Arsene Wenger claims Abou Diaby is the new Patrick Vieira
Published 00:00 23/03/09 By By David Anderson
Abou Diaby has been hailed the new Patrick Vieira by Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.
Vieira can see many of the qualities of his old midfield dynamo in Diaby.
Like Vieira, Diaby is tall, powerful, and has an eye for goal - as he proved with his great strike to make it 2-1 at St James' Park. "There are similarities with Vieira," said the Gunners boss. "He has the same stature and the same size.
"He has power through the middle of the park. He showed that with his goal and I believe he is growing at the moment. There is still a lot of work for him to do to get to where Patrick was, but he is only 22. Patrick is a very good role model for him."
Vieira, now at Inter Milan, was the linchpin of Wenger's golden generation.
But in case Diaby gets carried away by being mentioned in the same breath as the Frenchman, Wenger brought him back down to earth by criticising his first-half display.
"I was not always happy with his performance, but in the second half he played extremely well," he said.
"There wasn't a lot wrong with his first-half performance, but with our possession in the middle of the park we were a bit on the back foot and we didn't protect our defence well enough.
"These are just little things he will learn from game to game."
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