It seems that Alou Diarra may still have place in the West Ham squad for next season despite his public falling out with manager Sam Allardyce last season. The Frenchman only made three league appearances for the Hammers last season before moving on loan to Rennes for the second half of the season; however his regular inclusion in the side for our recent pre season friendlies hints that he could be given another chance by Big Sam.
It has been difficult for many West Ham fans (myself included) to fully understand why a player who played such an influential role for the French side at Euro 2012 could have failed to gain a regular place in a newly promoted West Ham side last season. He has captained France and was seen as possibly their best player in last summer’s tournament yet Big Sam failed to see a place for Alou in his side. Diarra himself revealed after joining Rennes on loan that he had been promised a place in West Ham’s starting line up when we first signed him so it cannot be that Allardyce planned in advance that the French international was not good enough to deserve a starting place. It could be that Sam simply did not see enough in Diarra during training that made him want to start the gangly midfielder or even name him on the bench. Even when he did play in the FA Cup at Old Trafford he was played as part of a three man defence rather than in his preferred central midfielder role.
When Diarra left on loan last season it seemed clear that he was determined to leave West Ham this summer permanently and Sam Allardyce’s angry reaction to Alou’s comments supported that even further. When the club reported back for training on 1st July us fans all expected to hear that Alou Diarra had either been released or sold and would never play for West Ham again, I think it is fair to say that we were all shocked when it was revealed that he would be given a chance to prove himself during pre-season. It seems that Sam has finally realised that it would be foolish to not include a player of such quality in his plans.
In my personal opinion I think it would be ridiculous for Diarra to not even be on the bench for next season. I am certain that our midfield two will remain Mark Noble and Mo Diame but since the latter has a heart condition meaning it is difficult for him to play 90 minutes, surely it would make sense for us to have Diarra coming off of the bench to finish off what Diame starts.
I fail to see a reason why a player of Alou Diarra’s ability and experience should not be a part of our plans for next season.