In the course of my day running Injury League, I often get asked ‘what would Arsenal’s total be without Abou Diaby?

This question really annoys me for a number of reasons. Firstly, it’s really easy to work out – he’s missed the whole season so just deduct the number of weeks there have been already and you’ll get the new total [Arsenal would still clear at the top by around 50 points]. But it’s the second reason that really annoys me – Abou Diaby is a really good footballer whose loss is a blow to Arsenal.

I really like Diaby. I like his style, I like the impact he makes when he plays and I like the fact that he hasn’t just thrown in the towel after having his career ruined just a few months after he signed for Arsenal by a tackle after which he was lucky he was even able to walk again, let alone play football.

Make no mistake, that tackle by Dan Smith is the reason Diaby has his problems and it annoys me that people just seem to ignore that fact.

Anyway, the stat.

In the course of compiling things, I get a lot of stats sent to me and one of them is this:

Since Arsenal last won a trophy in 2005, only 13 players have more appearances for Arsenal than Abou Diaby, who only joined Arsenal in 2006.

He has made 158 appearances for Arsenal despite being crippled just three and a half months after his Arsenal debut.

I can think of no other player who deserves a chance to have a career after all he has been through. He doesn’t deserve abuse or to be derided by fans for something he has no more control over than we do.

He needs support.

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Lee Hurley

Owner/Editor at Daily Cannon
Writer specialising in good football and bad relationships. Usually sarcastic, always here, often elsewhere.
  • Divyun Raje Vaid

    Diaby’s almost 28 now. He’s kinda in a similar position in which Judas was who had had that one season when he was 28. If Diaby can stay fit for a couple of seasons, he’ll be a great asset.

  • Baz

    Diaby on his day is the best midfielder at the club.
    It would be fantastic of he stays injury free next season and shows what a magnificent player he is.

    • HLeeHurley

      Couldn’t agree more.

    • adythe gooner

      Diaby is the forgotten man who can be the holding midfielder we have been missing for soooooo long

      • Tony

        A quote from Arsene, “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”.

        • Tru

          Exactly. The point of a holding midfielder is to hold back while the team breaks forward to prevent counter attacks. To put Diaby as a holding midfield would basically take away his greatest asset, which is turning defense to attack in an instant with his incredibly smooth yet powerful driving runs.

  • Pete The First

    That car that keeps breaking down. It costs you a fortune to run. It’s got go faster stripes though.

    The Ford Diaby

  • johnny

    Absolutely true, and very well put.

  • Jp

    It’s over sell him…..terminate…..

  • ali mohamed

    Diaby in his days he is the best midfielder. Unfortunately, he had all kind of injuries. I hope he bounces back and be on his best next season. Whenever diaby plays well , usually arsenal wins. Come on diaby get well and fit son. Wish u all the best.

  • Franny

    158 appearances yet you can barely count on one hand how many good appearances he’s had but somehow he’s considered a great player. Absolute trash in about 120 appearances, average in 35 and great in 3. CC Final up til his death, Aston Villa away and Liverpool away.

  • mystic

    ‘I can think of no other player who deserves a chance to have a career after all he has been through’.

    Frankly I couldn’t give a toss what a rotten time he has had (must be awful picking up that bank statement and drooling at the balance), nothing against the guy but as far as I am concerned Arsenal are more deserving of silverware, than he of a career.

    I can think of no other player who deserves a chance to have a career after all he has been through.

    Read more at: | Daily Cannon
    I can think of no other player who deserves a chance to have a career after all he has been through.

    Read more at: | Daily Cannon

    • pnk.gooner

      He refused to take his salary until he was back in training. True gent!!!

  • Rod

    I agree with the sentiment of this piece, I feel sure he would much prefer to be playing than spending a year in the gym and treatment room. I always thought he had great potential and hope he gets the chance he so obviously deserves to get his game back on track.

  • ARSENAL 13

    Diaby deserves a chance to have a career and he deserves it at ARSENAL. He deserves a golden end to his career with us. He should be an example of grit, guts and determination…..

  • bernard

    God bless you, this is a good article. We should if not MOST support give Diaby to get well and kick Ball again.

  • weedz

    I have the greatest respect for AD and what he’s achieved at Afc, but there are only 25 places on a squad list and to have Abou taking a place on that list is putting our team under more pressure than is necessary . No player is greater than the team/squad.

  • Will

    Fully agree. Guy is an immense player and would have outshone Vieira in his prime.

    • FredFreddy

      He’s not even played enough to reach his peak, which if the club can get him to stay fit he could finally begin to do so.

  • Wenger out

    Arsenal FC is a business and a football club; not a charity or a shelter. Diaby is a thief and Wenger is a joke for keeping him on our books. Ferguson binned Hargreaves as soon as it became clear he was a perma crock. Once again, our deluded dictator has his priorities wrong.

    • HLeeHurley

      Interesting that you seem oblivious to the fact that United kept Hargreaves for four years despite the fact he only made 27 appearances. Also, Diaby is a thief? Really? Do Arsenal know that he is stealing from them or are they paying a man who got seriously injured while in their employ and doing his job?

      Good to know that you feel should you be struck down by a serious illness caused by your job that you’d expect your employer to sack you.

    • selrach

      i wish there was a way of assassinating block heads who think they can open traps and say what they want…

    • Poldi-Pack-A-Punch

      ahhh i bet you also wish he had binned the constantly injured RVP before he scored nearly every goal for us a couple seasons back….

  • Poldi-Pack-A-Punch

    He is only 27, his career could shape rather similarly to that of Tomas Rosicky. However, I like Diaby but i feel for the time being and in the leagues current climate he is a back up/cup player at most. He needs a solid season in which his talent will shine through, but for some reason injuries at our club seem ruin our players for a long time. Colin is Garys evil diabolic twin who is a secret Liverpool fan.

  • Nick

    Bit of a misleading stat that. Which 13 players have more appearances than Diaby? since we’ve had a revolving door every year on players out it’s not surprising.
    Who’s been at the club or was at the club long enough?
    Cesc, RVP, Sagna, Rosicky easily come to mind but Rosicky had his own long term layoffs. Flamini, Hleb, were fixtures in their spell. Henry obviously, Lljungberg as well.

  • km

    sure. if he plays for free.

    • HLeeHurley

      Imagine you got a serious illness through merely doing your job and your employer kept paying you while you recovered. Would you then offer to work for free when you were fit and healthy again? In what other world would you expect that to happen?

      • km

        if I’m paid 50k a week, i might be a tad embarrassed. as it is, i dont get paid even 10% of that in a month.

        • km

          Poor guy, nice guy. good luck. all the best. Go play somewhere else.

          • dzoja

            it is so dramatic for no reason,he simply cant become class player for arsenal,he is just injured whole the time,what is that bringing to the team,why we dont have pogba or any other really talented and efficient defensive midfielder,and no its not about “plastic fans”,you would all love to see a better player in that position,its been a while we are waiting for that guy to explode but he will probably do nothing,just be recovering for his whole life

  • RealG

    I find it interesting how all the ignorant, narrow-minded, glory supporting, plastic ‘fans’ who want Wenger out also hate Diaby and want him out!
    Yet the rational, intelligent, empathetic, knowledgeable fans who surely appreciate Wenger all know how good Diaby is and what he brings to the team and how gutted we are that he has had the worst injury luck ever!
    Diaby is an absolute midfield general and if he was fully fit, would compare to Yaya Toure and be the first name on the team sheet, for both The Arsenal and France… anyone who disagrees has obviously never seen Diaby play fully fit (yes I know, that’s probably only about 25 games overall! lol but still…he was awesome in those games, when he was fully fit!)
    Arsenal truly are a different animal with Diaby in the team! Saying that though, we are a completely different team when we have Ramsey, Ozil, Wilshere, Walcott, Gibbs fit as well… hmmm weren’t we missing all those during the fixture list from hell when our form/confidence dropped??
    Oh yeah, that’s right…ignorant glory supporting mugs or the media don’t understand that when you are missing 5/6 KEY players and play against direct rivals, AWAY from home…that you might lose!!! Then they blame Wenger and want him sacked because of bad luck? Seriously, just take a step back and look at the bigger picture!!!!
    Oh yeah and try supporting the team! If only Arsenal had similar fans to Liverpool! BEST fans ever!!!! FACT! Look at the way they think of their team and manager…treat them like hero’s and gods…cheering and chanting hours before the games, greeting the the players off the bus!
    What do Arsenal ‘fans’ do?? Moan and groan and a quarter of them want one of the greatest managers EVER to get sacked!!! Seriously, you anti-Arsenal, Arsenal ‘fans’ disgust me!!! take a look at yourselves and become better fans and SUPPORT our team and then maybe, that might give them confidence and with that, you can do anything!!!!

    • nam

      Brilliant. Everyone should read this

    • Anto Mahon

      I don’t recall the best fans ever cheering for the support of Roy Hodgson in fact it was the opposite they were cheering for him to go and go he did.