Silverware now depends on Diaby. Yes, Diaby.

I want to take this moment to stand and applaud Diaby.  There is a strength of our team hidden amongst the flowing game and Diaby is one of the few at the core of it.  Everyone looks to Fabulous Fab as the team leader, but the heart and soul of the team are emerging from a rapidly maturing set of players: Diaby, Song and Nasri.  And, as we hit crunch time, Diaby is the key the silver.

Diaby has had a roller coaster year -as GOA has discussed before. A host of injuries combined with unlucky comparisons to Viera weighed heavy.  But the last run of games have been astounding.  Diaby is coming into his own as a master of the midfield -it’s a joy to watch and just in time.

Although Diaby might lack the defensive emphasis of Viera, his technic (that wicked turn on the ball!), power and speed are winning the midfield battle for us. One of our biggest weaknesses. And, while Diaby might not score many goals, he is finally giving us the authority in midfield that we need, pushing others off the ball and quickly turning up the field with it. On the offensive side? Well, multiple defenders, small spaces, beating people with the pass, you name it.  Defenders can’t leave him alone anymore.

As a result, our season rests on Diaby.  Why?  Because if he keeps up this work rate and consistency, no team we are facing has anything to match up with him.  As he becomes the box-to-box midfielder we need he solves a host of our problems and creates more for the other team.

Basically, he has finally begun to solidify our midfield.  His substitution against west ham was immediate and eye opening.  He imposed himself physically and with his quality. By forcing west ham to keep an eye on him, he gave Fab more space. If we’re going to play a 4-3-3, we need Diaby to create and play box-to-box. Now we’re starting to see his potential in action.

With the game against Barca coming up, Diaby’s play will be the key. Powerful and commanding, Diaby is exactly what we need.  The speed, quality, height, power and authority Diaby has begun to dislay on the pitch is the x-factor Barca doesn’t have an answer to.  Their midfield just doesn’t have the power and pace. Arsene’s faith may just have been paid back. Now to see if Diaby can carry us forward.

-the student

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