Abou Diaby enjoyed an impressive start to the season and looked set to play an influential role in Arsenal’s push for honours - but as so often his contribution was restricted by injury.
The French midfielder was troubled by an ankle problem for much of the first half of the campaign and then hurt his calf in December.
He made his comeback against Huddersfield but saw red at St. James’ Park a week later after reacting to a strong challenge from Joey Barton by shoving the midfielder to the ground. Abou’s dismissal precipitated a dismal second half for Arsenal as Newcastle fought back from a four-goal deficit to snatch a 4-4 draw.
He returned to the side after his suspension but struggled to hold down a starting spot following the emergence of Jack Wilshere and consistency of Alex Song. Abou will want to re-stamp his authority on the Arsenal side in 2011/12.
“I think that, every year, you learn from things that happened in the previous season. Each of us understands that if we want to progress and win trophies we have to work hard together all over the pitch - both when we attack and when we defend. It’s the only way.”
Abou found the net twice in 2010/11 with both goals coming against Blackpool. His second, in the away fixture at Bloomfield Road, capped a fine breakaway to help Arsenal on their way to a 3-1 victory.
Abou Diaby celebrates his goal against Blackpool