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10/09/2012 - 13:42 BST

Arsenal Midfielder Abou Diaby Appreciates Importance of 2012/13 Campaign

Monday, 10th September, 2012

Arsenal midfielder Abou Diaby admits that the 2012/13 campaign is key for his career and has explained that he is focused on excelling with the Gunners.

Diaby played just 98 minutes of football during an injury-ravaged 2011/12 season, but has featured in all three of Arsenal’s Premier League matches so far in the current campaign.

Hopes are high that the 26-year-old has put his fitness worries behind him and is ready to make a big contribution to a side which lost Robin van Persie and Alex Song in the summer transfer window.

Diaby too understands that now is a vital time in his career and the Frenchman is aiming to make every single minute count.

"I am 26 and I am aware that I am at a key moment in my career. That’s why it was so important that I came back this season", the midfielder told Arsenal’s official site.

"Last year I told myself, ‘I am injured again, I am nearly 26 and I am at a key turn. Either, I take the turn well and I succeed, either I don’t take it and it will become very, very difficult.

"Now, I am careful about every detail, I leave nothing to chance. I am much more mature. I also had a full pre-season for the first time in ages. It’s such an important season for me that I am working harder than ever to succeed."

Indeed, the absence of football has only made the former Auxerre man more determined than ever to enjoy every second of playing time on the pitch.

"I have revenge to take over the time I lost but I want to prove to myself that I can go higher. I am getting to an age and to a time in my career where I need to show what I can do on the pitch in the long term.

"I don’t want to miss out on anything. I know what my qualities are and I want to use them to go higher. I have played three games this season, I getting better but I can do more. Physically, I am only 70 per cent."

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger snapped up Diaby from French side Auxerre in 2006. The impressive midfielder has been recognised at international level for France and was involved in the country’s three group games at the 2010 World Cup.

And while Diaby will want to once again break into the international fold, he will for now focus on helping the Gunners and staying fit for a prolonged period.


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