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09th Sep 2016

Abou Diaby absolutely despises the cruel nickname the French gave him

Poor chap.

Ben Kiely

When Abou Diaby came to Arsenal he was pegged to be the successor to Patrick Vieira’s throne, but an endless slew of injuries saw that dream shatter before our eyes.

Diaby showed flashes of brilliance throughout his career at Arsenal, but having spent most of his time with the physio recovering from knocks, his potential was never fully realised.

In an interview with the Daily Mail, Diaby opened up about the emotional toll his failing body took on him while he was forced to watch on from the sidelines.

“A lot of things have been done over the last few years. Basically, it was big rehabilitation. I have worked a lot on the calf, on the scar tissue, on the knee problem, on the ankle problem…” Diaby starts laughing, pointing to different parts of his legs: “This could go on a while!”


The Frenchman admitted that being so close to the action, yet so far from taking part really affected him mentally and after a while, he just couldn’t hack it any more.

“Going into the training ground every day, it was killing me. When you spend all your time with the physio and you see your team-mates enjoying everything, it is very hard.

“I couldn’t sit there every game in the stands and watch. I just wanted to play so much. Every time fans spoke to me, it was, ‘When are you back?’, ‘How long will it be?'”

To make matters worse, Diaby had to endure being the butt of all the jokes from the fans and media alike. The nickname “Glass Man”, that was given to him by the French media, made it more difficult for him to deal with perpetually being injured.

“They say I’m ‘L’Homme de Verre’. It means that I’m made of glass. It can be painful, on a psychological level. They don’t know how much I give every day of my life to try and recover. But hey, what can I do? This is my life story.”

during the Capital One Cup Third Round match between Arsenal and Southampton at the Emirates Stadium on September 23, 2014 in London, England.

The good news for Diaby is that he has got off to a decent start to the season with Marseille, playing 130 minutes so far, five less than he managed for the club in the entire 2015/16 campaign. However, he’s not getting ahead of himself.

“My target is to finish my career as well as I can. If at least I can play 15 or 20 more games, I can be happy. I played last week, I don’t have any problems. Twenty games, it would be fantastic. If I go more, it would be something of a miracle.”

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