Diaby announced his retirement yesterday and says he always appreciated the support of his old Gunners manager as he struggled with knee injury.
He declared, "I do not have the words to express what I feel. Arsene is a lot of things at once. He convinced me, he trusted me, he was patient with me. He gave me confidence when I missed it myself. He was incredibly supportive.
"I do not even have the words to say thank you. I'm not the only one, there were other players in this case. And there, I speak only of this aspect (emotional), but there is also on the level of the game.
"He is really the one which made me aware that it was necessary to constantly reflect. I do not know how to express it ... Each time, every training, it was necessary to have the attention to detail. He gave importance to things that may seem simple. He is a perfectionist. These are values that he has taught me and will serve me in life. He was a father, a mentor. This is a person for whom I have tremendous respect. I just want to say thank you."