Ab-ouch Diaby

Poor old Abou Diaby is living proof that football can be as cruel as it is sometimes kind. A vicious tackle in the last minute of a game that had been inconsequential for 60 minutes has put pay to his dream of playing in the European Cup final – and knocked an important player out of action for what could be a very, very long time.

Sunderland’s caretaker boss defended the leg-breaking tackle but he was the only one who did – still, at least the player in question got a yellow card for it. Punishment fitting the crime and all that. It was shocking.

On the plus side, the player in question has apologised. That’s something.

Other than that, the game went to plan even if we never looked that good ourselves. Fortunately, we were facing a god-awful side, which makes it all the more remarkable that more than 44,000 turned up to watch it. That’s loyalty for you.

A much trickier task will be Thursday’s away game at Man City; although they are on a poor run themselves, geographically we are heading to the gooner graveyard. Remarkably, we have taken just three points from eighteen in the north-west this season – not forgetting the two cup games we lost up there too. When the stocktaking is done for this league season, there’ll be some furrowed brows over our form up north.

And the season’s not yet over but already the rumour mill is in overdrive – today, the Mirror reports that Sevilla want to sign Lauren for £4m, and that he was a VIP guest at their UEFA Cup semi-final.

Lauren’s future is certainly more in the balance than it ever has been with the emergence of Eboue – but we need old[er], experienced hands at Arsenal to compliment the youngsters, especially given Bergkamp is off, Campbell’s future is up in the air, and of course, there’s Henry…

So I wouldn’t read too much into that just yet.

Anyway, apparently we find out whether we’ve got final tickets today. Here’s hoping.

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