Diaby & Co. – On Their Way Up?

“…we have everything here to be a great team and we have got to give our best and give everything to win something this year.” – Abou Diaby

When we lost our lead in the title race in 2007-08, we had a squad with key players who hadn’t exactly made the difference we hoped for. Hleb hit top form with us but then faded quickly before giving in to Nastia and leaving for Barcelona. Rosicky seems to have Darren Anderton disease. Sagna has been good but not exactly EPL XI material as in his first season at Arsenal. Poor Eduardo nearly lost his leg and has not been the player he was. Those were the 20-something year olds who were supposed to make the difference.

At the halfway point of this season, we are well positioned to make 2010 our year. A game in hand, top scorers, best goal difference, and with a dodgy keeper no less. Cloning Vermaelen, Gallas, Cesc (RvP and Arshavin too) is probably the best way to guarantee that we’ll win the title. That’s probably what it will take to be convincing enough. But wait, the kids Wenger brought in to play alongside those 20-somethings are beginning to look like they finally are ready to do the business.

We’ve been getting the right results but I’m also encouraged by the quote above. Abou Diaby gets it. There is an urgency this season that recent victories over Liverpool and the humbling of Top Four wannabes Aston Villa have done well to address. Diaby & Co. seem to know what’s at stake. They know they have to win something it they’re to be taken seriously. Sure, we’ve heard before that they have the spirit and the togetherness but the difference this year is that Song, Nasri, Ramsey, Traore, and Diaby are walking the walk.

Arsenal fans are starting to accept that maybe the kids aren’t as bad as they thought. A big Chelsea fan I know recently told me that he rates Diaby. He put him on Essien level. I’m sure he wasn’t taking the piss.

High praise!
Premature praise!

I’m just happy he’s starting to look like the potential may be realized after all. I’ve always felt that Arsenal fans just aren’t patient enough. Understandable I guess, especially after The Invincibles’ success. Let’s be clear however, if Wenger buys a player, there is a big chance that he will be a positive contributor to our cause.

More and more I sense that we’ve turned the corner. What an exciting season so far and it looks to get even more exciting. If Abou and the boys stay on form, if Cesc, Nicklas, and Neves come back from injury before the difficult run of matches in late January/early February, we can make this season memorable for the right reasons.

First things first! West Ham and Bolton must be dealt with.

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