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.