Why Abou Diaby can be solution to minor striker crisis
It may sound ridiculous to his malicious critics but Abou Diaby has the ability to be a temporal solution to Arsenal’s problem of a lessened amount of natural strikers in the wake of Van Persie’s devastating injury.
Eduardo and Carlos Vela are premier options to replace the Dutchman but unless they are partnered upfront, neither of the pair really have the vigor of a striker capable of leading an attack or playing alone in an advance position.
Arshavin, Fabregas and co are undoubted technicians, but believe it or not, against the likes of Stoke City and Burnley, you will need more than craftsmen who are only efficient in carpet football.
That concern is why Nicklas Bendtner’s absence is now being rued more than ever, but a man who could potentially provide that presence of a strong target-man in attack is arguably Abou Diaby.
Diaby – who used to ply his trade as a striker during youthful days at Auxerre – is an obvious physical presence in Arsenal’s mold no matter where he plays.
Indeed, the Frenchman’s shortcomings are more about his defensive attributes rather his attacking ability. Diaby is notably clumsy with tackles, ball possession and passes and can hardly be reliable in the defensive midfield role in which countryman Patrick Vieira excelled in.
Therefore, the deeper Diaby plays on the pitch, the more of a liability he will prove to Arsenal’s possession of the ball. And if you failed to realize, that is the dilemma we have faced about Abou Diaby’s efforts for so long.
The fact is; he is far better going forward and providing killer instincts rather than sitting back and breaking up simple passing moves and build-up play. Perhaps his dangerous intent to dribble through players in midfield – which is impressive but eventually ineffective – could be better used in unlocking the last line of defenders in attack.
Diaby has also not hidden the fact that he enjoys aiming for the opposition’s goal more than anything and recently, Wenger conceded the same.
In all honesty, more often than not, the 23-year-old is odds on to score when he pops up in the penalty area.
His productivity as an emergency striker in games at Fenerbahce and Aston Villa last season was neat evidence that this man can play upfront and we are all witnesses to Diaby’s prowess infront of goal this season.
For the sublime finisher he has proven to be when in the box, it may be time to allow this much-maligned talent more freedom in his forte which is nothing but attacking.
Oh, and for the die-hard members of the ‘anti-Diaby club’ who want him offloaded from the squad as soon as possible, Inter Milan and Jose Mourinho wanted him lured in a heartbeat last summer…so make your plans.
But if you are still far from my point, maybe the video below will get you closer.