2008/09 The Year of The Terminator – Abou Diaby
The tall, powerful midfielder was signed from Auxerre in January 2006; he played in 16 games for Arsenal and scored one goal in his first season. The season ended in disappointment for Abou when he suffered an injury at Sunderland, this kept him out until January 2007. .
2007 was not much better for the giant midfielder as he only appeared in 18 games, again scoring one goal.
The 2007/08 season proved to be a start-stop season for Diaby, as he made 28 appearances, scoring four goals. Abou did not appear in his favoured central midfield, but was played on the left wing. The season once again ended in injury for Diaby.
With the departures of Diarra, Flamini and Gilberto, 2008/09 is a make or break season for Abou Diaby. Unless Wenger pulls a rabbit out of the hat, Diaby should partner Fabregas in the centre of midfield, a position that Arsenal fans have been pleading for Arsene to play Abou. When he has played in this position, many fans have seen how commanding he is, using his long longs to make vital challenges and his upper body strength to shield the ball. Diaby is not short of pace and is not scared of shooting when the opportunity arises. Diaby could be the powerful player that fans have been yearning for since Vieira’s departure. The two are not too dissimilar, though I would suggest that Diaby is likely to score more goals than the legend Vieira did.
Given the chance and a relatively injury free season, Diaby will be a colossus for Arsenal and France.