March 9, 2012
One of the most enjoyable things about our recent resurgence in form has been that bang in the centre of it pulling the strings has been a rejuvenated Tomas Rosicky. Having struggled with injuries since joining the club we’re finally getting to see why he was so feted in the first place.
I have to be honest, at the end of last season I was hoping the Little Mozart would mosey on to pastures new. His infrequent appearances were marked by an inability to get up with the pace of the game and he truly looked like his best days were behind him. But in the last few games that’s changed. Against Milan on Tuesday he was first to every ball. And he showed that rare thing in an Arsenal midfielder this season, the pace and ability to get beyond his man. It’s that ability that pulls defences out of shape and allows the forwards to exploit the space in behind and we’re reaping the benefits. To my mind his technique was never in doubt but I think he must have really worked on his fitness because he’s finding that extra yard of space that looked like it had been lost forever.
It was ironic then that with his contract up for renewal there was an element of doubt over whether he’d hang around after this summer. It seems as though those doubts have been erased however as his agent Pavel Paska has claimed that he’s about to sign a contract extension:
We have moved forward in our talks and neared a final agreement but we still are going to discuss certain things.
Good news I think. And Wojciech Szczesny has been busy singing his praises to the official website too:
He has been fantastic for the last few weeks now, scored a great goal against Tottenham and was my man of the match in that game.
He can take people on in the middle of the park too. I think we dominated the midfield in the first half and he made the difference. He is fantastic.
I do hope I’m not the only one who enjoys the idea of Wojciech having his very own man of the match award after each game. I like to think he goes out and buys a bottle of champagne and everything and that most of the time he just awards it to himself. ‘Sorry, chaps. Me again. Well done, Wojciech. How do you feel? I feel over the moon, thank you, Wojciech.’
It’s amazing what a run of fitness can do. You look at Rosicky and you look at Robin Van Persie and they’re both players that we must have come close to giving up on. And I don’t know whether it’s the new GPS training system starting to take effect or we’re shipping in wholesale volumes of horse placenta and just smothering them from head to toe but it at least gives you some hope where Abou Diaby’s concerned.
Further to yesterday’s odd comments about him not being injury prone, further quotes have been released by the official site, seemingly in the hope of clarifying what he was saying:
A lot of things have been said and written about me and I wanted to tell the truth about my situation. People say that I’m fragile and although I understand why, I am not fragile.
I have had three operations on my ankle, all for different problems but the result of that was that my body is unbalanced, especially in my legs. I have overused one over the other and to put everything back in place is not easy.
I get injured. It’s a fact but when people tell you you’re fragile, it hurts. Today my ankle is twice as big because of the surgery. My problem is a biomechanical problem. I need to work daily on how to
rebalance my body.
Overusing one limb in favour of the other is a problem that most heavy internet users can probably identify with. What!? I mean because of the mouse! You get one really strong wrist and one really weak one and it can get to the point that you’re so imbalanced you can only walk around in circles.
Seriously though it must have been a massive strain for Diaby having to cope with the after effects of that ankle shattering Dan Smith challenge. He says he’s contemplated quitting the game on a few occasions but continues to work hard to get himself back. Even so, having quite so many setbacks as he has must be demoralising to say the least. Still he’s confident that the worst of his problems are behind him:
I am not scared for the rest of my career. I still have a big future. Physically, I really feel very good, like a beast. Unfortunately, I had that little problem at Liverpool but it’s nothing serious and I will start running again at the end of the week. I have never been as motivated as I am now. I want to prove to everybody, and especially to myself, that I can do it. I have faith in what I am doing. I will never give up and I know that I will come out of this tunnel.
A fit and healthy Diaby could still be a potent weapon. I know he has his critics and that’s more to do with his frequent on-pitch mental lapses as much as his tendency towards injury (witness the red card in our 4-4 with Newcastle) but I think that can be forgiven. The way that players learn is by doing. As in life you cope with situations when you experience them time and time again. Every time Diaby’s looked to be making progress he’s had another terrible injury setback and the worry is that this has happened in a period of his career where most players really look to develop and push on. He’s 25 now and I just hope that injury prone or not injury prone he gets the chance in the next year to prove that he’s capable of becoming the player that I believe he can be.
But I think it might be worth signing Mario Goetze just in case.
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