Arsenal need to do it ‘for Eduardo’

Arsenal need to do it ‘for Eduardo’

The exciting 2-2 draw between Arsenal and Birmingham will be remembered for all the wrong reasons after Arsenal striker Eduardo da Silva’s leg was horribly broken due to a shocking challenge by Birmingham defender Martin Taylor.

Three minutes into the match Eduardo skipped past his marker and Taylor came flying in with a studs-up challenge that connected with the Brazilian-born Croatian’s shin. It was a disgraceful tackle that left the Brazilian-born Croatian international with a broken tibula and fibula bone and will likely see him out of football for at least a year and quite possibly longer.

Arsenal’s unity could be helped by the injury to Eduardo

A lot has been said regarding Taylor’s challenge with opinions ranging from ‘it was an accident’ to ‘he should be banned for life’. My opinion is simple; Taylor set out to hurt Eduardo with that challenge and – regardless of how good a bloke he is off the pitch or the fact that he has apparently seen the injured player in the hospital – he deserves to be punished accordingly. 

Unfortunately, the current methods of the FA means that the most Taylor can be banned for is three matches, a ridiculous outcome for an outrageously dangerous tackle. I had always just assumed that there was a panel to deal with more serious incidences of violent conduct so to find out there wasn’t one was quite a shock. It absolutely has to change after this incident and if it doesn’t, it will only be a matter of time until another player’s leg is broken as a result.

Thankfully, the diagnosis after emergency surgery on Eduardo is reasonable, with the striker remaining quite positive about his chances of fully recovering from the injury. However, he will have to deal with the psychological consequences of the injury and it is not so farfetched to suggest that he may never be the same player again. While football fans worldwide will be hoping that this is not the case, it is a potential and perhaps probable reality for Eduardo.

It is a reality that not only Eduardo and his family have to deal with, but one that Arsene Wenger and the Arsenal Football Club have to address as well. In the short-term there will be some major psychological consequences for the players to address as well as an increase in pressure on the available players due to yet another injury to a first-team player at a crucial stage of the season.

William Gallas and Arsene Wenger reflect on a difficult dayInjury could foster more unity

The positive irony of the situation is that it could serve as a catalyst to bring the side together. While critics may point to William Gallas’ amazing behaviour at the end of the Birmingham game as a signal that things may be falling apart at the seams for Arsenal, I think it just shows how much he cares about his team and by extension the teammate he saw getting stretchered off early on in the game.

Gallas is a winner and it’s not unrealistic to think that as captain he took the failure to win for his mate a little more personally than the other members of the side. If the team can show the same passion that the captain showed then Eduardo’s injury could help foster unity in an already cohesive squad and help push the club onto bigger and better things this season.

Indeed, Nicklas Bendtner and Emmanuel Adebayor do not seem to have the best on or off-field relationships but given the injury to Eduardo and the consistent unavailability of Robin van Persie they have a chance to forge something special between now and the end of the season. I’m confident that they can do it, but doubts will continue to surface until the start to show some genuine signs of camaderie.

The response from the Arsenal boys needs to be positive and given the events that took place in the draw to Birmingam this weekend’s game could be the most important of the season so far. The manager has just under a week to calm the players nerves and instill some real belief into the side before the crucial visit of an in-form Aston Villa side this Saturday.

If the boys can develop that siege mentality and win this weekend ‘for Eduardo’ they will have taken a significant step in the right direction. With the trip to Milan also around the corner it’s going to be a very important week for everybody associated with the Arsenal Football Club.

On a final note I just want to wish Eduardo and his family and friends all the best in dealing with this horrible injury. It couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy and on behalf of everybody who reads the blog I hope he can stay positive during this difficult time.

What do you think?

Have your say on the fallout of Eduardo’s injury by leaving a comment.

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36 Responses to “Arsenal need to do it ‘for Eduardo’”

  1. ramugunner
    February 25, 2008 at 5:55 pm #

    1st gun here…
    I am sure Edu will return in style.

  2. ooncs
    February 25, 2008 at 6:05 pm #

    You are spot on. Long live Arsenal and justice will prevail come May.

  3. Spanish Fry
    February 25, 2008 at 6:09 pm #

    Ooho not the 1st gun thing, ramugunner! That stuff always gets a bit ridiculous. 🙂

    Cheers ooncs.

  4. Scope Knight
    February 25, 2008 at 6:17 pm #

    I am totally at loss about what happened this weekend but we need to look at the unity in the team. Why the hell does Bentner not talk to his colleagues on the pitch. You get to see Flamini talking to all the players and vice versa but Bentner is a snub.Simple and short.Where is RVP and Roscisky? Where are they? I am so sad cos we have hard games coming up and we can only pray Man U drops points which is not likely. Why I admire Man U is that they do not suffer fools.Imagine Man U playing a ten man Birmingham? I predict 7-0 with Nani showboating.We need to be more clinical at goal

  5. sydneygooner
    February 25, 2008 at 6:18 pm #

    i think this article is spot on! hopefully you are right about what will happen starting from now. The team will re-group and find themselves in a more cohesive unit and will have more drive to win the league for eduardo who has contributed so much to the season, one of the examples being the everton game where he scored twice to get us over the line. So please you gunners lets win for eduardo and to completely cut all of the media saying that we dont have enough firepower to win it this year. I believe in our squad! Theo is now starting to get into form so hopefully he may contribute alot from now on.
    love for eduardo 9!
    ARSENAL WILL BE PREMIERS 07/08 (and please im from australia and cant support the team with voice but please everyone who can get to the games shout your lungs out!)

  6. Spanish Fry
    February 25, 2008 at 6:36 pm #

    Scope Knight – I think you’re being harsh considering what the guys actually had to go through against Birmingham. To even get a point was a good effort after Eduardo’s break. I also think your comment about Manchester United is way off as well, especially when you look at the fact that they’ve lost to Manchester City twice as well as West Ham and Bolton already this season.

    sydneygooner – Good to hear from another Aussie Arsenal fan. How’s the support down in Sydney?

  7. Mimi Wenu
    February 25, 2008 at 8:57 pm #

    I hate to say and admit this but in a way I agree with ScopeKnight.Man U are definitely more clinical, lets not live in denial.Out of 5 chances created, on a good day they’ll put away at least 3 or 4 but for us at times we create 7 or 8 clear cut chances and end up loosing a game or with just a draw. We over-complicate stuff and are too elaborate in-front of goal.On Saturday we would have won that game comfortably with a 4-1 or 5-1 scoreline for Eduardo. And what exactly was Clichy trying? Two mistakes in 30 seconds cost us an all important 2 points at acritical period in the EPL.I think that is why it was so hard for Gallas to take it given the chances we had created and not put away now that we had played against 10 men for almost 92 minutes.If it comes down to goal-difference in May, then Man U might have an upper hand.
    We may have played a exciting game in the second half but for anyone who did not watch the match its just another draw. All I am saying is that it is the scores that count at the end of the day.It is critical now than we get our finishing form back before our season begins falling apart like 2006/7 at a similar period.
    For Eduardo, I pray that the almighty God will grant you a miraculous recovery the soonest in Jesus name!Be strong.
    As for the boys, please win something for Eduardo this season.

  8. C-Bass
    February 25, 2008 at 9:23 pm #

    Bendtner and Walcott… your time is now boys. Show us what you got. The Villa game is going to be the indicator as to which us Gunners are headed.

  9. Scope Knight
    February 25, 2008 at 9:43 pm #

    Hi SF,
    I don’t think my comments on Man U was way off as the goals diffrence speaks for itself.Thy might have lost to all these teams but they lie 3 points behind us. I totally agree the players were saddened by Edu but come to think of it they would have won the match for him.

  10. Scope Knight
    February 25, 2008 at 9:56 pm #

    Thanks for jumping to my defence Mimi.We cannot continue to not score. Why can’t Helb SHOOT.Look at the two shots he made during the newcastle game which looked good.I am never confident when we are one goal up.Well i trust my boys

  11. millefiori
    February 25, 2008 at 10:07 pm #

    Eduardo, Be strong lad. You will certainly come out of this and if you have the belief, you will play even better!!. I believe you can do it. We are with you.

    Whats the scene on RVP’s return. will it now get accelerated ?

  12. Spanish Fry
    February 25, 2008 at 10:10 pm #

    I still don’t agree. There have been plenty of games this season when we have scored not created too much but scored most of the chances. Of course there have been games where we have wasted chances but Manchester United have had just as many, if not more games like this than us.

  13. RvP Fan
    February 25, 2008 at 10:12 pm #

    Oh, and SF? While your on the topic of Aussie gunners, I live in Perth. I know a few fans, but to be honest, either i havnt been looking hard enough, or people are jumping on the ManU/Chelsea bandwagon.
    Edu – Best of luck. I, along with all Arsenal fans, wish you a speedy recovery, and nope you can be back woth us soon. Best Wishes, Arsenal Australia (and world, of course!!)

  14. Mimi Wenu
    February 25, 2008 at 10:29 pm #

    Maybe some statistics on the two teams so far on shots at goal chances created and scored will shed more light and put the matter to rest.Though I still maintain that we should have won the Saturday game. The second half possession was like 70% plus in our favour.And now that Man U are more and more unikely to drop points with everything passing game, it only increases the pressure on us. But can we handle it with so many injuries and with at least 3 potentially title deciding games still ahead of us i.e.(liverpool(H), Man U(A),Chelsea(A): a massive 9 points?!

  15. TFT
    February 25, 2008 at 10:53 pm #

    The media seems to forget only in 2006 at Sunderland Dan Smith’s hideous challenge against Diaby which left him with a dislocated ankle. This kind of thing will keep happening to Arsenal players unless the FA carries out citation much in the same way as what happens in rugby.
    Arsenal have the potential to score even more goals & wrap up the league if Ade & Bendtner become better team players – we would have had 3 points on Saturday if Adebayor had only squared the ball to Bendtner.

  16. Mottesser
    February 25, 2008 at 11:05 pm #

    Sometimes i doubt whether our boys are upto it. When we were a goal down, Helb, Fab,Ade, etc were all shooting at opponents goal whenever an opportunity presented itself. You would see that these guys hungry for a goal. The moment we were Two up, it reminded me of Arsenal of Last season where we become too elaborate in front of goal. Am sure if the boys on Sartuday game had continued to SHOOT at a goal with all those opportunities at our disposal, we were going to beat them at lowest 4 goals. Then Clichy’s lack of concetration at they deing minutes of match is really hurting. Please, Mr. Arsene you should really start teaching these guys to be too lethal, no matter what circustances, otherwise at this rate our title hope are questionable. That game was supposed to be won, period.

    Edu wish a qick recovery, we will mis your brilliant goals this season.

  17. Mike
    February 26, 2008 at 12:56 am #

    It’s sad that human nature is to be reactive to such situations. Why does it take a tragedy before we legislate against, in this case, vicious tackles–regardless of intent.

    Hopefully Arsenal doesn’t play this “win it for Eduardo” card for too long. I think it’s a natural initial reaction, but playing off a tragedy is weak.

    http://startingeleven.blogspot.com/2008/02/arsenals-eduardo-career-in-doubt-what.html

  18. ian garty
    February 26, 2008 at 2:46 am #

    i think saturday will be the day when this season falls apart.the broken leg of our first choice striker,ade;s trivial pursuit to be top scorer and failure to pass to bendtnar, clichy;s sloppiness and gallas; antics (would tony adams behaved like that? )another draw agaionst one of the worst teams in the league coupled with man utd s destruction of newcastle mean, iam sorry to report the demise of this team.

  19. julian
    February 26, 2008 at 3:19 am #

    As a football neutral i think the FA have to look at changing the laws over these horror tackles,the challenge on Eduardo was horrific, the pictures clearly show in my view that there was intent to foul Eduardo.Players who commit such tackles i think should either be banned for life or be banned for the length of time that the player has to miss through the injury caused,intent with malice,then ban them for life,as should Roy keane have been forhis horror tackle a few years ago,lets hope for a speedy recovery for Eduardo.

  20. eboss
    February 26, 2008 at 3:55 am #

    i totally agree with you julian.FA should be suspended for the length of time the player has to miss.arsenal is my luv.prof wenger should declare operation shoot on sight to all arsenal players.as for edu lad,he will overcome it insha allahu.gooners win the league for eduardo.

  21. TayGoon
    February 26, 2008 at 4:40 am #

    I WISH EDUARDO A SUPER SPEEDY RECOVERY.

    Scope Knight & everyone else who believes Man U are clinical than us: Here are Stats;

    KEY: SH = Shots Taken, SOT = Shots on Target, ACC = Accuracy, G = Goals, G/SH = Goals/shots(in perc), G/SOT = Goals/Shots on Target(Perc)

    Arsenal: SH [382], SOT [203], ACC [53%], G [56], G/SH [15%], G/SOT [28%]

    Man U: SH [496], SOT [260], ACC [52%], G [55], G/SH [11%], G/SOT [21%]

    – Make of the stats as you wish but we ARE MORE CLINICAL than Man U.

    – We are the EPLs top scorers, The best Home and Away Records, 3 points clear and are about to get our top striker back.

  22. Spanish Fry
    February 26, 2008 at 8:37 am #

    Thanks TayGoon, that’s the kind of support I’m looking for 🙂

    Just on the issue of a player being suspended for the length of time a player is out – I don’t actually agree with that. The injury suffered is rarely equivalent to the intent or malice in a challenge and it doesn’t make too much sense to base a suspension on the injury picked up by the player on the receiving end.

    What needs to happen – and I’m absolutel gobsmacked it wasn’t already in place – is a tribunal be put in place that grades certain offences so that when they are breached the culprit gets the appropriate punishment. It is a system that is in place in the AFL and NRL in Australia and it works particularly well. In fact, in the AFL a player cannot even be sent off – they merely get ‘reported’ by the umpire (referee) and then all the players who are reported on a weekend are put through the tribunal during the week to decide who gets suspensions and who doesn’t.

    There are clear rules for grading and players who have a cleaner record can be treated more leniently while those with a worse record can usually expect harsher punishments.

    Any thoughts on this?

  23. Le Gunner
    February 26, 2008 at 10:19 am #

    It was Eduardo’s birthday yesterday and it breaks my heart to see him going through this difficult time. WE have to win the title so Eduardo can get a medal he already played the mininum matches required to get a medal. God forbid if he never plays football again and the medal might be the only one he’ll get in his carrier.I’m sure he’ll play for Arsenal again but the players have to get him this Medal just in case.I hope it will motivate them even more to win the title.
    Hypocricy
    Pedro Duscher the guy who broke david Bekham’s metatasal while playing for M.utd was enemy number one and the media or I should say ” Manchester media United” refered to him as “an international pariah” they hounded him for months and humiliated him in every way they can but this time they are defending Taylor because poor Eduardo is not one of theirs.He is only an Arsenal player. Hypocrisy at its best.

  24. Spanish Fry
    February 26, 2008 at 10:58 am #

    Good news – Eduardo looks set to return before Christmas. Six months until he can run, nine months until he should be back to normal. Great news!

  25. Le Gunner
    February 26, 2008 at 11:25 am #

    It is good news. I was listening to BUSST a player who had a similar break to Eduardo ended his career. He said the break heald but its the infections that stopped him playing. lets hope Eduardo gets the best medical support in the world.I’m sure Arsenal will make sure he gets the best

  26. Spanish Fry
    February 26, 2008 at 11:45 am #

    Yeah the difference between Busst’s injury and Eduardo’s (which I incorrectly reported in this post, apologies) is that Busst’s was a double-compound fracture (he snapped both bones in his leg) whilst Eduardo’s was only a single-compound fracture plus an ankle dislocation. According to everything I’ve read that should make all the difference when it comes to the chances of him getting back to his best.

  27. TayGoon
    February 26, 2008 at 12:35 pm #

    I am feeling good about Eduardo coming back sooner than the 9 months indicated, but AW will take his time re-introducing him in the squad. In anger and disgust I was supporting the idea of banning someone until the victim gets back, not because it is deserved but to make players more responsible with their challenges and play the ball, not the man. In retrospect I believe there should be a stiffer penalty, an equivalent of “reckless endangerment” of another player, to be decided by the disciplinary committee later on after the incident. The referee will award a penalty for the challenge during the match, and if that challenge, malicious intent or not, results in injury, an additional penalty should be decided upon by the committee. Football players nowadays are huge, and if they can’t watch how they throw their weight on smaller players, we might have a need for heavy protection equipment like American “football”, and I hope not to see that happen. It pains me a lot especially having had to opt for early retirement in order to avoid more injuries. Even though I can still play, I need surgery to correct both ankles, knees, a hip joint, an elbow and a wrist to be in tip top shape. My competitive playing days are over, I hope those who do it for a living get a little bit more protection than what exists now.

  28. Mimi Wenu
    February 26, 2008 at 8:50 pm #

    With the stats in on the clinical issue, I rest my case.Thanks TG.Probably it is just the speed with which Man U gets the ball into the final third from the back and mid-fielders and the number of shots they take in and around the box that makes on think they finish more than us.It is good to know.
    Lets prove the skeptics wrong once again on Saturday with a comprehensive win over AV.

  29. Mimi Wenu
    February 26, 2008 at 8:51 pm #

    With the stats in on the clinical issue, I rest my case.Thanks TG.Probably it is just the speed with which Man U gets the ball into the final third from the back and mid-fielders and the number of shots they take in and around the box that makes one think they finish more than us.It is good to know.
    Lets prove the skeptics wrong once again on Saturday with a comprehensive win over AV.

  30. TayGoon
    February 27, 2008 at 12:04 am #

    Your are Welcome Mimi Wenu. We move the ball fast not necessarily move with the ball fast all the time. That is the advantage of passing. Man U have ball runners. Both Ronaldo, Rooney, Tevez, Nani and Giggs are ball runners. Since people pay attention to who has the ball, they don’t seem to notice how fast our players moves into positions without the ball. As a result we appear to move it slower than Man U. I believe we also have the advantage on how fast we can move the ball up. What might give people a false sense of “urgency” or “danger” is that they see Man U players “work the ball” more than Arsenal players. TVs follows the ball. If I had a chance to see both teams play live, It would be a joy watch Arsenal’s movements off the ball into positions. What frustrates other teams when we pass is that we work them hard, without having to work as hard ourselves. With Man U, they work hard to work you hard. It has the advantage of demoralizing opponents, that is why some teams just rolls over for Man U when they are outworked but think they have a chance with us. With Man U you have to match them to stop them, with us you can’t afford to let us start. You will be chasing shadows if you do. Watch the next games and pay attention to movements off the ball and positioning. I am frustrated with Adebayor’s offsides. For someone with that much pace and strength, you can afford to start from further back. If he checks his runs, he can hit 30+ goals a season in the prem alone.

  31. Gooner4Life
    February 27, 2008 at 10:01 am #

    Spot on Tay Goon.Also this Man U tactic of steam rollering opponents by running at them and trying to scare the living daylights out of them does not always work.In top level games where teams actually defend it is much harder to work teams off the break as Man U do.Case in point vs Man City, Bolton,Liverpool,Lyon and Arsenal. Ronaldo is virtually anonymous in the big games because the defeners actually mark. All well and good letting rip against Newcastle isnt it.

    In comparison I think Arsenal’s game is more dynamic and has evolved around making the ball do the work and running into the spaces rather than tearing down the wings with the ball. Arsenal use their confidence in ball keeping and crative skills and Man U tending to do all the work and use their ball carrying skills. Arsenal are able to play the game at any pace, to feet or over the top of defenders giving the attack a diffent impetus add to that the wing backs marauding down the flnks and pummelling the box with cross and having a significant aerial threat gives the other defenders lots more to think about.

    Man U seem to score more goals because they are more direct and tend to leather the balls into the net at any opportunity. Arsenal however create just as many if not more chances but realtively appear less clinical because they tend to be more artistic about how they do this and actually tend to look to frustrate the opposition into coming out for the ball looking for the perfect pass when gaps are created and placing the ball into the net.

    In addition Man U seige football is very predictable. Once Ronaldo gets the ball there is only one thing he is going to do. Run! Stop Ronaldo then its game over!When Arsenl have the ball you dont know whats going to happen and that for me is the difference. Man U seige football also tends to expend lots of energy. Wenger suggested that Man U always start tiring after 70 minutes. Arsenal seem to get stroner the longer the game goes on. My theory will be proved at old Trafford in April.

  32. tunde die hard gunner
    February 27, 2008 at 6:59 pm #

    As I was looking at Eddy on the line against Tylor and co. to me he caught a pictre of a lad who had a premonition of what lay ahead. I will continue to pray, fast and put a prayer request on his behalf before the Almighty for a speeding recovery. E- Expect D- Divine U- Uniterupted A-Accelerated R-Recovery as.. D- Designed O- Only by God Almighty.EDUARDO. It is well .Gunners for Eternity.

  33. Nick
    February 28, 2008 at 12:40 am #

    Love you eddy and wish you all the best mate.Can’t wait to see you back you’ve endeared yourself to all us gooners and we’ll be with you in spirit all the way matey.

    I hope the club goes on to prove all those half witted pundits wrong in regards to our season imploding.

    Do it boys, do it for our eddy.

    Backs against the wall boys, GO KICK DOWN THAT WALL.

    Love you Arsenal, & always will regardless.

  34. Emmaanuel
    March 5, 2008 at 12:07 am #

    eduardo please get well soon we gunness fans in Nigeri need u back thanks

  35. Emmaanuel
    March 5, 2008 at 12:09 am #

    get well soon

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Bendtner and Adebayor up front please, Arsene - March 1, 2008

    […] Whatever happens, it should be a great game and hopefully the boys have recovered well enough from a difficult week to put in a good performance at home. I think as long as Wenger’s side show the right attitude then a much-needed win and three precious points are there for the taking. Hopefully they can do it for Eduardo. […]

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