Diaby can cover Song. But Arsene needs to buy in case Song gets hurt.

So Diaby is to replace Song.  I’m okay with this, for a few games.  But the real concern is if Song gets hurt.  It’s pretty apparent that Song has become a backbone of the team alongside Fab.  Quiet but consistent, Saint Song has carried the back line and lately served as a feeder for the goals.  So while Diaby can cover for a minute, any injury to Song is terribly dangerous.

The Arsenal are challenging for three trophies.  The surest way to break the mental steel needed for that challenge is a long-term injury to Song and not have a ready replacement.  Arsene has been blooding Eastmond occasionally, but he’s no where near ready to make the next step.

Believe it or not, Diaby might just be able to pull off playing a DM for a few games.  At least he’s already a part of the team.  So there is no transition issue.  Assuming Diaby can keep himself from ranging too far forward, it might just allow the team to survive Song’s absence for a short period of time.  Right now, Diaby’s play clashes with Fab and even Ramsey.  But giving Diaby responsibility to cover the back line means he doesn’t have pressure to score.  He can just focus on protecting the back line.

Diaby has the physical presence and technique to lock down the back.  But he lacks the experience and confidence that Song has developed.  The biggest concern is if Song gets hurt.  While Diaby can cover until the 21st (or 31st at the latest), should Song be hurt we have a big problem.  Losing Song for longer than a couple of weeks is a real problem.  At minimum, Song has to play three games within a week, then up to three more in the next week.  That’s a lot of potential for getting hurt.  Diaby can’t cover for Song that long if he’s injured, not with the competition getting more difficult in the EPL, FA Cup and the Champs League.

So Diaby gets a nice warm up on Wednesday and we get to see how this might play out.  Diaby-Denilson-Ramsey is not the most intimidating midfield.  But who knows what Arsene has planned.  At this time next month, we might be hailing the brand new player that Arsene has unearthed from the lost country of Molodoga.

– the student


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