Steve Bould was sent out to face the media when Arsene Wenger lost his voice this week, and he has been quoted talking about Abou Diaby.
“As we all know, he has had seven years of injuries and it takes a huge character to come back. Maybe it’s a chance for him to correct everything that was going wrong. He might use the seven or eight months to get rid of all those injuries he was struggling with.
“We’re all hoping he comes back a better player. Abou has to use this as an opportunity to work on all those bits that keep breaking down. That’s the positive that he can go forward with.”
Right. One question, Steve: why is this seven months off going to be any different to all the previous periods of seven months off that Diaby has suffered? Why will he mend better now when he never has before? Every time he gets injured, that’s another part that has to be mended, and he wasn’t doing that great with the previous stuff.
Okay, I know Bouldie is just passing the time of day with some journos while the boss is indisposed, and I know he’s just trying to put a bit of positive spin on yet another bad situation for Diaby, but let’s be honest here: I don’t think it’s going to happen. Diaby is simply too injury-prone, and it’s time to stop relying on him to come back and make a difference. It’s time to stop even pretending he will.
If he surprises us all and has a great three or four years, well brilliant. He’s a good player, no doubt about that. Not world class, but can be very good on his day, and I’m happy to keep paying him for the length of his contract (given we don’t have a choice anyway, ha ha). But even Arsene has to say enough is enough and plan a squad for next season without him. Anything else is surely a dereliction of his managerial duty.