After his barnstorming man-of-the-match performance against Liverpool, Abou Diaby has spoken about his favoured position in the midfield and made clear that he does not see himself as a replacement for the departed Alex Song.
The lanky Frenchman, who has featured more in the first three games this season than he did in the entirety of last term, also paid lip service to the similarities being made between his box-to-box style and that of Manchester City’s Yaya Toure, before backing both Francis Coquelin and Mikel Arteta to flourish as holding midfielders.
“In our teams, Yaya Toure and me have very similar roles,” Diaby told the Press Association after Sunday’s 2-0 victory at Anfield.
“I am not like Alex Song. We have many players who can take his place like Francis Coquelin or Mikel Arteta, who likes to play deep. I want to get forward – that’s me.
“I have defensive duties as well so I need to have a good shape defensively and, as soon as we get the ball, go forward.”
Ever since Dan ‘call centre’ Smith snapped Diaby’s ankle at Sunderland at the end of his first full season in 2006, the Frenchman has suffered all manner of fitness problems. While many supporters long wrote off the 26-year-old’s chances of fulfilling his potential at the Emirates, the former-Auxerre man stressed that his self-belief has been bolstered throughout the dark times by Arsene Wenger.
“I have to thank the manager because I have had tremendous support and as a player it is really important to have that support,” he said.
“Support from your team-mates as well – I have to say that during this period, they helped a lot.
“I want to enjoy myself because I love football and to pay back the club, manager and team-mates as well.”
Arseblog News is certainly pleased to have Abou back and firing on all cylinders. While he certainly deserves all the praise coming his way, it is also pretty obvious he needs to be treated with caution.
A full pre-season will have done him wonders, but he’ll no doubt need to be rested to keep him from entering the fabled ‘red zone.’ Thankfully, given the midfield options at our disposal that shouldn’t really be a problem.25,094 views