Speaking in an interview with RMC on the night that he announced his retirement from professional football, 32-year-old midfielder Abou Diaby discussed how Arsène Wenger impacted him.
“I do not have words to explain what I am feeling. Arsène, he’s a lot of things all in one. He brought me over, he believed in me, he was patient with me. He gave me confidence when I didn’t have any in myself. He was an incredible support. I do not even have enough words to say thank you to him.”
“I am not alone, there are other players who have felt these things. And I do not mean (just in terms of mental support), but also in terms of playing style. He was the one who made me realise that you can never stop thinking. I don’t know how to explain it… Each time, at each training session, you had to be able to pay attention to detail. He gave such importance to things that could seem simple. He is a perfectionist. Those are the values that he has instilled in me and will serve me well in life. He was a father, a mentor. He is a person who I have enormous respect for. I quite simply want to thank him.”