I Just Can’t Believe The Comments About Eduardo

Have you taken in the image above? Good.

Now tell me – what the f*ck does Taylor think is going to happen with his studs showing high up right against the leg? He has leapt off the ground and therefore gone in with all his weight and force. There’s only one outcome from that photograph and we all know what that was.

The Eduardo tackle was like pushing someone in front of a train and killing them. But it’s okay, because you didn’t have any control of the train flying by did you? You only pushed someone. The fact that a train was passing by at the time is completely irrelevant.

Just look at Cesc’s face. He knows it’s horrific even before contact is made.

I’m careful with my choice of words here, and you will notice that I refer to the so called “tackle” as an incident, and never as an accident. An accident is forgetting to switch the lights off when you leave the house, not breaking someones leg and putting their whole career in jeopardy.

I’ll ask a serious question now – how can you win the ball with your studs showing and that high legitimately? The answer is you can’t. The bodyshape of Taylor alone shows he is out to harm Eduardo. Okay, he might not have meant to break his leg per se, but it’s crystal clear that he wanted to at least rough up Eduardo.

Anyway, it won’t surprise you that Taylor used to play for Blackburn Rovers. Once a bruiser, always a bruiser eh?

And from that, let’s see how stupid some of the people in the media and at Birmingham City really are.

Idiot #1: Stephen Kelly

Birmingham defender Stephen Kelly had this to say about the incident, criticising Arsene Wenger’s comments and justifying the tackle:

“I think Mr Wenger’s comments after the game were so harsh.

“That is disgraceful talk from Arsene Wenger. It is terrible. You know the way Martin is. He slid along the ground.

“He has gone in with one foot. You see players going in week in and week out, diving in with two feet, and lunging and that sort of thing is a disgraceful challenge.

“I don’t think you can send a player off for that. That’s football. It can happen. It is an accident.”

Slid in on the ground did he? Well f*ck me, I must have missed that one. He did come from Spurs though so it’s hardly surprising that he’s a total retard and a dumb c*nt.

We know footballers aren’t exactly of the greatest intellect but this fella takes it to a completely different level.

And if he thinks showing your studs that high against someone’s shin is acceptable then I wonder if he would justify the tackle if someone did exactly the same against him next week. Thought not. Although he is the guy who said Taylor “slid along the ground” so we already know he’s a complete f*cktard.

Idiot #2: Alan Hansen

BBC Pundit Alan Hansen tries to justify the tackle by saying it wasn’t as if Taylor ran in from 20 yards and went in with two feet:

“It is a horrific injury but I think what you’ve got to understand first is that Taylor’s not run 15, 20 yards and jumped in with two feet.

“He’s made the tackle from a standing start and he’s just been done by a bit of pace.”

I love the way he nonchalantly says “he’s just been done by a bit of pace”. Yeah, it happens all the time broken legs, you know, with the pace and everything? To say that is completely absurd. On that basis Cristiano Ronaldo and Theo Walcott would have career-damaging injuries.

And the other strange comment is about saying he didn’t jump in with two feet. It’s quite obvious that he didn’t need to isn’t it! Unless Hansen wants Eduardo to have both his legs broken? God knows what he meant.

He also says that Martin Taylor didn’t run 15 or 20 yards as well. Well if you think about it maybe it would have been better if he did run 20 yards before making the tackle – at least Eduardo would know the f*cking challenge was coming!

The fact is dangerous tackling is characterised by high lunges and a players studs showing. Whether it is one or two-footed quite frankly is irrelevant. I was slightly surprised by Alan Hansen’s comments to be honest, because he does usually talk sense.

Idiot #3: Alex McLeish

Then here’s the Birmingham manager himself. I’m sure he told his players to get stuck in from the off, and he said:

“Martin is distraught.

“It’s not in his nature to commit a malicious tackle. He didn’t feel there was much contact.

“It seems like the boys studs got stuck in the turf and that made the contact worse.”

It’s good to know that Taylor didn’t think there was much contact. If you leap from the ground and have you studs up then only something bad is going to happen. And why the hell bring up the fact Eduardo’s studs were caught in the pitch? That does no justify flying in like that, and doesn’t make the tackle any less reckless and shocking.

It might not be in “Taylor’s nature” to commit a horrible tackle but the pictures don’t lie. As I’ve mentioned before, what the hell does he think is going to happen when he goes in like that?

Idiot #4: Sebastian Larsson

Well just read it:

“It’s idiotic and childish for Wenger to say things like that. Of course it’s horrible to see, but everybody who knows Martin would also know he would never hurt anybody on purpose and for Wenger to say things like that just prove he is a sore loser.

“Then again, his whole team were the same. Arsenal were in a bad mood all game. They were very unsportsmanlike.”

I’m not sure I have any words for that really. Retardation on a grand scale.

Idiot #5: Didier Drogba

Okay, he hasn’t actually said anything – but his performance in the Carling Cup Final was a disgrace. One of his fellow professionals has just had his leg broken and doesn’t know if his career is over or not and there’s Drogba diving and jumping around in agony like he got shot every time a defender got near him.

He hasn’t done that in the last season or so but now it seems he’s become the diving and petulant cheat he was when he first came over to the Premier League.

Emmanuel Eboue should take note.

But I guess he got what he deserved in the end though when it was the man he was supposed to be marking that scored the winning header.

Idiot #6: The British Media

Look at the tackle on Eduardo by Martin Taylor. And now look at the comments from Arsene Wenger after the game. If you listened to the majority of the media in this country you would think they were equally bad!

I struggle to understand the mentality of these people. Arsene Wenger is getting completely chastised for his post-match comments, which surely people can understand? On of his players careers could be over from a horrific tackle and instead of looking at Taylor who made the challenge people just can’t wait to have a go at Wenger.

Emotions are running high for Christ’s sake.

But they know that. But it doesn’t stop them sticking the knife in does it? This is a golden chance to wind up Wenger and it’s just a too good an opportunity to miss isn’t it?

And then you’ve got the idiots comparing the Gallas kick on Nani to Taylors tackle! Anyone who has played football on any level knows they are completely different. I’m not defending Gallas’ kick – it was petulant and stupid – but it is nothing like having your studs up right against someones shin with your whole bodyweight behind it.

The Daily Mail have reported that it looks like Taylor shoud “recover” from the terrible ordeal he’s experienced over the last few days. My heart goes out to the poor lad, but the good news is he’ll be back for the Reading game on March 22nd.

When is Eduardo available to play again? Oh yeah, they forgot about mentioning that one.

A Small Ray Of Light…

When you just think everyone is completely retarded, there are a few glimpses of intelligence and class out there.

In a nice gesture, AC Milan issued a small statement on their official website wishing Eduardo all the best. It wasn’t needed or expected, but shows the class of a club like Milan over the ridiculous reaction from Birmingham City. Saying that though, I hope the boys stay focused and remember they are here to beat Milan and get into the next round of the Champions League.

Arseblogger links to the opinions of Tim Allardyce who believes that Eduardo could have lost his foot. And has he says, it makes a joke of all the f*ckwits who are making light of the injury.

And Finally…

The official Arsenal website is collecting messages and compiling a book to give to Eduardo so I urge you to send in your messages here.

Update!

Just as I finish writing this article, news has just come in that  the official Arsenal website has released a statement that Eduardo – all being well – could return in an Arsenal shirt before Xmas! The club said:

“Earlier today (Monday 25th February), the Orthopaedic surgeon and Arsenal medical staff assessed the extent of the damage and possible time scale for a full recovery.

“All being well, Eduardo will have his leg in plaster and using crutches for the next six to eight weeks. After that time, partial weight-bearing exercises will be scheduled into a slow rehabilitation process.

“It is hoped that Eduardo will be running again in six months time and making a full recovery after nine months.

“Eduardo will be released from hospital in a few days.

“The Arsenal medical team would like to take this opportunity to thank Birmingham City FC for their assistance on the day as well as the surgical and ward staff on S2 at Selly Oak Hospital for their expert medical care.

“In addition, and on behalf of Eduardo, the Club would like to thank everyone for their many touching messages of support.”

That’s fantastic news!

Who Cares? It’s Only Eduardo Isn’t It!

It’s a day later and I’ve had time to think about things, but the fact is I’m still seething. Actually probably more so than I was yesterday – what a total disgrace.

When I wrote the match report yesteday I was caught up in the game but by now I’m sure you’ve seen the pictures.

Don’t make any bones about this – the “challenge” by Martin Taylor on Eduardo was shocking, reckless and despite what the f*ckwit says intended to harm. You do not go for the ball with your studs up THAT HIGH on a player without the thought of causing that person pain. I’ve seen the photographs taken of the incident and to call them horrifying would be an understatement. Taylors studs are high and right up the shin at the point of contact.

And I’m sorry, but you can’t just say it was an accident.

Because there are thousands of football matches being played around the world and how many broken legs are suffered? When was the last time a Premiership player broke his leg in a challenge like that? For me, the excuse that it was an accident doesn’t hold up. If it was an innocuous tackle then wouldn’t you get broken legs every week?

His feet are high off the ground. How hard is that to understand?

Alex McLeish came to defence of his player saying that Martin Taylor wouldn’t intentionally hurt anyone. Unfortunately the images suggest otherwise.

And that brings me to another point.

The attitude and stand point of Sky Sports was one that riled me as well.

They took the decision not to show the replay of the “tackle” which on the surface seems a compassionate one, but the fact of the matter it hides the fact it was such a bad tackle. They claim to protect the viewer but all they are doing is protecting Martin Taylor, because they are concealing the true nature of the challenge.

We live in a world of such media coverage that there’s no way you can hide anything these days. Why not show the horrific challenge? People will see it anyway online or wherever. If you ask me they brushed the whole issue under the f*cking carpet.

See no evil, hear no evil.

Credit to the BBC though on Match of the Day – they didn’t shirk showing the replay of the incident.

But the sad fact is that because Eduardo isn’t English nobody cares, and people will forget all about it in a couple of weeks. Whereas if Wayne Rooney, Michael Owen or Steven Gerrard suffered that injury then whoever committed the tackle would be public enemy number one! We wouldn’t hear the end of it – we would have ‘Rooney-watch’ or something stupid like that checking up on the daily progress of his recovery.

I made this exact point 2 seasons ago when Dan Smith of Sunderland broke Abou Diaby’s ankle in another horror tackle.

And I’d be surprised if anything actually happened to Martin Taylor. So called ‘experts’ are already justifying the tackle, and making excuses for him. Would they say the same if that tackle took out Rooney?

I doubt it.

Martin Taylor should be punished for what he did because you just can’t do that. But because it was only against Eduardo I’d be shocked if anything actually happened.

The foreign players have contributed to making the Premier League what it is today, yet when it comes to attitudes towards them it’s a complete shambles. We blame them for our sh*te national team, exits from major tournaments (a la Ronaldo at the World Cup) and who cares if one of them breaks their legs eh?

I’m not into protecting Taylor so here are a few links to photographs of the challenge and you can decide for yourself how bad it was:

Warning: Could Contain Images Some Find Disturbing.

[Link 1]
[Link 2]
[Link 3]
[Link 4]

If that’s not a possible career ending injury then I don’t know what is.

It’s hard for me not to get emotional about it and when you see the reactions of the Arsenal players when it happened – you cannot help not get disturbed by it. Of course, you don’t want something like this to happen to any player but it’s so much harder to take when it’s Eduardo – a true professional who gets on with his job, never offends anyone and always gives everything to his team and his team-mates. He is also a player full of outstanding potential and it hurts to know that this incident could be career-threatening or leave permanent damage for the rest of his life.

And it’s even more upsetting when you think it’s his birthday tomorrow.

The latest news on Eduardo is that he underwent surgery yesterday and is currently resting.

My thoughts and prayers are with Eduardo and I hope he makes a swift and steady recovery, and I would like to thank him for the contribution he has made to the team this season.

Arsenal’s Emotional Rollercoaster At St Andews

Birmingham City (2) – (2) Arsenal
Walcott (49′, 52′)
St Andrews, Birmingham

Obviously the main talking point about this afternoons game was the horrific injury suffered by Eduardo Da Silva only 2 minutes into the game. The injury was so bad that the expressions on the Arsenal players faces told its own story, and the 9 minute delay meant that the severity of the damage done by Martin Taylor was sinking in on the pitch. The only thing we know at this stage that Eduardo’s season is over, and our thoughts go out to a player who has made a fantastic impact in his short time with the club.

Expectedly, the following 20 minutes after the game restarted was one and two touch football from both sides – with the players hardly making a challenge or tackle worthy of note.

With Birmingham down to 10 men and the Arsenal players visibly shaken it was vital that team focused on the task at hand an won the 3 points for the fans and the stricken Eduardo. Unfortunately, with the exception of Flamini and the back four, Arsenal looked jaded and taken aback with the events of the early part of the match and just couldn’t get their game going at all. Adebayor, Hleb and Fabregas looked the most shocked, which you can’t blame them for – when looking at Eduardo slumped on the ground with a broken leg you don’t just see your teammate – you see what could happen to you.

The first half performance was not like Arsenal at all, and Birmingham took advantage on 26 minutes when James McFadden scored a freekick from just outside the penalty area.

Arsenal looked sluggish and you had the feeling with the this could be Arsene’s most important half-time team talk of the season so far, because on the first half showing we looked like the injury to Eduardo would hugely effect the outcome of this game.

Credit to the team, as soon as the second half started Arsenal looked sharp and really up for the fight. Whatever Wenger said to the boys had made a difference as Arsenal stepped up their tempo and really took the game to Birmingham, who quite honestly had it easy in the first period.

And after only 5 minutes of the Arsenal’s pressure paid off.

Fabregas had a fantastic shot well saved by Maik Taylor which was pushed out for a corner and the little Spaniard took the kick which was won in the air by Adebayor and Walcott coolly tapped in from close range.

The pressure kept growing and growing and with the Birmingham keeper made some good saves from Adebayor, Fabregas and Hleb from long range efforts, and on 55 minutes Theo Walcott lashed a stunning left-foot shot into the bottom corner. Theo hadn’t scored in the Premier League before today’s game – and I’m sure you know the cliche about London Buses.

It was a truly fantastic response from the boys to comeback with only 10 minutes of the second half played, and at the risk of being over-emotional I felt so proud of the players. I was as shocked with the injury as the players and fans watching the game, and to fight back like that was really something. It might be only against Birmingham City, but the release I felt when Walcott lashed in his second goal was massive. Joy, anger and redemption all rolled into one.

After that Arsenal were in control, with Birmingham sitting back and waiting for the last 10 minutes to get their equaliser. They held out, despite Arsenal having the ball mostly in the final third and wasting a couple of openings. The opportunity on 77 minutes was probably the best chance to get the third goal and kill off the game but Adebayor failed to slot the ball into the net after another good save from Taylor. Bendtner was available square but the Togan didn’t look up and pick him out.

Birmingham came out in the last 10 minutes, and in all honesty Almunia had nothing to do. Arsenal defended well and even the most nervous Arsenal fan couldn’t see the home side getting back into the game. Unforuntately, with literally seconds of injury time remaining an uncharacteristic lapse in concentration from Gael Clichy gave Birmingham a life-line. Flamini played the ball into the path of the left-back but Clichy just waited far too long and tripped Parnaby to concede a penalty.

William Gallas was in sheer disgust and in some kind of protest walked off towards the tunnel before McFadden stepped up for the decisive kick.

Despite Almunia’s best efforts, McFadden smashed the penalty into the net and rescued a point in a game Arsenal should have easily seen off. You can’t really legislate for a mistake like that and the high range of emotions this afternoon got the better of the captain and while his frustration can be understood it was well over the top.

A positive we can take from this game was the response in the second half, but talk about things going against you. The injury to Eduardo clearly rocked Arsenal and you could almost write off the performance first half. And after fighting back to get the lead to throw away the game so late in the match is so devastating, especially against 10 men – it’s just unexpected.

Talk about an emotional rollercoaster.

It might be hard to remember after all that but Arsenal are still in the driving seat and the destination of the Premier League Title is still in our hands.

Will Liverpool-Inter Be Like Arsenal-Milan?

AC Milan (The Emirates Stadium, London)
Champions League 2nd Round, 1st Leg
Wednesday 20th February 2008
Kick Off: 7.45pm – Live On Sky Sports 2

Well I’m still in shock over Saturday’s game against Manchester United in the FA Cup. For a competition we really valued in years gone by has now been reduced to something Arsenal obviously care little about. In the Vieira/Bergkamp/Henry/Campbell days we would be favourites to be there or there abouts come Cup Final day. Maybe we’d have a better chance of progressing if the final was in Wales instead of London.

Last year we let Blackburn beat us and this season we gave United exactly what they wanted.

Talk about giving your rivals a boost.

We can go on and on about how many injuries we have but there really is no excuse for a performance like that.

On the plus side however, it looks like Clichy, Sagna, Adebayor and Flamini are available for tomorrow’s game so that is great news. The return of Clichy and Sagna is especially positive, as they have been exceptional this season and give Arsenal that something extra in the final third with their tireless running. Another thing is that every single time they have been on the pitch they have shown great desire and passion, something which couldn’t be said about a few of the regulars on Saturday afternoon.

AC Milan are struggling with injury problems of their own, with Ronaldo suffering a ruptured tendon in his knee which looks like will be career threatening. He has had his ups and downs in but there’s no doubt he was one of the best players to grace the game, and hopefully this won’t be how his footballing career ends. Milan are also having goalkeeping problems, with Zeljko Kalac dislocating a finger and Dida picking up a freak injury from sitting on the bench. Never short of controversy stupidity is he?

Meanwhile Clarence Seedorf thinks that Milan will be too strong for Arsenal. Milan’s domestic league record isn’t the best in recent years but in the Champions League they are a completely different beast. In Europe they are simply sensational, and Arsenal will find it tough tomorrow night because it seems like the Champions League is the only competition Milan actually take seriously.

Milan are like Liverpool – impressive in Europe but when it comes to the domestic league they’re fighting for the final Champions League position and Inter on the other hand are like Arsenal, top of the league and but have disappointed in Europe for a club of their stature.

Tonight’s game between Liverpool and Inter will be interesting to watch. Liverpool, like Milan are tactically astute (in Europe anyway) with Inter have a lot of attacking talent and the ability to score goals from all over the pitch. Arsenal and Inter are also top scorers in their leagues, and have similar goal differences (Inter +35 and Arsenal +36).

Depending what happens tonight at Anfield tonight, maybe Arsenal could learn something.

Was That The Worst ‘Performance’ You’ve Seen?

Manchester United (4) – (0) Arsenal
Eboue Sent Off (49′)
Old Trafford, Manchester

Well Arsenal just didn’t turn up.

A few days ago when I wrote the match preview I was questioning the importance of the game, and whether a defeat would actually be a bad thing. Winning would mean more fixtures at a time when Arsenal would hopefully be fighting for the Premier League and Champions League titles.

So it came to fruition with Arsene’s team selection, which included Justin Hoyte, Armand Traore, Nicklas Bendtner, Gilberto Silva and the recently returning Kolo and Eboue from the African Cup of Nations. A seemingly strongish side, although in reality Wenger started with only 4 players who would be considered in this seasons first eleven*

In comparison, United had around 7 or 8 players who would be considered to be first team players.

And ironically Jens Lehmann might not be the first choice goalkeeper this season but he was the only one who didn’t have a shocking performance and kept the score from being 7 or 8.

The performance I saw yesterday was possibly the worst I have seen in 20 years of watching Arsenal, and that would not be exaggerating. The performance was devoid of any motivation, passion, fight or even basic execution of our usual passing game.

Arsenal were there for the taking and Manchester United didn’t need any second invitations.

Clearly up for the fight after their surprise defeat in the Manchester Derby only 7 days earlier, United were quick from the off while Arsenal were sluggish, making basic errors and failing to string more than 5 passes together. Although the team wasn’t the strongest I was shocked at the lack of drive from the players – it really was appalling. It was as if the FA Cup didn’t matter at all. Arsene has stated that Arsenal’s priorities are elsewhere this season but unfortunately that attitude had obviously been transmitted to the players on the pitch. It was like the Carling Cup game against Spurs all over again.

It’s a strange feeling though, because even though Arsenal have played so called less important games in the past, I don’t think I’ve ever seen performances like against Spurs or United in the cups like I have witnessed this season. It doesn’t matter who has been selected to play and if the team has included reserves, the guys on the pitch have gone into the game with the right mind-set and played to a decent standard.

Arsene would have been better off playing the kids because at least they would given United a game and given 110%.

Despite all that though, I suppose the real concern is what that game will have on the rest of the season.

Has the win given United a boost after poor results against Spurs and Manchester City in the league? It would have been interesting to see what United would have done if they actually lost yesterday. It would be stupid to suggest that they would have collapsed but you can’t help thinking it would have put more pressure on them in the Premier League if they were dumped out of the cup.

The slightly positive thing is that after the battering in the Carling Cup against Spurs our response has been spot on, winning 4 games out of 4. Hopefully Arsenal can quickly forget the result and get their form back.

I guess we’ll see what the reaction is from the boys on Wednesday night.

* Based on a starting eleven of Almunia, Sagna, Toure, Gallas, Clichy, Hleb, Flamini, Fabregas, Rosicky, Van Persie & Adebayor. You could also argue Eduardo is now a first team player, but at the same time you could say Senderos’ run in the team puts him in the current first eleven because Toure has been out with the Ivory Coast.