Diaby follows his destiny in impressive return to form after injury
Abou Diaby is out to make up for lost time by driving Arsenal towards Premier League success.
The 26-year-old has impressed at the heart of the Gunners midfield during their unbeaten first three matches of the new campaign, after his progress during the 2011-12 season was blighted by injury problems. The France international is now eager to gain as much playing time as possible.
"I had some very difficult moments, some days when I was depressed when it was tough, but even then, I always kept faith," Diaby said yesterday. "I told myself that some people were in a worse position than me. I am 26 and I am aware that I am at a key moment in my career, that is why it was so important that I came back this season. Now, I am careful about every detail, I leave nothing to chance. I am much more mature. I also had a full pre-season for the first time in ages. I am getting to an age and to a time in my career where I need to show what I can do on the pitch in the long term."
Diaby's return to full fitness led to him being called up to France's squad for World Cup qualifiers against Finland and Belarus, alongside his Arsenal team-mates Olivier Giroud and Laurent Koscielny. The powerful midfielder admitted there was a point where the constant injury setbacks started to play on his mind.
He said: "Last season, before the Fulham game, I was shaking on the bench because I was scared of getting injured again. It was incredible. All I wanted was to play again. I am born with a strong temper. I never give up. Maybe some people would have given up in my position, but it was out of the question for me. It was my destiny, it was written [to come back]. I had to fight to put an end to all those injuries and to be able to express myself on a pitch again."
Arsenal were active during the summer transfer window, with Nicklas Bendtner one of the players allowed to leave on loan to Juventus rather than sit on the bench. Despite the Denmark striker insisting he had no future at Arsenal, having spent last season at Sunderland, Wenger can see the day when the 24-year-old features for the Gunners again.
"It is not for nothing that I loaned him to Juventus. He is a talented player. There he will grow and then return to my team,' Wenger said. "I am convinced that at a team like Juventus, in a very difficult league, especially for strikers, he can make the final leap in quality. Don't forget, he is a boy of 24 years. The right age to prove who he is. The talent is not missing; otherwise I would not have bought him."
Latest in Sport
Three weeks ago as I drove off the Eurostar, I remember thinking what a very long time it was until ...
by Martin Ayres
23 May 2013 05:29 PM
McDowell did brilliantly to land the World Match Play title in Bulgaria last week, but it’s a format...
by Gareth Purnell
23 May 2013 09:13 AM
Wow - what a weekend for British Motorcycle racing!
by Luke Wilkins
22 May 2013 05:00 AM
David Moyes delighted after Rio Ferdinand agrees to stay at Manchester United with new one-year contract
On-loan goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois still believes in Chelsea youth policy
After racist remark, Sergio Garcia fights for reputation as Tiger Woods slams 'hurtful' fried chicken joke
Manuel Pellegrini must decide on futures of Carlos Tevez, Gareth Barry and Joleon Lescott as Manchester City name starting date for new manager
Liverpool striker Andy Carroll delays over West Ham move
- 1 Man and woman arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder victim of Woolwich machete attack, named as Drummer Lee Rigby
- 2 'Sickening, deluded and unforgivable': Horrific attack brings terror to London’s streets
- 3 Grace Dent: I’m not sure how these people can avoid being called ‘bigots’. And the more ‘civilised’, the worse they are
- 4 Woolwich murder: They killed, then they performed - these men should be starved of our attention
- 5 Woolwich attack: The EDL will seek to exploit this evil crime for their own evil ends
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Nook is donating eReaders to volunteers at high-need schools and participating in exclusive events throughout the campaign.
Get the latest on The Evening Standard's campaign to get London's children reading.
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.