Diaby’s Injury Jinx – The Facts.
Abou Diaby’s injury jinx struck again as he suffered a thigh strain in the dying minutes of our game against Stoke.
The injury is expected to rule him out for several weeks, possibly missing Euro 2012 in the process.
The visit to Stoke was only his second game back from another injury. He has managed only 5 appearances for us this season, playing just over 2 hours of football.
His recent injuries have been attributed to a horrendous tackle from Sunderland’s Dan Smith in May 2006. He underwent 3 surgeries to repair the injury and missed the UCL final in the process.
He’s suffered over 30 injuries since then and many fans are quick to ignore the fact that he barely plays. Some don’t even want to consider the fact that we may have a injury crock on our hands.
“Diaby is not injury prone”, they tell you, “He’s just unlucky”. A quick examination of his football history suggests otherwise.
Abou began his playing career at Red Star Paris’ Youth Academy, and the academy coach, Marco Lienel described him as “fairly quiet and quite frail“. “Frail” in my dictionary means “weak and delicate.”.
Diaby signed his first professional contract with Auxerre in 2004; a 3-year deal but he only lasted 2. He moved to Arsenal in 2006.
Jacques Santini, Auxerre Manager at the time felt the sale of Diaby to Arsenal was justified. He thought it was a strategic sale.
“Abou was one of the players I used at the start of the season and then he had to stop because of repetitive injuries.”
Diaby has managed just over 150 appearances since he joined 6 years ago. This looks like a decent figure until you consider the fact that he joined at the same as Walcott and Adebayor. Walcott who joined as a 17-year old and did not play at all in 2006 has almost 220 appearances. Even Adebayor played 104 games as an Arsenal player in half the time Diaby has been at the club.
Now there is no doubt Diaby is an absolute beast of a player, he holds the ball very well, dribbles well, shoots well. Heck, he was tipped to be our Vieira, but of what use is a player like Messi if he does not play?
Some may be quick to point to RVP as a reason why we should stick to Diaby, but it should be noted that RVP did not have any major injury problems prior to his Arsenal career. Even when he played the occassional game, his impact was felt. 73 goals in 197 appearances a testament to this. A return of a goal every 2.6 games is more than decent for a supporting striker.
Rosicky had a mysterious injury that kept him out for so long. The moment that was cleared up, he started rehab and we have him back.
Diaby’s future may not be at Arsenal. He may have had a couple of very good games for us, but those have been far too infrequent. He has not been able to achieve consistency because he finds himself continuously trying to build up to match fitness and also match sharpness.
Personally, Abou is a player I hope Arsene gambles with and sticks by. His contract runs out in 2014 and I would simply wait until then to make a decision. But we cannot continue to pay a player good wages to sit on the treatment table for so long.
If he cannot stay fit then there is a very justified argument that He should be replaced by someone who can play more than 5 games on the trot without such a history of injury.
If Diaby somehow turns it over and becomes an important player for us, I’ll be the first one to admit my mistake, eat the humble pie and support him. The current injury rules him out for the season, it may be until next season before that happens…if Arsene does not ship him out this summer that is.
Any thoughts? Share them below.