The Arsenal career of Abou Diaby has been very frustrating for Arsenal fans everywhere, but imagine what it was like for the man himself and his manager. Arsene Wenger has always had faith in the French midfielder, and it is the support and belief that he has received from evryone at the club that has kept him going.
“Mentally it was a hard time but I love football. Football is my passion so it doesn’t matter what happened, I need to look forward and that is what I have done in this situation.
“I have to thank the manager because I have had tremendous support and, as a player, it is really important to have that support. Support from your team mates as well, I have to say that during this period they helped a lot.
“I want to enjoy myself because I love football, and to pay back the club, manager and team mates as well.”
The 26-year old French international joined the Gunners in January 2006 and made 16 appearances before a horror tackle by Sunderland defender Dan Smith fractured his ankle and threatened to end his career. Arsenal fans finally got to see Diaby’s potential in the 2009/2010 season, the first one he started fully fit.
Last season he was again plagued by injuries but this time around has started fully fit again. Wenger and Diaby will be careful to avoid any more problems this season and this could be helped by Diaby adopting a more progressive role. The French international believes his best position to be more like that of Yaya Toure at Manchester City than as a replacement for Alex Song.
“I am not like Alex Song. We have many players who can take his place like Francis Coquelin or Mikel Arteta, who likes to play deep. I want to get forward, that’s me.”
We want you to get forward as well Abou, just don’t go diving into any challenges. If he stays injury free, Diaby will get better and better and, when Wilshere and Rosicky return, Wenger will have a hard decision to pick the midfield line up.