Arsene Wenger is expecting Abou Diaby to return to training today as he looks to make a first team appearance before the end of the season.
The 27-year-old midfielder hasn’t played in over a year after suffering cruciate knee ligament damage but remains determined to turn the head of French national team manager Didier Deschamps in the hope of sealing a place in his World Cup squad.
Two weeks ago Diaby was quoted as telling L’Equipe, “I’ve never given up hope of going to the World Cup. Thinking of that has kept me going. Once I’m back on pitch, everything’s possible.”
Asked on Friday whether the former-Auxerre man could help the Gunners in the last weeks of the season, Wenger said he was hoping for a ‘surprise’ but not putting any pressure on his charge.
“Diaby is coming back now. He had a preparation in France, where he had his rehab, and will be back to full training on April 1.
“Let’s not forget he has not played for a year. I cannot predict now how much time it will take him to be competitive.
“I cannot plan for him to play a role now in the coming games, but maybe I will have a good surprise when I see him.”
Amazingly, since the start of the 2010/11 season Diaby has made only 40 appearances for Arsenal (nine of those off the bench) but he does have one-year left on his contract to try and revive a career which has been wrecked thus far by injuries. Good luck to him on his latest comeback.
Now THIS is an April Fool story.
Blog just took it to the next level – negative April Fool’s gag.
Not. But just seen a video of Abou and in one match Cesc and Hleb were mentioned. Fuck me, this boy’s been around forever. Wish him well and look forward to seeing him pull on the shirt.
Let’s hope it’s not an April fools.
One year left on his contract? Sell now and FFS don’t give him a new contract, we have far too many ‘sick notes’ as it is.
We are, as a club (manager), far too sentimental regarding our players, it’s a great shame as the boy has the talent but maybe it’s time he sat in someone else’s physio room.
Not many would be willing to buy, but i don’t think his next contract will be a big one, we’re not stupid but I can see us keeping him if there’s still a glimmer of hope as he could be so good; plus, how bad would the moaning be if he went somewhere else and was able to fulfill his potential?
I hear what you are saying and when fit he’s a great footballer in the Vieira / Toure mould but 40 games in four seasons tells it’s own story. If we can sell him I personally think a couple of million in the bank and freeing up his wages is better than taking the gamble on his fitness. If we weren’t constantly plagued with injuries to our attacking players then it might be worth taking a punt. The investigation into our injury problems really does need to take place sooner rather than later, but for so many injuries we would… Read more »
totally agree with you. i would even add that’s we should extend his contract ! yes cause but i do feel like he could do the same as that Dutch guy who spent nearly 7 years injured! One good or great season and he is free and can go somewhere else who have better medical staff and fulffill his potential.. and the joke will be on us once again.
It’s not your money. Why are you getting so angry about it?
This is not an April fools story. Calm down people. Sheesh
This would be an April Fools prank even if it had been announced in September.
Please don’t let this be an April fools…
Good news for the lad. Can we expect at least two setbacks ? :-/ Hope not.
He’ll certainly need a few more weeks, they all do and three weeks becomes three months and sadly with him it’s been at least three seasons.
This is not an April fools story. Calm down people. Sheesh
I’d heard a couple of days ago that this was in the offing. Bloody great news, if you ask me. When he’s fit Diaby’s a beast, a real Vieira type of player. I hope we get him back for a couple of matches in the run-in.
Good player and great to have him amazing back, I hope he stays fit, But Vieira? It’s amazing how players improve so much when they are injured
Diaby doesn’t have the raw power and ferocity that Vieira had but in terms of technique, I always thought Diaby was actually even better.
He’s much more of a flair/dribbling attacking player than Vieira was, but he would bring some much needed physicality to our midfield if he did return soon. He also brings the ability to carry the ball through the middle third, 50 60 yards, without breaking a sweat (something Arsene always talks about). Would have been a really great player for us.
Scores the winner off the bench in the FA Cup Final.
I’d be really happy if it was the final goal of a rout, let it not go down to the wire please, not this one…
And promptly pulls something in the celebration, forcing us to play the rest of the match with 10 men, opponents equalize, then win in penalties, and there’s more heartbreak.
Its not the winner then is it?
and gets knacked in the process..ill take it though..
I stopped reading after i read the title
Happy for him.
I know what he’ll do.
He will come to colney get injured while climbing the stairs and say “jokes on you Arsene my hamstring is gone April fools!! its back to France monsieur”
I really don’t get why Arsenal fans mock Diaby.
Poor show, really is.
Agreed. Anyone who wishes him anything other than the best needs to have a long hard look at themselves. Fair enough discussing whether it makes sense giving him a contract, but I really hope he puts his injury woes behind him and gets back to doing what he does best: kicking John Terry into unconsciousness.
Would rather he said Ide never given up hope of getting back into the first team and helping my club win things this season. But that’s just me.
Probably can only answer what you are asked. A French daily will probably ask him “How do you rate your chances for the World Cup (in the French team)?”
The Daily Pillock. Morning Edition: In an exclusive interview with our intrepid reporter Arsene Wenger said, “Yes. Yes. No. Yes. Berwick Rangers. Yes. Yes. Yes. Perhaps. Yes. Yes. 3.1415927 approximately. Yes. I think so. No. Yes, he is a cunt. No. He’s a cunt too. Yes. Yes. He’ll be like a new signing. Yes. No. Maybe.” Arsenal fans are reported on pages 1, 4, 5, 15 and 36 as being furious and are said to be demanding “Wenger Out”.
The Double is still on!!!
It’s rather ironic that for all our alleged deficiencies in strikers and defenders, over the past few weeks it’s really been our horrendous injuries in midfield that’s costed us.
Diaby to rectify.
Diaby never has been and never will be a defensive midfielder, so I don’t see how he rectifies our deficiencies
He charges through the middle, leaves big strong defenders lying stunned in his wake, and scores goals with shots that carry the keeper into the net along with the ball.
Well, I remember something like that.
Joking aside, a fit diaby between now and the end of the season could be very useful.
A fit Diaby between now and 2020 would be very useful but it ain’t gonna happen is it?
You should become his personal motivational speaker
He’s already got his hands full motivating David Moyes.
I’m expecting nothing from him. He’s coming back from another long lay off after an acl injury so I can imgaine he will need to play in at least a fraction of the games he’s missed before we see get back to top form ( if that’s anything like it was we will have to wait and see ) which at this stage of the season there just really isn’t time for so I can’t see playing much of a role this season.
No offence to the lad, but would rather hear some good news on the rest of our injured players. Have given up on Diaby now. Valuable place in the squad but never fit.
Fair play to Diaby, he’s clearly working hard to get back into first team action. If he resumes training now we could expect him back end of April, last game or two of the season and FA Cup final perhaps?
You get the impression this is absolutely last chance saloon for him though, any more injuries after this and he won’t get a contract extension. I’d absolutely love to see him get a couple of solid years of football under him, at 27 he could have 5-6 years left if he stayed free of serious injuries..
be good if he could pull a rosicky and look energetic in his late 30’s due to all the games he did not play in his 20’s
I’ve been waiting for this. Diaby to win us the title and the FA Cup. You heard it here. Diaaabbbbbyyyyy!
Whatever next? Cygan as director of football?
i love dibdabs, really hope he can play a part! worry is that he’ll rush his own return to try and attract attention for the world cup… fingers crossed.
My worry is that when he comes back he’ll be wearing a shirt that says Dibdabs.
that would be Deeeench!
one of my favorite players and for me on his day (liverpool) is the closest to viera ive seen in our team. and its not because of his height and skin complexion. can’t figure out the april fools side of things, but i hope he resurrects his career.
Hope Diaby do a Rosicky and be finally fit after seasons and seasons of injuries problem. Based on Rosicky’s unique calculation, Diaby is now only 25!
I think he is stil 19 in rosicky’s age.
Someone link me his individual highlights from Liverpool last season at Anfeild please ….
Imagine that Diaby and Ramsey in the form he was until his injury as holding midfielders. Would fuck any team over.
His body is glass which is real shame
If only we could sign Paul Pogba
Hope is not april fool wish him goodluck
I dont think so,unless Wenger pulled a fast one on us over the weekend
Look I hope as much as anyone else here that he really is back fit and ready to tear up the Premiership, but the fact that it explicitly states that he is returning to the team on April 1 gives me pause. Seems a clever ploy to get this believable story picked up by the mainstream media so they end up with egg on their faces. A win-win if I ever saw one.
April fools or no April fools, what pisses me off is that Diaby has come out and said that he never gave up on going to the World Cup and THAT is what is keeping him going! WTF! Shouldn’t his drive be for Arsenal FC? They pay his wages, they are the ones who are supporting him through his numerous injuries!!
Yes, but unlike the English the French seem too actually have a bit of passion and pride in playing for their own country, regardless of wages. Weird isn’t it?
What? Even all the French players going on strike because their tax is too high? Those ones? Prideful bunch who don’t care about money aren’t they?
It was a French publication interviewing him, and they asked him a question directly about it. He’s not going to say ” um no. not interested. doesn’t sound like any fun at all” now, is he?
He loves his club and has shown incredible personal strength and determination to not simply bag the whole thing. Just shit luck.
Do I think we can bank on him before we see a healthy run of games? Of course not. But I don’t doubt his dedication to the club, and I would love nothing more than to see him beat this curse.
You may be new to this football lark. As an Arsenal player he has only one way to make it into the French National team, and that is to play excellent football for Arsenal. You don’t really need him to say it in order to understand that do you?
‘maan’ & ‘purr’ are the same guys, right? (top of the comments list)…or is one of them a parrot?
It’s unbelievable that Diaby is back in training before Ramsey. You didn’t think that when he walked off on boxing day and it was said that he would miss around 1 month.
Carlsberg don’t do ‘April Fool’s’ ads. But if they did……..
Sod Carlsberg, he’s obviously been put on a course of Heineken. It’s finally refreshed the parts other treatment cannot reach.
Fucking hell guys. Give the guy a chance. It’s not his fault I’m useless. He’s been workin hard to make his comeback the least we can do is support the lad. COYG!!!
Who said you were useless?
I have a feeling this time he is back for good
Argh! You jinxed it now!
No no no he’s definitely not going to stay healthy ever, this is a complete waste of time. He will never be the great footballer he is when healthy for longer than 30 minutes. He should retire now.
*reverse jinx powers activate!!!!!*
40 appearances since 2010/11. Diaby coming back is NOT the answer.
Aha, but if he IS back and beats the curse, you’ll eat those words.
If I was only fit for 12% of my shifts at work I really don’t think I would have a job.
Obviously, that’s because you’re easy to replace.
surely it depends on the question? “Could he make a difference in the last 10 to 15 minutes of the odd game between now and the end of the season?” maybe. “Could he do a Christopher Wreh, and pop up with the odd vital goal?” maybe. “Would the rest of the team be relieved to see extra fresh legs being available in a key role to help rotate and rest?” probably. I reckon he would be delighted just to be stepping on to the pitch again and anyone that we can get back playing for us in the run-in to… Read more »
What a surprise to hear that Abu is back before A.Ramsy. If that is true well be BACK.
Joke’s on the top three in the table now–here comes Diaby! COYG!
I doubt it’s an April Fools, but the timing sure is funny.
He’s only 27??!??
HAHAHHA nice one guys, best April Fool ever.
Diaby and Walcott should be considered as luxuries as opposed to first team players. On their day they would both be considered first team assets, but as we all know they are not good for more than 20 games a season. We should plan our squad without them, treat them as luxuries for the times that they are available and then god forbid they stay fit they provide competition to the first choice players. For too long have we been reliant on players whose fitness simply cannot be relied upon. Wenger needs to recognise this and plan the squad accordingly.
Just to build upon this point. He signed Diaby for a reason. We have lacked a dynamic midfielder for a number of years. We had Diaby and Alex Song to play this role, and we sold Song and have been without Diaby for much of his stay. We have lacked a dynamic player of this nature for a good time now. Instead we have arteta who plays more of an Alonso role as opposed to a box to box dynamo who can not just defend but can also stretch defences (in the yaya toure / vieira / ramires mould) Ramsey… Read more »
With such a weak squad, it is a wonder how we have lost only 6 out of 32 league games compared to the mighty squads of Chelsea and Liverpool who have lost 5. Man City have also lost 5 but have played two games less. All three of those squads are out of the FA Cup, one knocked out by us.
As to Walcott, his appearances are: 2009/10 30; 2010/11 38; 2011/12 46 and 2012/13 43.
Ahem, I stand corrected. Perhaps it is more the impact it has on our playing approach when he is missing that makes it seem like he is out for longer than he actually is. No replacement options when he is gone. NONE. Frankly I am amazed at those statistics, but I feel they are also a little misleading. In addition to each injury period there is a 3 or 4 game “bedding in” period where he is still regaining his level. With Theo we seem to get six games, injury, 3 games to regain fitness, 6 games, injury, 3 games… Read more »
Based upon an average calendar of 58 games a season (perhaps high, but Hazard played 62 last season.) Theo’s 281 appearances since the 2006/7 season (his first full season) represents a play rate of 60%. I suppose this is not bad, but I still find it concerning that we rely so heavily on someone who is statistically speaking unreliable.
I really don’t think our Midfield lacks depth.
Theo, Ox, Gnabry, Ramsey, Wilshere, Ozil, Rosicky, Flamini, Arteta, Diaby, Podolski, Cazorla.
12 players for 5 positions is fine. And not one of them is really sub-par quality wise.
We don’t have enough wide players and we don’t have enough pace. I agree we have numbers but we don’t have options. To my assessment we do not have a single winger at the club. Theo could fall into this bracket but he is not capable of taking on a defender and beating them. We have an oversupply of cute attacking midfielders and an under-supply of game stretching wide players. We have an abundance of central midfielders who are supplying a striker who prefers to feed off balls into the box from wide positions. We don’t have midfielders who like… Read more »
I think you mean to say we do not have guys who can run beyond OG for him to flick it on.
First half the season, Walcott was out, Ramsey did the running.
2nd half of the season, both of them are out. We have Podolski, but I get it, it is not quite the same.
My point is this: Joes points out above that the squads of chelsea, city etc have lost five games, one less than us. With more options we would have won the league this season. Period. We lost two players and have nothing to replace them. Joeos conveniently leaves out Walcott’s statistics for his first 4 seasons where he played 16, 20, 24 games etc. He is injury prone, there are no two ways about it. If we had other options to get beyond Giroud as you point out, then we could still be an attacking force. Without Ramsey and Walcott… Read more »
Diaby has had far too much bad luck, he deserves a bit of good luck for a change. I am wishing him a speedy and successful recovery from injury. When fit he has showed that he is a quality player.
I can understand why some fans feel frustrated, as he has taken up a place in the squad and earned quite a bit of money without contributing too much. However, he always been dignified and put a brave face on his situation whereas in contrast someone like TGSTEL acts like an embarrassing prick.
As an employer Arsenal are pretty much expected to look after their employees that get injured at work. Not only do they have a duty and legal requirement to treat Diaby fairly, but they also have insurance that helps to offset the cost of his injury. It’s not like they are taking money from the fan’s pockets to fund a “project” on the off-chance it might turn out OK. We signed him to a contract, we have to keep him. That’s the bottom line. Whining about it, as some are doing here is both futile and shallow. We want him… Read more »
Its the same old April fool joke with Diaby every year, but glad to seem him back, and may this time we see a lot more of him. he is a good player.
Are you doubting this? He is part of the Indestructables.
Brian did he not pass up his wages s his injury record was such a joke? How many others would
Squad fodder for next season. Good back-up for the imposing, athletic centre mid that we must sign in the next window.
Sorry, we’re going to buy a strong, technically proficient midfielder who can both pass and tackle, defend and attack, and is probably German.
No badass Vieira-a-like.
Clone Ramsey and put him on double shifts in the gym.
Ha ha yes – cloning will solve our problems! 🙂
Wenger: Diaby to return to full training
Diaby: hey boss, April fool!
Ramsey got injured on both his own birthday and my birthday! Worst. Present. Ever.
Diaby is a tank, hope he can stay fit! (Bit of déjà vu here…)
I remember reading that Wenger gambled on Diaby replacing Song at the start of last season, it seemed to be working out well until he got injured.
Here’s to hoping Wenger can gamble successfully this time.
Yea, I can finally use this chant again….
Whoa oh oh,
Whoa oh oh,
He came from Auxurre,
Cos Vieria’s no longer here!
Whoa oh oh.
I strongly believe that if he stayed healthy he’d be just as good or better than yaya toure. He’s just so damn good when he’s fit.
Hope he can get in decent form for the final run in to help us win the fa cup and maybe even the league.