There has been big speculation over both of these players futures throughout the season. At times it is hard to listen to or to read the amount of uncertainty surrounding the pair. But one thing that has stuck in my mind throughout the season and the speculation, is the dignity and professional attitude that Giberto has shown and the petulance of Diarra.
Both missed the pre-season at Arsenal, which wasn't ideal for either player. Gilberto was on International duty and Diarra a signing on transfer deadline day. Flamini stepped in on pre-season and has taken his chance, making it impossible to drop him for anyone. He has become a key player for Arsenal and is one of the most improved players I've seen for a long time. He stands in front of Gilberto and Diarra for a place in the Arsenal starting eleven alongside Cesc Fabregas.
An even further blow for Gilberto was the announcement of Gallas as the new Captain of Arsenal. Many people including myself, believed that Gilberto would be the natural successor to Henry for the Captaincy. After all he Captained the side for long periods last season. You hardly heard a grumble from him about the situation. He admitted that it surprised him, maybe even shocked him a little but that was the end of it for him. He just got over the disappointment of it, and got on with it. He didn't start slagging off his peers, unlike a giant German at the club!
Diarra on the other hand, has been at the club for five minutes. And all we've heard is that he wants to leave for first team football! I understand his frustration, after all he is young and hungry and was put in the same situation as he was at Chelski. On the bench. But, did he really just expect to walk straight into the Arsenal side? Obviously he did!!
The thing is, I really rate Diarra. I think that he could be a great long-term player for Arsenal. Think how good he could be under Wengers guidance? He could become a very very good player if he bides his time and is patient. I've been impressed with him on the pitch in action this season when he has played. I think we missed him against the Spuds last week. He is a very competitive player and you cant have enough of them!
Giberto on the other hand, has been the complete opposite. He has been poor this season and it seems that his levels have dropped. BUT, he remains a class above Diarra. Not on the playing side, but his professional attitude. It has been second to none. Maybe it's to do with maturity? I don't know.
Perhaps an option would be to let Diarra go out on loan for the remainder of the season? For me, not the best option for the club but it would mean we'd keep the player. It wouldn't be ideal because we could do with him for the run-in that we will have from now to the end of the season. If that was the case, he can come back after the Euro's and have a pre-season at the club. And a fresh start.
One thing for certain, Giberto has impressed me this season with his attitude and dignity that he has shown. If he can rub some of that on to Diarra, then us Gooners will be laughing. So Diarra, have a chat with Gilberto and think seriously about the effect leaving Arsenal will have on you're career. Many have left before and most seriously regret it.
Keep it Goonerish.