December 18 2013 Latest news:
Saturday, November 17, 2012
Arsene Wenger has admitted midfielder Abou Diaby is struggling to manage the physical demands of Premier League football amid fears he could be set for another lengthy spell on the sidelines.
The France international has not featured for the Gunners since their 2-1 defeat to Chelsea in late September and has only played nine Premier League matches in the last two seasons.
“The situation for Diaby is so frustrating and for us as well we started the season well with him in the team and since he has been out we have felt it,” said Wenger.
“He balances our team as he has stature and presence physically when he is there, but clearly his injury problems are a concern.
“I can tell you he has been everywhere in the world to be assessed. There is an explanation.
“He is quick, strong, has good stamina, good resistance to repeat, but his muscle strength is not good enough to deal with that. Sometimes little fibres go in his muscles, this is basically his problem.
“When you play every three days, you cannot rebuild your strength as you need to recover. When you don’t rebuild your strength, through the games you burn your fibres a bit and become weaker and weaker, so that means he gets injured.
“The second reason for his problems of course is his ankle. Since he was slaughtered at Sunderland [in a tackle by Dan Smith], his mobility in his ankle has been affected,” added the Frenchman.
“Of course mentally it is difficult to deal with it when Abou looks at his career in the past six years.
“He is a top guy, conscientious, he cares about everybody, but it is difficult when he is injured so much.”