All I Want For Christmas Is… Abou Diaby (with Batteries Included)

Just before the away game at Aston Villa we were told that Abou Diaby would be back in “three to four weeks.”

That game took place on November 24th, you may remember (and who could forget such a thrilling display of attacking football?).

So if we are to trust Arsene Wenger’s assessment of Diaby’s fitness, he is due back at the earliest around December 15th (just in time for Reading away).

For some reason (can’t quite put my finger on it) I am reluctant to assume that the lanky Frenchman will be mending his damaged bits in an accelerated fashion… so let’s forget that “earliest” return date.

In fact, let’s not even buy in to the later date – which would be around December 22nd (Wigan away).

Let’s assume instead that Abou appears all shiny and mended in our big Arsenal Christmas stocking. With all the batteries included so he’s in full working order.

At that point, provided he doesn’t injure himself on a walnut while extricating himself from the stocking, he might well be ready to resume his Arsenal career when we entertain the Hammers on Boxing Day.

I know what the cynics among you are thinking: “who still puts walnuts in Christmas stockings?”

Oh, and: “Diaby has as much chance of being back in three to four weeks as a three hundred pound fat bloke with a red suit and white beard has of fitting down my chimney.”

Well, that’s the joy of the festive season: magical things happen; wishes become real; and for a brief moment in time we all become children again.

The simple fact is that this Arsenal team, which has made such heavy going of a string of recent games, is in need of fresh impetus.

In the first half against Olympiacos on Tuesday night a returning Tomas Rosicky showed exactly what a talented player can bring to the team – especially one who has not been involved in the morale-sapping outings of recent weeks.

Diaby can have a similar effect if (please let it be a “when”) he returns to full fitness at the end of the year.

He can be a frustrating player at times, but he also showed earlier this season how effective he can be against even the strongest opponents. Imagine that man-of-the-match performance against Liverpool repeated in game after game during the rest of the season.

His injuries have made his Arsenal career more stop-start than the Central Line and it’s understandable that many supporters have given up hope of him ever becoming a regular fixture in the side.

The odds must be against him but maybe – just maybe – this time he will come back for real. Maybe all those months and months of treatment, all the surgeries and physiotherapy will finally rid him of the legacy of that ghastly Dan Smith tackle.

You can’t help but feel that the half of the season that runs from January to May is Abou’s last chance to show he can do it.

If his ailments keep him out for all or most of that period surely even Arsene Wenger will have to give up on him.

It would be a crying shame for a gifted player – and for Arsenal. We have already lost the best part of several seasons’ worth of his contributions in his seven and a half seasons with us.

But right now, just like children all round the world, I am willing to believe.

Come on Abou – you can do it!


97 Responses to All I Want For Christmas Is… Abou Diaby (with Batteries Included)

  1. chas says:

    Hohoho, merry Christmas, Rocky.

    Do we actually know what Abou’s current injury actually is and how he sustained it?
    Good luck to the lad.

    There is still one ticket available for West Brom if anyone fancies making a last minute decision to go. Row 1 North Bank upper corner £33.50.

  2. Morning all, thanks The Rock, I felt the need for a rant and my favourite ranting topic has been brought up – namely Abou Vassiriki Diaby.

    This is a guy wqho joined us in January 2006 and almost 7 claendcdar years later has only managed 127 starts; so that’s 7 years of, on average, around 24 appearances a year(including subs) which we, the fans, have paid for with our hard earned money.

    Value for money? I think not.

    Yes, he was unlucky to get his ankle shattered by that northern clogger, Dan Smith, but are we running a football club or a convalescence home ?

    A pragmatic view would have been to let him go and let him recover full fitness in his own time and at his own expense – not at ours.

    Why is he still on our books ? For all our clubs talk of financial pruidence how can wasting all that money on his wages(yes, I don’t know how much exactly but over the course of 7 tears I shuddder to think what his cost per game is) as that kind of wasteage seems to me to be financial negligence.

    Ok, when he does finally appear he can have a few good games but he also has a some stinkers too; it may be worth waiting if he shows world class play regularly but even that is doubtful.

    And why the hell is he getting stuck into political causes now, as in involving himself in the boycott of Israel’s hosting of the U-21 Euros next year ? Because he has plenty of time to indulge all his interests and hobbies while he continues his leisurely lifestyle while drawing an exorbitant wage at our expense.

    What sums him up is the befuddled, confused look on his face after he headed an o-g at Old Toilet to hand the match inititiative back to ManUre.

    If he leaves tomorrow it can’t be too soon.

    Sorry, rant over.

  3. byron says:

    People compare Rosicky and Diaby but rosicky gets injured whereas Diaby is always injured. They should start discussing how long he may be back for instead of ho long he will be out eg. We expect Diaby to be good for 3 games and then out for 6 months.

  4. chas says:

    I’m still looking for nextgen series highlights of the Bilbao home game.
    Here’s the little feature on the away game on 15th Nov including snippets of interviews with Hector Bellerin (love the accent) and Reice Charles-Cook.

  5. chas says:

    Bah humbug, byron.

  6. chas says:

    I wish I could take your comment off myself.

  7. chas says:

    It can’t be half term this close to Christmas, surely?

  8. Max says:

    We should relesea diaby as soon as possible i had never seen him playing whole season… This tym wen he got injured der wer no player near him he was just kicking the ball and got injured belive me he won’t be able to play full season he should retire… Arsenal talk abt not paying walcott sum pound extra den why dis player wihtout playing getting his salray get rid of all fringe and pay proper salary to our current team……….

  9. Max says:

    Mark is wenger out den arsenal will becum new livepool he has done fantastic job…. Bet yu if he will leave arsenal or arsenal sacks him(there is no chance as no manager will work in budget board giv to him) then he will get hell lot of offers from other team….. he snubbed realmadrid and PSG for arsenal..

  10. GoonerB says:

    Morning all. Good post Rocky. I for one don’t mind holding onto Diaby for a time longer, but if there is a CM available in Jan that will strengthen our squad significantly then I wouldn’t want Arsene to pass on it just because Diaby is coming back from injury. I think we are now in a time when if said player is available then we should get them and then worry about who will feature more if Diaby suddenly goes through an extended injury free period.

    He is such a talent that even when he has been off for a while he seems to come back in and offer us something unique. On that basis, if we were looking over the next 4 years, and even if he were to be in and out due to injuries, would anyone be unhappy to see him stay (on reduced wages obviously) in a Michael Owen or Ledley King type capacity, knowing that he will come in and positively influence our season at certain times. I sometimes think certain quality players can win you 6-7 points in only 3 games by turning tight games your way. I for one wouldn’t dismiss that as an option, but as I say it would have to be on the basis that we are not relying on his availability and have brought in his replacement, and then we could look to him to give us a few quality performances each season when he is able to.

    Chas, I am a bit gutted because I had wanted to go to either last weeks game or this weeks and have been offered tickets to both. Unfortunately I am away over the festive period and work has come on top and I am swamped at the moment, so I will not make any games till next year now. I had so wanted to enjoy a little X-mas tipple with you and the gang at the Tavern but will have to make up for it in the new year.

  11. chas says:

    Don’t work too hard, GoonerB. 🙂

  12. BubbaGunner says:

    I for one can’t wait to see the return of Diaby
    We have all seen the impact that Rosicky has had when he has returned from injury and I’m sure that Diaby will be the same, if only he could stay fit I honestly believe that he could be as good as Viera and I think everyone would agree we could do with some of that right now! Looking ahead to the west brom game I’m not looking forward to it and I can see us struggling to get a win which is crazy talk because we are at home and we are the Arsenal! But that is the way things have become and I can’t see it getting any better not until January at least and then do you really think we are going to sign anyone worth signing?
    Anyway let’s hope for a good game on Saturday COYG!

  13. Big Raddy says:

    When reading a racist comment like “Mark”s I am embarrassed to be a Gooner because IF he is a fan he is part of my family.

    Both the comment and the idiot have been binned.

  14. sube says:

    We need a Diaby-esque player. Diaby will come back and play for 2 games and get injured again. He is not what arsenal need. Better dumb him. He is only a burden on our wage bills

  15. chas says:

    Bradford kicked out of FA Cup for fielding an ineligible player.

  16. LB says:

    “People compare Rosicky and Diaby but Rosicky gets injured whereas Diaby is always injured.”

    I know this was meant well, but a thought crossed my mind as I read it; we can talk about foreigners in this way but we wouldn’t include English Jack up there…………….why is that?

  17. slime says:

    Love the post, love the player, but for me, his Arsenal days are over.

    Anyone who picks up a 3 week injury that then lasts for 3 months is no good to anyone.

    I honestly believe he has the potential to be world class, and I also believe that Wenger misplaced a lot of faith in him at the beginning of the season and his biting him on Le Arse! Diaby is the body that allows Arteta and Cazorla’s brains to function properly. We have missed his mobility massively and it’s taken it’s toll on the 2 Spaniards.

    Wenger doesn’t have time to be relying on potential anymore, he needs talent that is of the ‘now’ variety with potential in the background.

    If this new money is to make Arsenal serious again, then Wenger needs to get serious with players like Diaby.

    Time to find players who can play 30 league games a year, not every 5 years.

    Sorry Abou.


    Fine stuff Rocky

    Couldnt agree more, We desperatly miss Diaby. His height and long legs give the midfield balance

    I do think Arsene should start looking for a tall rangey midfielder. diabys injuries have done him and more importantly for me, my head in.

    I dont like my head been done in Rocky. It confuses me and makes me bump into things. The other day i was walking down the street and bumped into this bloke face on. He overreacted and threatened me with violence, but i just said “sorry mate Diabys injured and my head hurts” He said “What, whos Dappy”. i said “hes always injured and it makes my head hurt”

    He was realy nice after that and asked if he needed to call some one, or if my gaurdian or carer was around. I said “No, Diabys the midfield gaurdian and hes always injured”. With that i walked off and bumped tsraight into a lamppost. hahaha

  19. slime says:

    Not sure which is more worrying,

    That Diaby’s out injured,

    Or that TMHT is allowed out on his own!

    On a serious note though, the fact that Wenger still has Diaby at the club speaks volumes about how good he thinks he can be, unfortunately, I don’t think we will ever see it.

  20. jnyc says:

    The whole Diaby situation is such a shame.

  21. RockyLives says:

    Good day all.

    I understand those who have given up on Diaby and, with hindsight, if we had let him go two years ago and replaced him with a reliable replacement we might be in a better position than we are now.

    The counter argument is the BSR situation: we nursed him through years of frailty then he emerged as the best striker in the EPL. But then he effed off. Oh dear.

    Anyway, I suspect this is Diaby’s last chance.

  22. RockyLives says:

    Off to the airport in a few hours – looking forward to catching my first game of the season.

  23. Have a good flight The Rock; hope you get to see us grab 3 points tomorrow, whether by hook or by crook.

    Just seen that old bacon faced has been whingeing about the number of penalties Shitty are getting at the Empty-head.

    Pot and kettles my caledonian purple proboscis person….

  24. goonermichael says:

    I think we should buy a replacement for Diaby. I’d like to keep him and get him back to fitness but I don’t think it’s sustanable. I don’t even think he should have a squad number.

  25. Sheep Hagger says:

    Diaby good player good vision and good work rate.
    But he to injury prone how many games has he played in since he joined the gunners.

  26. SH, in almost 7 years he has 127 starts and 42 sub appearances.

  27. Big Raddy says:

    It is a conundrum. Sell him/give him away and 7 years of AFC training and money goes to waste if he stays fit. Keep him and pay the wages which could go to a player without an injury record.

    IMHO Bye Bye Abou

  28. Big Raddy says:

    No time to get the pre-match done this evening. So BR apologises but it is likely to be a late post tomorrow morning.

  29. Sheep Hagger says:

    Thing is if we let him go who would replace him?.

  30. Sheep Hagger says:

    I’ve heard a whisper down here in South Wales that we are after
    Wilfred Zaha.
    He’s more attacking than Diaby though I’ve not seen him play a lot on bits on the news.

  31. Arsenalista says:

    Abou Diaby with batteries?

    The man must have had more injuries than a National Hunt jockey.

    Diaby is class, no arguement there.

    The injuries won’t stop, it is 29 injuries since he was assaulted by Dan Smith.

    Anyone with any medical background would tell you he will never play over 25 games in a season.

    Most clubs would have taken the insurance money by now.

    Wenger said in the summer that this season was his last chance and he is injured again.

    Top player but it isn’t going to happen.

  32. Gooner In Exile says:

    Bloody Diaby, just look at what he could have been, he has shown us on so many occasions what he could deliver for us, but unfortunately for him and the club it’s just too infrequent to count.

    LB, Jack has not been around long enough to include in the list, if you’d said Theo however I might have agreed.

  33. slime says:

    The dreaded man flu has struck and I am struggling for the game tomorrow……pretty sure I caught it off Diaby last week. 🙂

    Tablets and bed for me. The wife is working tomorrow which adds another 2 hours to my overall journey and means I gotta be up at 6am! 😦

  34. Gooner In Exile says:

    Slim, you sure it’s just flu?

    I only ask as in watching “Contagion” movie, and I wouldn’t want you to wipe our the AA Taverners 🙂

  35. LB says:


    This is serious, show your wife this clip immediately.

  36. slime says:

    It’s not just flu GiE, it’s MAN flu! (It’s a real thing)

    Is that film any good?

  37. Red Arse says:

    Well, looks as if I am on my own, again, as I want to keep Diaby.

    He does not play enough — granted — but when he does play he can be brilliantly and make all the difference.

    Anyway, why should I give a fook if Arsenal want to pay his salary? The sums concerned are minimal in the great scheme scheme of things, and Arsenal can well afford it — if they want to.

    Arsenal – the club with 60,000 accountants! 😆

  38. slime says:



    My wife’s name is Laura!

  39. slime says:



    I don’t think it’s the salary people are worried about, it’s just the knowledge that whilst Wenger keeps faith with him he will be reluctant to buy another player of his type who could actually be playing and not sat at home watching Jeremy Kyle!

  40. Red Arse says:

    Slim, there is that. 😀

  41. Red Arse says:

    Rocky, you are probably flying over the Atlantic by now (I do not know where you get the energy to keep your wings flapping) but thanks for an amusing but important discussion on the future of probably our most gifted player — when he is not injured — it had all the light handed touches of a master chef’s soufflé! 🙂

    [Not that I am suggesting you are a master chef — or writing with a soufflé]. 😆

  42. Gooner In Exile says:

    Slime put it this way I’m not leaving the house!!! And stocking up on anti bac 🙂

  43. Sheep Hagger says:

    Leave Jeremy Kyle out of this I’m a fan of his.
    Much love SH

  44. Sheep Hagger says:

    Watching blackburns v red Cardiff city .
    My swansea mates hate Cardiff, riots here when swans play Cardiff
    I stay in and watch it on tv I’m a welsh gunner.

  45. slime says:


    Locking yourself in the house whilst making sure your stocked up on wipes……hmmmm…..sounds like my kind of film! 😆

  46. Sheep Hagger says:

    Porn ?

  47. slime says:

    10 hours and still no advance on ‘Porn?’!


    Where is everyone these days? Are things that bad that even the Wenger bashers can’t be bothered anymore!?

    I miss ’em! 🙂

  48. mickydidit89 says:

    Morning all,
    Keep Diaby, obviously. He may only play another three games this season, but if he helps to win those, then its worth it.

  49. mickydidit89 says:

    I’ve spent the past few days on the road, and I cannot tell you how I ROLFed reading your
    “Going ninety I ain’t scary
    Cause I’ve got the Virgin Mary”
    lines 🙂
    I have damned and bollocksed reading your ticket available line though 😦

  50. mickydidit89 says:

    Can we say Morning Rocky now that you’re on Arsenal London Time? Hope you flew Business class, so that you are match fit.

  51. mickydidit89 says:

    Hi Slime,
    Just read your comment about Diaby getting in the way of Arsene buying a similar player. Fair point, although to my mind its a DM type we need in midfield, but up front the real strengthening is required.

  52. mickydidit89 says:

    Also noted rading back through comments is the absence of Kelsey, Rasp and Peaches. Is there an AA Board Meeting going on? In Hawaii maybe?

  53. Rasp says:

    Morning Micky,

    No Board Meeting, just collective nerve over today’s game I reckon.

    My opinion over Diaby has vacillated over the last year or two but I’m afraid I’m now of the opinion that we will never see what his outrageous talent could bring to the side. If AW can be accused of stubbornness over anything, it is in persisting with players he believes in – in Diaby’s case, its time to give up.

  54. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All. Sunny day here with a deliciously painful nip in the air (expected minus 12 tonight)

    Important match this afternoon.

    BTW. Theo’s Xmas gift? A pen for the contract and in another envelope, a notice of the cancellation of access to the Emirates underground carpark.

  55. chas says:

    Good Morning, Gays.

    Match day is upon us. This is the day the season turns around.

    This’ll be Rasp and Rocky at 4:55pm today.

  56. mickydidit89 says:

    Sign Da Ting 🙂

  57. mickydidit89 says:

    Today is the day to get the handbrake off, and release the wide boys

  58. mickydidit89 says:

    Damn I wish I was coming

  59. Big Raddy says:

    Me too. errm

    Got up early-ish to watch the cricket. Well worth it.

  60. LB says:

    I predict the return of Wengerball to day.

  61. Rasp says:

    😆 chas, I take it I’m Stan

    Micky, jump in the car and foot down …. there’s still time 😕

  62. Rasp says:

    We mustn’t be cautious today, we must play like the home team and press them all over the pitch.

    I hope our next coach is not an attacking or defensive coach but a ‘what we should do when we haven’t got the ball coach’ We can be ‘attacking’ when not in possession … lately we’ve been letharic

  63. Rasp says:

    Is Rosicky fit today? someone said he was subbed due to injury in the CL. Hopefully it was because AW saw how influential he was and wanted to protect him for W Brom

  64. LB says:

    Facinating team selection today, could Wenger leave both Wilshere and Ramsey on the bench?

    My choice.


    Jenks, BFG, Vermaelen, Gibbs

    Carzorla, Arteta, Rosicky

    Ox, Giroud, Gervinho.

  65. Rasp says:

    Morning LB, I have a feeling Ramsey will be in his starting line up – probably at the expense of Rosicky who he will plan to bring on after 67 minutes 😕

  66. chas says:

    In the prezzer Arsene says everybody is available who played on Tuesday.
    For some reason this copy has that bit chopped off the front.

  67. mickydidit89 says:

    Really hope you are right. Its been a while.
    I’m still convinced, as I was in the summer, that a world class DM is what is needed to allow us to return to Wengerball. Pissing about with two semi-defensive midfielders in Arteta/Jack gets the best out of no-one, including the system itself.
    Would still love to see a back four, Verm as DM, with Rosicky and Santi in front of him.

  68. Rasp says:

    Here’s a new sofa for LB to hide behind … not available in flatpack

  69. mickydidit89 says:

    I’d leap at that line up.
    If Ramsey starts, I swear I’ll be wearing a black bin liner 😦

  70. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. I hate to agree with you but …..

    A world class DM is precisely what is needed and I expected a signing post -Song’s departure.

    I like Arteta but as good as he has been he is not a DM. Trouble is -who? And will AFC pay the money?

  71. mickydidit89 says:

    I’m eating my eggs and marmite soldiers. That pic is not what I want to be looking at.

  72. Big Raddy says:

    Rasp. What sites are you reading to find a sofa like that ??

  73. Rasp says:

    Morning Raddy, we’ve been linked with Diame at Wham for just that position. Apparently he has a buy out clause that becomes active in Jan and would be around £4-6m. He’s French 😕 Could all be bollix though

  74. Rasp says:

    Micky, do you dip your marmite soldiers in the runny yolk or are they just a pleasing accompaniment …. you’ve got my digestive juices flowing now, I might just have to go and put my lovingly soaked porridge in the bin and give it a try

  75. mickydidit89 says:

    “Micky. I hate to agree with you”
    Firstly, we may have a brilliant DM in Verm, but who knows, and second, there are many DM’s out there. Can we afford them, of course. Any club that dishes out £135 odd million in wages can pretty much afford anyone.

  76. chas says:

    At least with that sofa you’d have somewhere to store your pipe.

  77. mickydidit89 says:

    Of course I dip me f…ing soldiers. Jeepers, I go away for a few days, and you all go bonkers.

  78. mickydidit89 says:


  79. Rasp says:

    True chas, mind you, I wouldn’t want to be hiding behind it if she’d had too many baked beans …….

  80. Rasp says:

    Obviously I dip my soldiers Micky, I’ve just never coated them in marmite for the process .. did you get the idea from Jamie’s 15 minute meals ?

  81. chas says:

    Rasp, judging by the shape of the arms and seat of the sofa, being behind it would be the best place to be!

  82. mickydidit89 says:

    Seriously Rasp, I worry about you. Soldiers have had Marmite uniforms on since the brown stuff was invented.

  83. Sheep Hagger says:

    Rasp who sent you that picture of my wife ?

  84. chas says:

    Here’s a picture of LB’s beer fridge. See if you can spot the Arsenal theme.

  85. Big Raddy says:

    Yuk. The marmite coating sounds disgusting. Smacks of bad parenting.

    My breakfast was a BLT. Just right for the weekend.

    Can I recommend the sofa to LB? He will have somewhere to park his bikes

  86. Rasp says:

    Must be a West Country tradition Micky 😛

    Sheepy, How do you know its your wife – you can’t see her face? 😕

    chas, I see where you’re coming from, you could at least enjoy the half time entertainment behind there

  87. Sheep Hagger says:

    I take it some of you are not a fan of the welsh wizard
    Arron Ramsey was very highly rated at CCFC and the Cardiff fanz I know reckon we had him to cheap.
    Don’t forget he’s only young and he was the captain of Wales until that idiot took over chris Coleman
    Much love SH.w

  88. Rasp says:

    Briliant chas, she wears the colours so well 🙂

  89. Rasp says:

    Lucky none of our girlie bloggers are reading at the moment 🙄

  90. chas says:

    Off now, see you at the Tavern.

  91. Rasp says:

    See you at the bar chas….

    ….. New post ………

  92. slime says:


    Do they do it in a recliner? Also, where’s the cup holder?

    Today (to quote Clubber Lang) I predict PAIN! (for West Brom)

  93. JM says:

    Forget about the 4-3-3, and start the 4-2-3-1 with Cazorla, Rosicky & (hopefully Arshavin) as attacking midfielders/playmakers behind Giroud:


    Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs

    Arteta, Wilshere

    Cazorla, Arshavin, Rosicky


    Bring in the subs: Ramsey, Gervinho, Coquelin/AoC during the match as and when necessary.
    Compress midfield and defend deep in a either a 4-5-1 or 4-4-1(Arshavin)-1(Giroud).
    Counter-attack in a 4-2-4(Cazorla, Arshavin, Giroud, Rosicky)

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