On this day: Pompey hero hits back at 'careless' Arsenal boss

Former Pompey midfielder Lassana Diarra
Former Pompey midfielder Lassana Diarra
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On this day in 2008, Lassana Diarra hit back at Arsene Wenger’s criticism for him leaving Arsenal and said: I was right to join Pompey

The Gunners boss believed the powerful midfielder ‘panicked’ by leaving for the Blues in the 2008 January transfer window and would have been given the run in the first team he craved had he waited for his chance.

But Diarra responded by speaking out against his former manager, claiming Pompey’s FA Cup success had shown his decision to leave the Emirates was the correct one.

The Frenchman said: ‘Portsmouth winning the FA Cup has more than justified my decision to make the move from Arsenal back in January.

‘I really can’t understand why Mr Wenger is choosing to make such a fuss over me again.

‘Why does he not move on? He speaks about me more than when I was there.

‘It’s a very strange one.’

Diarra also hinted Wenger had gone back on a promise of first-team football after leaving Chelsea in search of regular games.

And despite the Gunners boss believing he jumped ship too soon to preserve his Euro 2008 hopes, Diarra insisted Wenger had not kept his part of the bargain.

He added: ‘Do you really think I would leave a side like Chelsea to join Arsenal if certain promises were not made?

‘I did not panic but wanted to play as promised.’

Arsenal were also reeling at the loss of Mathieu Flamini, who joined AC Milan on a free transfer.

And the Pompey star could not resist a dig at his former boss.

Diarra said: ‘Perhaps to lose one French international midfielder may be regarded as misfortune.

‘To lose two looks like carelessness.'

Have you read?

Diarra was a Pompey star – but difficult to handle
Mendes: We took our chance to make Pompey history