E D U A R D O!!!! by Walter Broeckx
With the current injury crisis at Arsenal, well one could say with the back to normal business injury crisis, we have seen a change in players up front.
If we take a look at our season so far then at the beginning we played with Arshavin – Van Persie – Bendtner up front. From the first game we looked sharp scored lots of goals… through the midfield players.
After a few games the criticism came on to Van Persie because he didn’t score. The fact that he gave numerous assists and let other players have the goals was overseen by those who want to criticise at all cost. But those critics demanded the head of Wenger for the fact he didn’t replace that money hungry guy from Togo.
When Robin Van Persie decided to score a few himself the critics went silent. What could they moan about for now? Song was playing on a very high level. Diaby showed when fit what he could do and also stepped forward. When Robin got his serious injury things changed off course.
To make it all even worse at the same moment Bendtner fell out with a serious injury that takes a long time to recover from. So we lost 2 strikers in 2 weeks time.
In came the likes of Eduardo and (when fit) Theo Walcott until he got kicked out of the game by some thug with the approval of refs and pundits. Fair challenge, got the ball first, blah, blah, blah. Rubbish.
We all have a faint spot for Eduardo in our heart. I think we all felt the pain when we saw him at Birmingham almost 2 years ago. As I have gone through the same process myself some 25 years ago I felt it even more.
I never have felt more sick about football in those first days after that game. Eduardo’s leg was broken in a horrible way and our spirit was broken as well. Our kids never recovered from that day and I think it throw a shadow on the next season as well.
But now with Van Persie and Bendtner out Eduardo came back in the team. Last season he came back but he almost immediately got all kinds of little muscular problems which kept him out for a while and then restart a few games and then out again…..and so the season ended for him. But Wenger had seen him and knew he would become good again.
At the beginning of this season Eduardo suffered again some little injuries which kept him in and out the team. But lucky he was fit when it really mattered with the rest of our attacking players out injured.
And then came the critics.
I must say I feared for a moment that he never would be mentally the same player. I never got back to football when they kicked my leg to peaces because I first had a few years with my leg full of metal peaces which made it impossible to kick a ball and after that had been removed I never wanted to take the risk to go through such a period again.
But Eduardo did (and I must say for that much money I too would have taken the risk I think) but I know you have to pass a few borders in your head. I can still recognise some little moments of hesitation in his mind, things I noticed with myself when I started playing again with my colleagues after 20 years.
He has to get over this borderline in every game again. It will fade but still needs a few months to disappear completely out of his mind.
And now the pundits, followed by some …fans…. are on his back because he doesn’t contribute enough and is called a passenger in the team.
Let’s look at his contribution over the last games over the last month. Against Hull he scored our second goal that made us certain the game was ours. Against Aston Villa he had some early chances but couldn’t convert them. But overall he worked hard also in defensive duties.
In the game at Portsmouth he scored the first goal with a deflected free kick. One could say that is lucky but if you don’t try it, you will never score. He then was involved in the second goal as well, so not a bad contribution I would say.
In the West Ham game he made the winning goal and that is all you can expect from a striker I would think. In the Everton game he hadn’t the best game of his life but who from our players had ?
And in the last game at Bolton he gave both assists to our goals and was called a passenger by some pundit. So three goals in the last month, the same number in assists over that period. Well dear pundit and moaning fans, I think it is good value for money.
Just enjoy it and hope he stays fit because he can be lost at times during a game, as most centre forwards do during games in fact, but when you look at the bigger picture you can see how he is involved in our goals if not by scoring them than by giving others the chance to score.
Carry on Eduardo.
He will only get better if he stays fit and will bring us great things. Just wait.
Advertisement: 100 years ago to the day the official announcement was made that Woolwich Arsenal were heading for liquidation, and that a shareholders meeting, and then a public meeting would be held on the following saturday to discuss the matter. You can read the story through the eyes of a Fleet Street journalist in “Making the Arsenal”. There’s an extract and reviews of the book and the opportunity to order it here. (I did earlier point the link to read the extract to the wrong site – my apologies – this one is the right one). – Tony
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