If time is indeed a healer, then it seems that eight years isn't enough for either ankles or bitterness.
That is how long it has been since Abou Diaby was on the receiving end of a frankly disgraceful tackle by Dan Smith at the Stadium of Light. This week, Arsene Wenger has claimed it was a moment that 'destroyed' the midfielder's career.
Speaking on beIN Sport, the Arsenal manager said:
He [Diaby] is a player that I have an enormous amount of respect for. Every time he comes back, he has to start from zero with another injury. He was a victim of competition. A footballer needs his ankle. He was destroyed by a bad tackle at Sunderland 6 or 7 years ago which altered his ankle.
He is not a fragile player. He was the victim of an assassin's tackle that went unpunished.
In many ways, you have to have sympathy. Dan Smith was a no-mark nothing player, who never built a career in the game and, ironically, saw his own and infinitely more talented brother have his career all but ended at Roker Park by a similar tackle. There is no defending the tackle, and we won't here.
It's all a bit dramatic, though. Branding players 'assassins' and all that. It's a massive shame if that tackle was indeed the defining moment of Diaby's career, but looking through a list of his injuries (produced by TalkSPORT), I don't think you can realistically blame it on anything in particular.
Best of luck to the lad, and I hope he can finally put injuries behind him, but I'm not having this 'destroyed at Sunderland' talk. That just seems like an easy get-out to defend a pretty clearly injury-prone player to me.