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Mar 6, 2010

Diaby demands better protection in Ramsey wake

Abou Diaby has warned serious injuries like Aaron Ramsey's double broken leg will continue to happen unless Arsenal receive more protection from referees.

Wales international Ramsey, 19, fractured his right tibia and fibula in a challenge with Ryan Shawcross during the second half of the Gunners' 3-1 victory at the Britannia Stadium last weekend.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger condemned the tackle as "horrendous and unacceptable'', while also criticising Stoke's overall approach, after seeing another of his key men suffer a horrific injury.

Midfielder Diaby, 23, was sidelined for eight months with a broken ankle after a challenge from Sunderland's Dan Smith during May 2006. The France international believes Arsenal are singled out for rough treatment.

He said in Arsenal's matchday programme ahead of Saturday's Premier League clash with Burnley: "In the last couple of years, teams have tried to intimidate us by playing very strongly, kicking us and things like that, but how far can this kind of thing go? We have seen three cases of this in the last four years - myself, Eduardo and Aaron.

"We know English football has a lot of physical engagement, and that is part of the game - and we know that nobody goes in with the intent of injuring a fellow player, but when people are breaking their legs like this, it is too much.

"At the same time, I do not think we always get enough protection. The way some teams play against us is disgraceful and they can sometimes take advantage of this lack of protection and go in hard on us - which is why these bad things continue to happen.''

Croatia striker Eduardo spent the best part of a year on the sidelines after his season was ended by an X-rated challenge from Birmingham defender Martin Taylor at St Andrews in 2008. Eduardo, 27, revealed last week's events brought back some difficult emotions, but believes Ramsey has the strength of character to eventually make a full recovery. "I just hope Arsenal does not have any problems like this again,'' he said.

"In four years, we have had three of the same injury. It is unbelievable. You do not see that happening three times at one club anywhere in the world. It was terrible.''

Eduardo continued: "Of course it brings back memories for me, but I want to forget my side of it. Aaron is a very talented player, very young and for it to happen again at Arsenal is not easy for the club, for us, but mostly for Aaron.

"I have sent him a couple of texts because for me when I had the injury, I did not want to speak to anyone for the first three or four days. You just want to go home and be with your family. Also, you are in shock, It is very difficult.

"We will talk about things and he will be all right. Everyone at the club is behind him, everyone believes in him. He just needs to be strong, but he is a strong character, so he will be fine. The physios here will give him a good recovery. If he is like me, he will be speeding lots of time in treatment - six or seven hours a day.

"It is tiring, though, and he will want to have time to recover too, be with his family, and he can't think too much about football. You have to wait for the bone to heal and get strong, that takes a couple of months, but you can do other things in that time.''

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