Luckless Abou Diaby full of confidence as he attempts yet another Arsenal comeback

The midfielder has played less than 1,000 minutes of Premier League football in the last three seasons

Nick Callow
Tuesday 29 July 2014 15:37
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Diaby has endured 39 injury and fitness lay-offs since he joined Arsenal in 2006
Diaby has endured 39 injury and fitness lay-offs since he joined Arsenal in 2006

Abou Diaby has to be one of the most unfortunate players around. He has endured 39 injury and fitness lay-offs since he joined Arsenal in 2006. No wonder he considered quitting last season.

But the French midfielder is fit again, at least for now, and believes he can still have a long and fruitful career.

Last year’s injury was one of the worst as he battled back from knee ligament damage to play 16 minutes as a substitute against Norwich on his 28th birthday in May. He has played less than 1,000 minutes of Premier League football in the last three seasons.

Asked if he had considered early retirement, he said: “Yeah. Sometimes it crossed my mind, but my love of football is so big that I just couldn’t quit. I am still young and now that I have an opportunity to play again I want to take it. I try to be positive all the time and that has helped me to come back.

“It’s great to be playing again. Now I just hope I can keep like this and continue.

“My knee is feeling good, I have been working hard on my fitness and strength.”

Diaby has featured in both Arsenal pre-season matches and his next chance to impress will be this weekend’s Emirates Cup, when the hosts play against Benfica and Monaco.

Arsenal fans joke that Diaby is always described as being like a new signing when he makes a comeback. Even he laughs at the suggestion.

“They have said that many times before,” he said. I am really confident that I will be able to stay injury-free. I have worked hard for over a year.”

Meanwhile, Fifa is to investigate claims that a Manchester City player was racially abused during a match in Croatia. Patrick Vieira took his Under-21 side off after Seko Fofana said he was abused during the match against HNK Rijeka last week.

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