Date: 24th January 2007 at 1:41am
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Abou Diaby could be set for an emotional return to the Arsenal team tonight as Arsenal take on Spu*s in the League Cup semi final first leg.

The midfield general suffered a fractured and dislocated ankle after Dan Smith thought it necessary to lunge at Abou as the ball rolled out of play in Arsenal`s game at Sunderland last season.

After the full extent of the injury was known Wenger revealed that Diaby may never have been able to play again. But the Frenchman displayed some of that ‘bulldog spirit` that only English players have (allegedly) and fought back in the face of adversity to recover from his injuries.

Diaby came on as a late sub in the 6-3 mauling of Liverpool but it is though that he may now be set for his first start since the injury over 9 months ago.

Speaking ahead of the Arsenal Reserves V Tottenham first team Wenger said: “It was such a sad day when he was kicked out of the game at Sunderland and the surgeon told me it was a serious injury.

“He was optimistic after the op but there were problems with his rehabilitation and he had to have more surgery on his knee.

“It has been nine months out and he has had to be very patient. He`s come back mentally and physically stronger.”

Wenger isn`t one for comparing players, he refuses to compare the likes of Van Persie and Walcott with Bergkamp and Henry but Le Boss has made an exception:

“We`ve missed Diaby because he gives us something the other players don`t have.

“He can give us that kind of Patrick
Vieira presence in the physical challenges.

“He reminds me of Patrick in his running style, behaviour and the strength of his tackles.”


13 Replies to “Diaby Set For Arsenal Start?”

  • I cant wish this guy enough good luck, he has had an extremely promising debut season cut short by a criminal tackle from a player who barely ranks as a professional and didnt even get punished for it. I can only hope Diabys ankle is bigger and stronger than ever before, because he could be the long term answer to filling gilbertos position.

  • indeed – welcome back, Abou – we’ve all been wishing you well and eagerly awaiting your return. Wishing you a long and successful future in the Arsenal Red and White. »»Arsene Knows««

  • all the luck in the world to abou diaby.. after wating patiently for 9 months.. now is the time for abou to show what he can really do.. acc to me also.. he is the long term replacement for gilberto as mentioned before.. hope he settles into the team asap.. and kicks the spuds’asses..

  • I hope Abou has a great game tonight, really felt sorry for the guy after THAT tackle…Can’t believe Dan Smith didn’t even apologise about it and hasn’t apologised to Abou to this day. I barrack him with abuse about that whenever I see him playing in Scotland for Aberdeen…

  • Looking forward to seeing abou back in action. But its too early to compare him to PV, shouldnt too much pressure on the kid. If he can last the 90 mins and do a decent job vs spurs, then it would have been mission accomplished, for now. So lets keep our expectations in perspective.

  • Squad for tonight

    2. Abou Diaby
    4. Francesc Fabregas
    5. Kolo Toure
    6. Philippe Senderos
    9. Julio Baptista
    13. Alexander Hleb
    15. Denilson
    16. Mathieu Flamini
    21. Mart Poom
    24. Manuel Almunia
    27. Emmanuel Eboue
    30. Jeremie Aliadiere
    31. Justin Hoyte
    32. Theo Walcott
    43. Mark Randall
    45. Armand Traore

  • Better to restart you career in a game that has a likely outcome than one where he might get stressed and be on the losing side.

  • I hope the guy has no recurance of his injury, that’s what I am worried about. Him being out isn’t much ( It is but that I don’t care so much about) it’s whether he will be able to reach the top level.

    The more I think about his injury is the more I am sickened at Smith, imagine if it was Gerrard who had that tackle placed on him, or Wayne Rooney. Thuggish behaviour needs to be kicked out the game, especially when the challenge is out of pure spite.

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