Abou Diaby in all his glory in front of the Stoke goal yesterday was a hurtful reminder to the legions of Gunners’ faithful why season number 8 without a trophy beckons.
Diaby received the ball in the centre of the penalty area, no more than eight yards from goal, but dawdles and then falls over, before skewing his shot wide.
Remember Diaby’s inexplicable own goal against Manchester United a few seasons ago?
Why is he still there, while Robin Van Persie and Alex Song have been sold?
No amount of profit from those sales is going to ease the pain of not being able to win matches. And until Arsenal win… a title, not just a game, questions about the sale of Song and RVP are not going to stop.
Can one rule out an Arsenal move for Cheik Tiote?
Almost certainly. It does not make business sense. Newcastle’s asking price may well be too much for Arsene Wenger.
Arsenal need to solve their creativity in the attacking third and while Giroud may still prove to a good buy, the Diaby, Ramsey, Walcott, to give them the benefit of the doubt, may take until Christmas to get in to their stride.
The Premier League title will be long out of reach by then.
Had Gervinho not spent so much time on the bench last season – what was Wenger thinking? Van Persie forever? – he may have been ready to be more clinical.
Gervinho, in fact, now looks like a new signing and is playing like one as well.
Mikael Arleta remains the key. At least until Santi Cazorla is up to speed.
Until then, Abou Diaby will be a harsh reminder of how a ‘selling’ club struggles to cope with balancing making a profit and winning titles.