Lassana Diarra this week openly criticised Arsene Wenger for his own lack of progress at Arsenal. The essence of what he said is that he hadn't learnt anything, was constantly in doubt, and that Jose Mourinho was a much better manager / trainer than Arsene Wenger.
I am not going to quote him direct. I rather suspect that no one has really.
But if Diarra wants to open a can of worms, let's go fishin'.
Chelsea bought him for £1m in July 2005. Arsenal brought him in August 2007, sold him to Portsmouth in January 2008 who passed him on to Real Madrid in December of the same year. So including the club Chelsea bought him from, he has been at five clubs in five years. Do I detect a touch of the 'Bellamies' about him?
When he left Arsenal, his reasons were that he wasn't getting enough football and wanted more starts. Joining Portsmouth certainly did that for him. I don't think there is a Pompey supporter out there that wouldn't have him back in a flash.
I couldn't say that for Arsenal fans. I don't think he is greatly missed at the Emirates. Don't forget, his lack of first team play was down to the presence and form of Flamini at the time. Admittedly, at the start of this season, Flamini was missed. Many many column inches were filled with how much he was missed, not so many about Diarra.
At the moment he is being highly lauded at Real. Call me cynical, but with injuries to De La Red and the other Diarra, Real desperately needed a defensive midfielder. Diarra was the best available at short notice, hence the £18m transfer fee.
Now he is shining at Real, and fair play to him, but most half-decent players would shine when slotted into the Real Madrid first team.
I think that Diarra is a great player who has progressed well in the last five years, and in hindsight maybe just maybe Arsene Wenger rues selling him on. But I don't think so. He obviously didn't have all of the qualities that Arsene looks for in a player, and so he moved on.
The reporting of this story however, has ranged from the idiotic to the ridiculous. Not only have his pithy ungrateful comments been splashed as headlines and banners. But the media have grasped these comments like a club with which to beat Arsene Wenger about the head
The negative spin on how Arsenal and Arsene Wenger should be ashamed of how they handled Diarra would be laughable if it weren't typical of the way Arsenal is treated by large parts of the sports media.
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