Arsene Wenger claims he has a very good relationship with French national team coach Didier Deschamps despite a game of press conference tit-for-tat over Abou Diaby’s latest injury.
After the French midfielder limped out of Arsenal’s Premier League clash with Chelsea, Arsene Wenger appeared to level the blame for the setback at the feet of the French football authorities after they selected the Gunner for World Cup duty last month.
“I think it was a mistake to play him with the national team,” Wenger told press on Wednesday.
“I said many times that if France wanted Diaby in Spain they should not take him for Finland and Belarus.
“They could have taken him but not played him because the guy has been out for a year, played four or five games. You have a breather, give him two weeks to recover completely.”
The comments provoked an angry response from Les Bleus coach Didier Deschamps, who seemingly eager to stress his authority on the matter, bit back:
“I want to remind him [Wenger] that I am the only one to decide who will be picked and how long those who are picked will play. There is only one to decide and it’s me.”
Questioned on the matter again this morning, presumably by journalists intent on stoking the flames, Arsene Wenger did his best to play down the matter by stating he had a ‘very good’ relationship with his peer.
“I have no problem [with Deschamps]. What people do not understand is that the act of expressing an opinion does not mean you have a problem with anyone.
“I just gave an opinion that was not even mine but that of my medical team that Diaby would have problems to coping with two things at once (and club selection). He has been absent for a year.”
What is obvious is that both Wenger and Deschamps want a fit Abou Diaby in their respective starting line-ups. It’s hardly surprising that they are both frustrated; he is, on his day, a world-beater. Whether or not either one of them get their wish is really up to the poor boy’s body…