Arsenal midfielder Abou Diaby: I always kept faith despite injury woes

Arsenal and France midfielder Abou Diaby insists he "always kept faith" despite an injury-ravaged 2011/12 campaign

abou diaby
Abou Diaby scored France's winner against Finland

abou diaby

Abou Diaby has insisted he “always kept faith” of making a return during the low points of the Arsneal midfielder’s injury nightmare last season.

The 26-year-old has impressed for both the Gunners and France since the start of the new season after playing just 98 minutes of football in the 2011/12 campaign.

Diaby capped his return to first-team action with a man-of-the-match performance in the Gunners’ 2-0 win at Anfield, which he followed up by scoring France’s winner in their 1-0 victory over Finland on Friday.

“I had some very difficult moments, some days when I was depressed when it was tough. But even then, I always kept faith,” Diaby told Le Parisien.

“I always told myself that some people were in a worse position than me.

“When you see Eric Abidal [who has had a liver transplant], you think twice about yourself. I just had to get my body sorted.

“I am 26 and I am aware that I am at a key moment in my career. That’s why it was so important that I came back this season.

“Last year I told myself, ‘I am injured again, I am nearly 26 and I am at a key turn. Either, I take the turn well and I succeed, either I don’t take it and it will become very, very difficult.’

“Now, I am careful about every detail, I leave nothing to chance. I am much more mature. I also had a full pre-season for the first time in ages. It’s such an important season for me that I am working harder than ever to succeed.

Diaby added: “I have revenge to take over the time I lost but I want to prove to myself that I can go higher. I am getting to an age and to a time in my career where I need to show what I can do on the pitch in the long term.

“I don’t want to miss out on anything. I know what my qualities are and I want to use them to go higher. I have played three games this season, I getting better but I can do more. Physically, I am only 70 per cent.”

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