A Tribute to Abou Diaby – A Sad Career Blighted by Injuries
Football sometimes, can be a cruel sport.
One minute, everything is working out for you and you’re the king in your own game of thrones, next minutes, you’re pummeled to the very depths of everything wrong with the game.
Truth be told, injuries have become part and parcel of the modern game. The competitive nature of football has led to teams battling each other for the ultimate goal of gaining victory and like every battle, there are casualties. In a club as technically proficient like Arsenal, they are players that are always on the line of fire due to their style of play while there are others that are just unlucky.
Arsenal is a club that has become somewhat synonymous with injuries season after season but there’s a player that has spent more times injured than any other person I can remember at the club – Abou Vassiriki Diaby.
This infographic, via the Daily Mail, shows all the injuries Diaby has suffered since he joined the club,
Since his long-awaited return from his ACL injury, Diaby has continued to suffer constant niggling injuries and he made his comeback on the last Premier League game of the 2013/14 campaign against Norwich. Apparently, that turned out to be his last Premier League appearance with the club. His final appearance for the team was against Southampton in the Capital One Cup and it lasted little over an hour. In 10 seasons with the club, Diaby made 124 league appearances, scoring 14 goals and creating 11 assists. That’s an average of just 12.4 league appearances per season, if you do the math.
Diaby actually had his moments while donning the Red and White of Arsenal – the infamous kick to John Terry’s face in the 2007 Capital One Cup final, the top-notch performance against Liverpool at Anfield, the dominant midfield outings that made Arsene Wenger have high hopes for him. Everyone connected with the club knew that Wenger wanted Diaby to make it at the club but his constant injury problems never allowed him to reach that huge potential everyone felt he had.
“Diaby is on the fringe of coming back into full training but he is not there yet. He has a calf problem. His injuries are never severe but little ‘grade ones’. He is not available yet. If Diaby is fully fit, he will have a new deal at Arsenal” – Arsene Wenger (December 2014)
Wenger was probably hoping that his injury problems were now behind him, but Diaby proved his manager wrong. The Premier League’s website published an official list of all the players that have been released by their clubs and there were some high profile names in several clubs. A lot of youngsters got the axe and there would be a couple of big names that would seek new employers next season but at Arsenal, we will no longer see the likes of Semi Ajayi, Jack Jebb, Austin Lipman, Josh Vickers, Brandon Ormonde-Ottewill, Ryo Miyaichi and of course, Abou Diaby.
Unfortunately, Diaby’s injury records speaks in volumes and I tend to wonder if he’d find another club soon. Any team trying to invest in his services would know that there’s a potential for him to suffer those niggling injuries.
I wish Diaby the very best in his future endeavors.
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