back should be up to 4 instead of the 3 you have listed. I think the 4 should be Eduardo, Aboi Diabi, Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere. I don’t know the injury history of Eduardo. But I am conversant with those of the other 3 players. Aboi injuries case is pathetic. And it goes to show how humanistic the boss can be to his players when they are physically down with crushing injuries. I remember how the boss firmly stood behind Ramsey and Wilshere during the low point in their physicalities. Those 2 players owe the boss alot of gratitude for his unrelenting patient and support for them to see that they return to full fitness and form. Even at the espence of Arsenal games good results. A different manager may not be that patient to be waiting without signing some replacements to replace them for the interest of the club. I think Diabi needs to be prayed for a divine intervention to put a permanent end to his injuries plague. I sincerely pray for him to recover fully and remain fully recovered. And start staring for Arsenal again.

  7. What an article! Indeed our response as a club to Diaby’s unfortunate situation is commendable. I disagree that the need to win should dictate our response as @Tom just said.
    Players are humans, and I hope so are all of us fans. These guys are not bionic men and should be seen as such. Giving Diaby is a vote of confidence he needs on the road to full recovery. He doesn’t deserve to be treated as trash, dumped aside simply because we need the glory more than the player. Am with Wenger on this one. Diaby has my full vote of confidence.

  8. @ derek,

    my thoughts exactly! i cant think of any other team that has had that amount of horrific injury in such a short period. when the refs let the little things go it tilts the aggressiveness up just a little and these types of things can happen. do that over a decade or so…and you get arsenal.

    i hope that diaby is given a contract. maybe not as a player, but i love that our club looks after its people. long may that continue.

  9. I cannot understand all the brouhaha about whether Diaby should have a new contract or not. Especially because some of those opposed to it claim to be Arsenal supporters.
    In the final financial scheme of things, his wages are miniscule on the Club’s balance sheet.
    Arsene must have been told by the medicos that return to full fitness is more than just possible.
    A fit Diaby would be like a new signing and all true Arsenal supporters should welcome that.
    Let us all look on the bright side that he will soon return to play an important part in the rest of Club’s campaigns this season.

  10. One of the saddest articles I have read on Untold but I am glad Walter wrote it.

    Arsene Wenger and Arsenal are so perfect for each other because humanity guides the two. Diaby is OUR player. He was injured while working for US. We have a solemn responsibility to not leave him out in the cold. I expect Arsenal to give Diaby a new contract and I firmly support the club on the action.

    Maybe Diaby will be back to his old best or maybe not but I hope that Arsenal will always be there for him.

  11. Excellent article, well crafted and written, spot on with the viewpoint re: Abu Diaby. A pleasure to read

  12. May I, from the other side of the world, echo the commendations to Walter for this article.


  13. A great article on humanity. The other side of this is the evil of PGMO and their ilk. The players who tackle with such venom rarely get justice meted out to them. A law suit may be the only real justice.

    Great talents like Diaby, Eduardo & Ramsey do not come often. These talents need to be protected in the Game.

  14. Agree with the article and all the similar sentiments expressed. Let’s hope that we see Abou playing again and back to his best.

  15. Arsene’s words show that he is still angry and will always be angry about what Dan Smith did to Abou Diaby. ‘A killer tackle that has never been punished’. He does not often talk about these things probably because he knows it is useless and he wants to encourage our players to feel their own power and strength, especially as the kicking and assaults on our players still continue. So thank you, Walter, for giving us this long quotation which explains clearly how he still feels.

    I too feel the greatest respect for Abou Diaby, especially after reading what Arsene Wenger says about what he has gone through again and again and how the original assault is responsible for that. For a young man of twenty to have a brilliant career blighted and still keep going shows remarkable strength of character. There are plenty of others who let their lives collapse after such a disappointment. Congratulations to Arsenal for giving him the chance to keep trying.

    If it does not work out I hope very much that Abou Diaby will find fulfilment in other ways in his future life, find other ways of applying his talents.

  16. Guess …if it happens, what the nature of a new deal would be….pay as you play? A coaching or ambassador role?
    Diaby is symbolic of the treatment handed to our players, can see why wenger would be protective.
    I would love see Diaby back in the first team. Not sure if it will happen on a long term basis. As for his assailant, heard he was playing at a much lower level, and working in a call centre. Nothing wrong with working in a call centre , but comforting to know his victim will be wealthy throughout his life, so will his family. The piece of shite who once graced sunderland probably will not. Cannot wish anything good in life to the sunderland player, the manager who sent him out knowing what he is, the referee who produced only a yellow, or the managers, media and refs who allow such things to carry on to this day. Arsenal and the manager have shown their class yet again on this matter. Diaby was a victim of English football but will hopefully have a good life thanks to wenger and arsenal.

  17. Maybe the answer is to give him a 6 month rolling non playing contract in the background where he can work on his fitness. If he recovers sufficiently he can be given a playing one again . In the mean time we need to concentrate on things on the pitch .

  18. Walter, a great article. Through no fault of his own Diaby’s career was cut short while wearing our shirt. He represents us. I am embarrassed by Gooners who who abuse Diaby on blogs. I understand his other injuries are all linked to this original injury, due to the way the body tries to protect itself. Arsenal are a class club and I am proud of the way we have respected Diaby. Shame we have a collection of fans who let us all down.

    Dan Smith is a typical English dinosaur. He was sent off on his Sundeland debut. He played three games for SUNDERLAND before being shipped off to Aberdeen. He played 13 odd games before they shipped him off to non-league football. Park player.

    I have said it several times. We have suffered three horrific leg breaks, all committed by English players. This is no coincidence. Arsenal ‘don’t like it up em in as become accept ed’ folk law and our players are on the receiving end of more robust tackles. The fact Dan Smith only got a yellow card and Ryan Shawcross got sympathy, sums it up.

    Great article Walter, real humility.

  19. It is the outpouring of sympathy for those that make reckless tackles that really annoys me. We had this with Shawcross and the media feeling sorry for him. He wasn’t the one that would spend the next year on crutches with basic chores almost impossible to do. The same with the time spent in the gym when he should be playing football. Yet players like Abou Diaby, Eduardo and Ramsey seem to get less sympathy than the English thugs. Here is an example:

    Not sure what this proves but I wonder if it would be similar in other Countries. I doubt it.

  20. Reading through Wengers words on A.Diaby, tears rolled down my eyes. The club has my vote – if needed – in giving Diaby a new contract. Better still, a non playing job as Walter has suggested. He deserved it. A bright career cut short by a monster. It is the fact that it wasnt punished that the more painful part of it. How I wish the new rule will be that the offender stays off the field until the person he injured comes back. Or lets say give the idiot a six month ban from all football activities.

    Tony, that other side of the world, hope its not far from Mars? Lol. Enjoy

  21. A very nice article , Walter ,thanks. I do hope that he comes back stronger and also have no doubt that the manager and the club will stand by him .
    That is why we support this club – we do it the right way .

  22. I just hope diaby gets a nonplaying contract.i also wonder what the effects of his injuries will be at old age thats why i prefer a nonplaying contract so he can stay fit for a long time,hopefully forever.Life comes with challenges of all sorts,sadly for diaby,its injuries.i expect him to be mindful of it and as a muslim believe it is inevitable because it is destiny.however i wish doesn’t get injured anymore.i am glad to know he handles it well,hardluck Abou Diaby,all the great wishes.

  23. Most people do not seem to understand the type of club Arsenal is. Although they have to be business minded to survive, they treat their players in a fair way, and try to do their business in the same way too.
    Most other clubs would have probably rid themselves of all of the 4 injured players within the first year of injury.

  24. The highest spiritual quality, the noblest property of mind a man can have, is this of loyalty … a man with no loyalty in him, with no sense of love or reverence or devotion due to something outside and above his poor daily life, with its pains and pleasures, profits and losses, is as evil a case as man can be.


  25. He has already helped players, as Sanogo already said he has been supporting him and giving him advice on getting through his own injury problems. Diaby is a great example for other, all of us to come back from all our setbacks. Same as Van Persie with all his injuries through the years (sorry I mentioned him, but did get back). He choose to be diligent, to do his best. That best is then evaluated according to what that best can be, the talent that can attain a certain level. There is enough examples of players who get top money and don’t try their best, Bogard, Bendtner and Balotelli (the 3 B’s) being famous examples. It would set a great example for many if he can come back, but of course its in no way easy or maybe not likely to hit that level he has shown. But he has shown a high level each time he has come back, and watching him play for the u21 it is easy to see his composure and anticipation in reading the game. Wenger has shown through the years that he knows when a player is on the top of his game and stagnating/ performance level sinking.

  26. Thanks Walter – gives a warm feeling.

    Unlike the, frankly, disgusting words on this subject I have read elsewhere. A total lack of humanity from inadequate human beings.

  27. ‘Always remember what you are and always remember who you play for’ is, we are told, one of the first things said to a player joining Arsenal. It means nothing if there is no pride in the Club and what it stands for – and it is this sort of attitude from the Club towards Diaby that says so much about why that pride should exist and why players, in return, should never let the Club down.
    It doesn’t always work but I remember hearing a leading journalist say at an AST meeting once that it is difficult to find an ex player who will ever say a bad word about Wenger or the Club in general, however his career panned out with us.

  28. Diaby’s career will probably never be what it could have been. I think Arsenal have been incredibly good to him anyway, perhaps other clubs would have dispensed with his services years ago, and I see little point in extending his contract if it means we won’t sign someone who can actually contribute to the team on the pitch. If he’s helping the team on the sidelines then excellent, perhaps he should be employed in another role. Ideally I’d love to see him striding about the field in that imperious way he had and which we only saw in a handful of games in the last few years but it seems unlikely we’ll ever see more than five or six games a season from him. If he can come back and play many of our remaining fixtures this year then I think a one year contract would be fair.

  29. So I am not the only one who got emotional reading Mr Wengers response..

    On Diaby. Well I hope to see him play for us. And win with us. And finish his career on a high with us.

    Sometimes heart should do the talking. Not the mind.

  30. It is very positive to see your reaction to such a news. I know some Arsenal fans that did not receive this news too well.
    I’m not gonna go into the same direction as you have all (even if I feel the same way), and I would like to see the comment of Arsene in another way.
    First, it is clear he sees an added value of Diaby to be around and it is something we can not really assess. Once again, we have to trust him.
    Second, I think it is very unlikely for Diaby would play and win things with us. I believe this season was his last chance for Arsenal and he did not make it.
    Then, what do to? Should Wenger goes to the press saying how rubbish Diaby is to be all broken? Should he blame himself for giving him another chance?
    Well, maybe he had these thought at one point or another, but talking to the press, the only sensible thing to do (and the only thing he has been doing for all of those years) is to back up his players.
    When things went from bad to worst with many players, he always stood by them (with reason or not) and, I think, for simple reasons:
    there would be NO added value for him to bash his own players. That would be totally unproductive. Even when he had to sell players in difficult moment, he always had nice words for them.
    For those added value I see:
    1- It gives a good press of relationship of Wenger with his players (something that would bring more players)
    2- it doesn’t blow of deals about this players for the future
    3- it gives the team the assurance he will be there no matter what (which is a big plus for sure).

    We will not always getting the benefice of this behavior (Adebayor anybody?) but at least we won’t get the bad feedback if he would not have this behavior (Bad negotiation situation).

    To put it simply, it would be counterproductive to say anything different from Wenger and I don’t think Diaby will sign another contract as a player.

  31. I am sorry and will probably get some stick for saying how I feel about all of this, but still… I really don’t get you guys sometimes.

    It goes to, basically, the question – “Why do you support Arsenal”.

    I support Arsenal because of Dennis and because the kid I hated the most at school was a die hard Man U fan (which will always be my no. 1 most hated team in any sport whatsoever).

    And the years went on, Graham went and Arsene came, players came and went, we won some and then came a less fortunate spell, but my support stayed all the same. I married, had kids, they now support Arsenal – and the club and the love for it is quite a big part in our family.

    However, not for a single moment did I ever say to myself that I love Arsenal because of its “humanity”. Never. I would never imagine to connect those 2 notions. I would like to say that I think that my dad is a great person for his humanity, and that when I hear about people acting bravely I feel that their actions are examples for humanity – and vice versa, atrocities are (and should) be condemend.

    But what does it has to do with my support for the club?! It goes to the same place – when people say they are “proud” that the club does not spend a lot of money, and is not involved in financial doping. Who fucking cares? Do you think I would have cared if some shithead had bought AFC (like the KGB were bought by Roman)?

    I will rephrase: will you let a despicable person, whom you had not control over, and who, by some reason, chose to buy AFC, to stop or diminish your love for the club?!

    I find it ridiculous. I challenge you and put it to you that even if a convicted criminal would have been our major shareholder, it would have not changed your support one bit. Perhaps, all of us would have gotten some stick for supporting a club being owned by a thug; but it would have still been OUR club.

    Who owns the club; how does the club treat its players; how does the club runs its finances; my contention is that none of those influence our support.

    * on a side note: one of the biggest reasons why I love Wenger is that he is in fact ruthless. Whe he thought Pires does not justify more than a 1 year contract, that’s exactly what he was offered. When Freddie was no longer needed, he was dismissed. Same goes for so many players who served us well. Wenger extending Diaby’s contracts over and over again were due to his belief in Diaby as a player and the fact that he was thinking he was doing good business for the club. No more, no less. Any other way would be betraying the club.

  32. @Tommy Gun

    I am one who is opposite you, but I’ll not give you stick.

    Are you familiar with ice hockey? Heard of Wayne Gretzky?

    I lived in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada when Wayne was there. And it wasn’t unusual for some of the hockey players to end up at frat parties at the university.

    Most people have about 180 degrees of peripheral vision, the story I heard about Wayne, is that he has about 210 degrees of peripheral vision. He literally could see behind himself, which certainly helps someone who was so good at passing (I wonder what Ozil peripheral vision is like?). After a while, the idea of being loyal became too large a burden, and the dollar bill spoke, and Wayne was sold. Some fans stopped supporting Edmonton.

    But, an additional problem continues to this day (I think), and that is intangibles such as loyalty. Edmonton is a small market team. It will never compete with New York (or the centre of the universe, Toronto) in the ability to pay players. Or rather, they might be able to have one or two higher paid players. In general, for a good player to end up at a small market team, they have to WANT to be there. There has to be something other than MONEY attracting them to that small market team. And things like loyalty are a currency that can be used in this regard.

    It takes a LONG time to build up holdings in loyalty. To throw it away like Pocklington did, was terribly wasteful. And I think Edmonton is still trying to play catchup on that issue.

    But, for the most part I don’t care about ice hockey any more, and it has been years since I have watched a game. Too many players playing just for the money.

    I see no problem with what I outlined above, with a policy such as Wenger’s over-30 rules. But the players need to know that rule is in existance before they join the team. The rule needs to be applied honestly, and uniformly.

  33. TommieGun,

    You need not be defensive about your conviction. I am polar opposite but that’s life.

    Unlike you though, my love for Arsenal isn’t out of vendetta or any kind of rivalry with anyone or dislike of any club. I support Arsenal and in particular Arsene Wenger because of their ways. I will most definitely suspend my Arsenal support if it falls into the hands of despicable characters. If I can ditch my religion, ditching a club (despite my great love for it) should be a walk in the park.

    Your Pires and Ljunberg examples are not adequate to describe Wenger as ruthless though (you are the 1st I’ve ever seen describe him as such). The policy of not giving more than 1 year contracts to players over 30 pre-dates those guys and I just have difficulty equating that with sticking by a player who was badly injured as a young man while in our service.

    I know that even soulless corporations try to present themselves as humane (whether genuine or not) so I see no reason why humanity of a football club should sound so out of place. If we take humanity out of what we do what do we have left?

  34. Cant help but feel for Diaby as he is a very good & capable player when fit. He’s shown that when given a good run of games. We wouldn’t be having this debate to such lengths if the guy was simply average.

    The fact that the manager has stuck by him, not washed his hads of him, I think that’s something to take a little pride in. There is something admirable in that as it is a difficult situation to manage. Ideally having him fit would suit everyone, the player, club & supporters, & we all hope to see him overcome injuries once & for all. Whether that happens or not, you have to respect just how hard they’ve tried to make the best of difficult circumstances.

    Out of interest, does anyone know who reffed that match in Sunderland when he recieved the injury?

  35. @ Gord – huh, I was a die hard devils fan when I was at high school, I remember Martin Broduer as a rookie … Gretzky was one of the all time greats, and for sure it was devasting for Edmonton fans when he moved to play for the Kings – but professional sports – and in north america it is what it is – all about the money.

    And again, I’m actually very FOR it because it makes everything very simple.

    You have a salary cap, you have your draft, and yes there are big-ish clubs and small market clubs, but usually in american sports the distribution of talent is built into the sport via the draft system. That’s why you can have a club, who was anonymous, suddenly go into greatness (be it Oklhaoma City in the NBA, Seattle in the NFL, and I’d rather pull my own eyebrows than follow baseball).

    BTW How many franchise players swapped clubs? Yeah, people in Ohio burned Lebron’s jersey but guess what the rest of the people who don’t live in Ohio actually understood that he wanted to get a ring around his finger and it was never going to happen with the then-cavs. When players stayed in their own clubs it was because the leagues do not allow players to whore around their contracts, and to benefit from moving around. You get paid what you get paid in your original contract and that’s that. So if you don’t have the financial temptation you have someone like Kobe staying a Laker for life.

    @ Boo – I would never stop following Arsenal, and it’s really interesting to see that there are different points of view.

    Not that I think that Wilson is worth anything, but since you said I’m the first one … 😀

  36. @ Boo [sorry for another post] but souless corporations use humanity in a very cynical way. It is actually the exact same strain of “humanity” that bothers me when it comes to football clubs. Do what you have to do – don’t be evil, and don’t be an angel. If you CAN flex your financial muscle, do it. Do it, because others will, and all you’ll be left with is your “humanity”. BTW, When corportaions start acting “humanely” I’m starting to get suspicious, and look into what kind of tax they are trying to avoid ….

  37. Why are people moaning about this- the 3% ticket rise put on supporters last summer will almost cover three quarters of his current annual salary.

  38. Insurance will cover part of the Abou Diaby’s salary, for some periods of inability to play.

    The premiums for Diaby, Ramsay, Rosicky and now Wilshere, will be exceptionally high.

    As Mr Wenger said in 2012, Diaby has (had) “his ability to win the ball back is just like Viera”.

    Viera and Fabregas could not play in the same team, so Viera was sold. Diaby, was the intended replacement, IMVHO.

    Well written, Walter, and this opinion is long, long overdue.

  39. Thanks Walter.

    Not sure how he rated as a ref but on Gallagher’s wiki page there’s an interesting quote.

    “He was the first referee since 1994 to be granted an extension beyond the domestic retirement age of forty-eight in 2006.”

  40. Tommie, I am of the opinion that the reason why 99% of people who has worked with A.Wenger will forever respect him is his LOYALTY. That is one reason why I support him. No gives great joy knowing that loyalty exist in your place of work. It is a form of security which to me is of more importance than the money or retirement package u can get from there.

  41. I’d like to see the board impose some rules on this issue because Arsene’s judgement is clearly slightly clouded (in a similar way to a father’s judgement of his son)

    Diaby’s potential was clear but due to various injuries he has never reached it and objectively his injury record doesn’t look like improving.

    So I would suggest the following

    1) A new contract along the lines of pay as you play. Perhaps 10K basic (still an enormous amount) and a significant set of bonus payments for being available, sub and starting appearances which should balance the clubs needs and Diaby’s needs

    2) A contract which can not last any longer than the manager’s to ensure that any incoming manager at transition time is not stuck with a player who he would very likely consider too great a risk

    Doing the basic maths that guarantees Diaby over £1M before Arsene leaves and potentially far more if he reaches full fitness and should satisfy the fans that the risk he poses financially is being considered and managed

  42. I saw that game live at Sunderland. And that tackle happened in the last 10 minutes as Arsenal was leading 4-0. Some fucking brains in Dan Smith.

  43. I also remember Arsene said in post-match that he was considering legal action but backed out a few days later by saying Dan Smith was just a young boy who tried too hard to impress.

  44. I have the highest respect for him but depending on the situation it might not be good for him and the team to keep him playing at this level.

    On the other hand, Arsenal should try to help him regardless. May be there are positions that can help him make a career shift. The day will come eventually. May be not this time. May be 2 years from now.

    It is a very hard decision.

  45. ” They deem me mad for I will not sell my days for gold ;
    I deem them mad for thinking that my days have a price .”
    Khalil Gibran

  46. @ Soglorious, blacksheep and co., I respect your opinion about loyalty. I just don’t think that in the amount of money involved in professional sports these days, this kind of loyalty is something that should be expected and taken into consideration.

    I do not know whether any of the untolders have some background in military or law enforcement. I do. Maybe this is why it’s hard for me to accept the notion of “loyalty” in work related situations, especially when talking about people who get millions of dollars for doing what is considered a game …

  47. @TommieGun
    I think its also about the culture that surrounds a club. I have been happy that Arsenal does some things I don’t approve of (like not allowing OAP ST holders to retain their own seat at a discount, or not paying non-playing staff a decent wage). The Diaby situation demonstrates that a player that works hard, has ability, and whose career is undermined through no fault of his own, is looked after. If I was a player/agent looking in I’d say that Arsenal FC were a decent employer (at least in terms of playing staff): you get a chance to play if you are young, you will be allowed to leave if you really want to (Cesc, RVP) and you will not be abandoned if injury sidelines you. Contrast this with what Guiterrez said about Pardew and Newcastle (see here

    I take your point about money; money isn’t everything though but likewise, I respect your opinion

  48. Walter,

    Thanks so much for this article.

    The translation was essential. I don’t think Wenger felt guilty. I rather think he demonstrates; continuing humanity – like you, actually.

    There are some wonderful replies on this thread.

    Love. Arsenal.

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