“Some people experience much more difficult things in their lives. I know my reward will be to have fun playing again.” “The French team? I have never abandoned the idea to go to the World Cup,”- Abou Diaby.
Back with a Smile: Abou Diaby Resumes Trainning
Midfield Master: Diaby rounds Manchester City’s Gareth Barry
The quotes explain the sheer confidence of the midfield master who has been on the sidelines for the better part of his career. Ankle, 8 times, Knee 4, Calf 11. Thigh 5, Illness 2. Hamstring 3, Shin 2, Groin, abdomen and concussion. That sums up the story of Abou Diaby.
After a highly promising start to 2012/13, Abou Diaby’s season succumbed to injury, with the richly talented midfielder once more enduring the frustration of a long spell on the sidelines. When fully fit, there are few Premier League midfielders who can match Abou for technique and presence on the ball. He demonstrated this in four fine performances early in the season – particularly the 2-0 win at Anfield – before picking up an injury when taking a shot in September’s defeat against Chelsea.
He returned to action in January, impressing in three FA Cup games and Premier League wins over Stoke and Swansea before suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament in March, which ruled him out for the remainder of the season, and beyond. Abou is capable of playing in a number of midfield positions, but is arguably at his best in a more advanced role in which his creative talents can be used effectively.
The Lanky Diaby: A master in the middle of the pack
Diaby – whose Arsenal career has seen a succession of setbacks starting from a fractured ankle in May 2006 – feels he is closing in on a long-awaited comeback.
“I will take stock with Arsenal medical staff early in April, but I hope to resume collective training sessions very soon,” Diaby said.
“My priorities? Feeling fine and playing again before the end of the season.
“I don’t think I will be scared to play. I trust my body. Nowadays I feel strong, but I know coming back to London I will also have some changes.
“I am watching closely my diet and recovering periods.”
Diaby added: “I work hard without asking questions. I work hard because I know in the end I will play again.
“I am still a high level footballer in my mind, otherwise I would have given up, but I never think to give it up.
“The French team? I have never abandoned the idea to go to the World Cup,” he said.
“I have always kept that in a corner of my mind to go on working. As soon as I will be back on the pitch, everything is possible.”
Diaby is often described as a typical box-to-box midfielder; a midfielder who is adept both offensively and defensively. While he can play as a defensive midfielder, Diaby has often attempted to distance himself from that position, admitting that “I am better if I have a holding midfielder with me”. His club manager Arsène Wenger describes him similarly stating “He (Diaby) is more of an offensive player. He is not a defensive-minded player and he’s not a holding player. He’s a player who crosses the field at ease, goes from box to box like it’s no distance and has good power as well”. During his early years with Auxerre, he was often used as an attacking midfielder or a support striker due to his technical ability, close control, and dexterity to dribble past opponents or slip passes to team-mates
Steel and Power: Diaby equals to the challenge at the Britannia
Nobody can argue of Diaby’s obvious abilities, but questions about his fitness will continue to linger around unless he completes a season unscathed. But the latest come back is such a boost for arsenal who are in a run to make a good finish of the season and clear the “9-years without a trophy” tag with the FA cup success in Wembley. Who knows Diaby may score the winner in Wembley and get to the French party to Rio… it will complete the turnaround.