Over the last few seasons, there have been several phrases Arsenal fans have become used to. One of them is: "Abou Diaby is out with an injury." The other is: "Diaby coming back from injury is like a new signing."
While the frustration with the talented midfielder's constant injury problems has been voiced by fans for the last couple of seasons, Arsene Wenger has never given up hope for Diaby. This has given many fans more to gripe about.
It has never been a question of talent when it comes to Diaby. The issue has always been twofold for Arsenal. Diaby's inability to remain fit and his inconsistent play when fit have been the chief concerns.
After coming to Arsenal and being hailed as "the next Vieira," injuries sidelined the young midfielder. Season after season followed with much of the same misfortune. With all the time missed, Diaby and former Gunner Robin van Persie should have become very close, considering all the time they spent together on the training table.
Diaby has the opportunity to do what RVP did by repaying Wenger for his unfailing loyalty. Unlike RVP, Diaby can follow through on repaying the trust by not abandoning ship if he finally breaks out.
This season has seen Diaby play well for Arsenal to this point. His level of confidence seems to be much higher than in previous seasons. This confidence and form translated into a solid showing for the French national team, as Diaby netted the only goal in the win against Finland to open up their World Cup qualifying.
Arsenal fans are left hoping this is not another blip on the radar of Diaby's career. With several supporters clamoring for the purchase of another midfielder over the last few transfer windows, Wenger has stayed steadfast in his belief in the abilities of Diaby.
Hopefully this is the season that Diaby is smiled on by the soccer gods, and he can play a full season. If he can remain injury-free, the world may finally get a glimpse of what Wenger has always believed about Diaby.
He has always had the talent to be a special player, but can he reward the boss's faith by proving it to the soccer masses? Arsenal fans hope this is the season Diaby proves all his doubters wrong.