E D U A R D O!!!!

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.

Walter Broeckx

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

40 Replies to “E D U A R D O!!!!”

  1. Good one Walter.

    I just wrote something similar over in Goonerholic’s bar. More precisely – I can really see the similarities between Van Persie and Eduardo in how they play in this formation. First games – getting a bit lost. Then the assists starts to come, more and more frequent and then the odd goal. Mostly playing with their backs against the goal, mostly helping others into play with layoffs and short passes, often midfielders running into the box. This is exactly what Van Persie went through early season.

    I believe enough in Eduardo to be sure he will go to the next level, find that “balance” as Persie said between offense and defence and start putting in even more goals for himself as well.

    And if he doesn’t – well then we’ll just have to play like Barca did last season, that is with a centre forward in the front three that plays more like a support man, dropping deep and interchanging with the midfielders. That’s what Eto’o did a lot, and with six titles to show for it, it really looked like a good, fluid system (even if they are trying something a bit different now with Ibrahimovic).

    I couldn’t care how we score the goals and if it’s the forwards or the midfielders, as long as they all combine well, we will get the goals.

    Especially now that we’ve got Cesc “Jesus” Fab back, Den “Longshot” Nilson and Abou “Hits It With Power Up The Roof From Cutbacks” Diaby in the midfield.

    Again – good one Walter, 100% behind you on that Eduardo is more than carrying his weight at the moment, just as Persie did early season.

  2. eduardo is a class act, only needs 3-4 more games to come back to his class act….fans will moan, pundits will maon,, but it’s dudu who will make opposition moan….

  3. I agree. Imo eduardo has been excellent in the last few games. He makes chances for himself and others and really links well with those around him. A classic “arsenal-style” player for me.
    I think people think back to all his best moments before the injury and for some reason remember him as this lightning quick forward who was always involved with play but that wasnt the case. He always had his limitations.
    I dont think hes lost much in pace since then, he was never THAT quick. He was always someone who drift in and out of games at times and would make chances through clever movement and passes, so I dont think much has changed about his general play. The only thing he seems to be lacking from before is his finishing. A few times hes been through on goal and you really expect to see him score, but he hasnt done it really.
    Im sure its a mental thing resulting from the injury, but I really think he’ll recover that side to his game. Pretty soon he’ll be completely back to his best, not that hes a poor player now by any standard. People just have unrealistic expectations of him

  4. Great one, Walter.

    For all those who don’t agree with you, they should just take last let me say 6 games, and check number of assists and goals and they will see what we are all talking about.
    Not all forwards look as Rooney, there are some which you don’t see until they score or assists to someone, and those ones are most dangerous because as defender you after some time forget on them, and once you again spotted them in most of cases its to late.

    For me Eduardo look a bit as Gerd Muller (older ones will remember him). He was most dangerous attacker I ever sow, he wasn’t shining he wasn’t scoring beautiful goals. But he was scoring a lot, always looked a bit absent, far from game, until you see him sending ball behind goalies back.

  5. After sending the peace to Tony I saw that I forgot to mention that it is now for the first time since his come back from that terrible injury that he has managed to stay fit for a few weeks. So he now is only just at the beginning of his second career and he will get stronger physical and also in his head.

  6. Oh Walter,
    Of course we agree with your hopes for Eduardo but it should be remembered that he rarely even started games before his injury – he was bought as a supplement and maybe for the future. He has returned well – maybe the future is now. Also, I see that you, when younger, were in the wars – that you were kicked to peaces(sic). War and Peace all over again, eh?

  7. Walter says:

    “I never have felt more sick about football in those first days after that game.”

    I say ditto! That was the saddest day of my life as an Arsenal fan. I never felt that kind of grief as a football fan in my life. NEVER! And I’ve witnessed some painful final losses.

    Thanks for the stats but Doom&Gloomers don’t care about facts. All they need is something to moan about.

    Great article pal.

  8. Hi Walter
    Excellent article on Eduardo and good to see him get the praise he deserves. To me, he is one of the best “second strikers” in world football today, and I fully agree that the more games he gets, the better he will become as his full confidence returns. When you hear and read ridiculous stories of how Liverpool want to pay £12m for the likes of Kenwyn Jones – a player who averages maybe 3 assists and 4 goals per season at best (which is Eduardo’s average output per month almost), then you really appreciate what a fantastic bit of business Eduardo was for Arsene Wenger, and I for one am really pleased that he also signed a new deal this year. I’m also looking forward to getting Bendtner back into the team. I have always been impressed with his partnerships with Dudu when they have played together – they compliment each other nicely and both seem to play well as a pair also. It could well be the front line partnership that gets us over the finishing line this year.

  9. I do hope we are not in anyway responding because the Bent Managers son said something on TV.For him to say he is a “passenger” is a disgrace.The only player we have carried for many a year was the guy who went to City for the money,and clearly believes he is still playing for us.Dudu is a class act,he will now begin to get back the form he was showing before his injury.
    Did you see that Redknapp jnr(with brother in law Sherwood)has pulled out of his business that produced a magazine for the rich.It went tits up.Like Father like Son.

  10. Well, ask Manure fans who they prefer berbatove or EDUADO. I am sure what the pick will be at least at the stage the season has gotten to. I will agree with toby’s comments, it would be a gradual process but he will get there. But men that split second touch to FAB4 was pure telepathy!

  11. Also do not forget that Eduardo got the assist in the
    Denilson deflected goal against Everton.He layed the ball back to
    Denilson just like he did to Cesc in the Bolton game.


  13. Eduardo is getting better with every game. Have some patience people. I haven’t gotten over his injury, and he’s out there with people’s sharp studs and even sharper tongues trying to break his spirit. He’s brilliant, and he will one day, be the reson for our success.

  14. Wonderful insight Walter!
    His Bolton match was his best performance to date (imo). Did everything RvP was doing.
    Eduardo’s stats (14 starts) 6 goals / 5 assists; RvP 7 / 7.

    Wasn’t it Eduardo’s skillful pass to Cesc, where Cesc was upended by the Bolton keeper?

    Despite his size, he can be a game changer.

  15. Most of the fantasy fans are enthralled by size and speed.

    The great players of football had average of both, but all understood and utilized two simple concepts: ‘change of direction’ and ‘change of pace’.

  16. A very good piece on ourduardo. I have always belief he would come out good after the injury despite the effort of the media during the ‘dive’ saga, after that saga his confidence was shot. As evidence in that thru pass by fabregas which he was caught between two minds,hopefully he would get that back with more games he would play

  17. It is interesting to look at three of our players this season as a case study, Rosicky, Diaby and Eduardo. All three have had awful luck with injuries and hadnt had a steady run of games for a couple of seasons going into this year. People always love to sound knowledgable by saying things like “it takes time to get match fit” but when there are obvious cases of that syndrome they forget the cliche and start saying “so and so isnt fit to wear the shirt”. Abou Diaby was the first case of that this season. Many of us said “be patient, he is just getting fit” but no, he was a liability and not fit to wear the shirt. Now after a good run of games he seems quite indispensable in our midfield and one of the strongest players in the league (his tussle with Felliani of Everton recently was superb, especially seeing the way Felliani DOMINATED De Jong and Barry when they played City on the weekend). Eduardo is now going through the same thing. He started off tentative and weak, not fitting into the system. Now he is adjusting with every game and his natural talent is shining through. I have no doubt that we will see the same thing from Rosicky if he can ever stay fit for long enough (Rosicky truly is injury prone, unlike Eduardo and DiabY who just suffered terrible injuries).

    Bendtner and Walcott will go through the same things. Nasri was just starting to shine when he got injured again (grrrrrrrr!!!!).

    Players cant just step into a team at the highest level and pick up the pace immediately. That very rarely happens.

  18. I find it very funny when peoples slagging off peoples like Dudu.. and Diaby and Den when they performed below expectation BUT for players like AA23.. its “he is saving his best for big games” .. Well, hello, each and everyone of them was paid to perform the whole season.. not just for certain matches a year D:

    I hate those double standards.

  19. Well Written Walter,

    And I just wanted to add that Eduardo’s movement off the ball is amazing.. He creates space around him, and never seems to stop… Arshavin also does it, and when they are both on, they provide the defending team with a whole bunch of problems, even when they don’t get the ball.. Watch Eduardo again when fabregas is dribbling with the ball.. he is moving so much that the defenders keep dropping deeper allowing fabregas more and more space.. the one touch cross is also visionary , and I think when he gets back to the dudu we know, the sky’s the limit..

    Vive La Arsenal…Joga Bonita

  20. Great post Walter,I must admit when I first saw Cesc’s reaction to his teammates injury and then those initial pictures on tv that day, I thought it was bravado when they were talking about him being out for a year. I did not expect to see Eduardo in an Arsenal shirt again . It is great thanks to Gilberto playing interpreter and the speed and calmness of Gary Lewin’s treatment that meant his leg was treated with the expediency that allowed him to keep his leg nevermind play sport at the highest level. I suppose if ‘pundits’ who actually played the game can come out with stupid comments we cant blame the average fan with less knowledge. Eduardo will be a big player for us in the final stages of the season and I for one am glad that he still has two fully functioning legs nevermind playing for one of the best teams in the world

  21. D&Gs always use the “only results matter” argument…

    Now they gave that argument up for the sake of hating Dudu, just because he scored 3 goals and made 3 assists…

    They argue that he’s too slow and doesn’t contribute enough blahblah….well from my eyes he contributed more than Arshavin in the past month.

    Dudu will never be the eye catching type of player, but he’s slowly getting back to his best. People say too that with his age players don’t develop and become better anymore…well Luis Fabiano and our very own Arshavin became great and better after that 26-27 years old period.

    I love the guy despite his faults, he’s a fighter and when he’s fully back he’ll again be the most clinical finisher in the world…

  22. Great article.

    Wonderman is a good pal of mine and can I only echo his comments (above).

    Eduardo…class act !!!

    Great site!!

  23. Good job Walter, terrific article! I do, however, have a hypothetical question for you; how do you think the set-up of the front line will be next year with everyone (god-willing) fit? Considering we have Arshavin, Bendtner, Eduardo, Nasri, Rosicky, Walcott, Vela and Van persie, not to mention Wilshere and Merida (who aren’t as far along as the others but surely aren’t that far away). And how do you think Wenger will rotate/keep everyone happy. I don’t see why people are calling for Wenger to splash insane amounts of money on a striker when we have 10 very good attacking players as it is, granted, some of which are injured, but they won’t be injured forever. Surely they realize that buying someone would put wilshere or merida further down the list, and I’m sure these people are the same people who wished for wilshere to be called-up for the England world cup squad, or left nasty comments when Merida to Atletico first popped-up. Perhaps they want us to field a first 11 of purely offensive players (goalkeeper included). Wenger will have a headache managing the team sheet next season! Oh and one last question Walter, how do you pronounce your last name?

  24. Good article Walter. Eduardo has come back well, not only from his injury, but also from the witch hunt over his supposed “dive” against Celtic. It takes a strong mental character to overcome such bad odds.

  25. anonymous gun, u r a mug! arshavin is deservedly one of the most admired players at arsenal because he has sacrificed more than anyone else for arsenal. he agreed to play the lone striker role even though he is only 5 nd a half foot and clearly doesnt hav the physique to play there. I bet if u put anyone arshavins size up front on there own against 6ft+ CBs they wouldnt do half as good as him. before van persie got injured arshavin was playing great and regularly scoring goals. when we get a proper striker in the team he will go back on the LW and show his quality.

    btw iv always bn a big fan of eduardo and i am so glad that he has finally had a good run of games, i have no doubt that he will be back to his best in no time

  26. Rafael, it is pronounced like “Brooks” like the name of Mel Brooks for example.

    For your hypothetical question I have in my mind the opinion that Wenger is building a squad that has the ability to put up 2 full first teams. I think it will take 1 or maybe 2 years for the more younger lads to get the expierence neeeded and from that moment on we could be just changing our first 11 every week completely without weakening our team. And to do so you need them all to play or in attack or in midfield as they are practicing now.
    This will keep also our injury problems down to a normal size.
    But then again, this is just wath I think that AW is really working for.

  27. Very good article, Walter – and timely, too. He’s on the verge of coming good again.
    I also have the feeling that Wenger is building two teams. We already have the situation at RB and Midfield where we have not number 1 and number 2 players, but number 1A and number 1B. As you say, offering different options without a drop in quality.

  28. Great piece Walter. Before the start of the season, it was Denilson, then Song. At the start of the season they shifted on to Diaby. Thereafter Almunia began to get the strokes and craks of the ‘whip’. Now the fashion is to descend heavily on Eduardo. Believe me before too long they will move on to another member of the team. They even talked rubish about the young debutant, Craig Eastmond. Some so called Arsenal fans are more mediocre & naive than the ‘iZombies’ (that’s the new name I learnt today for the Useless P(l)undits and Media hacks).

  29. Spot on Walter my son. I’m sick of these so called ex-pro pundit wankers and johnny come latelies who keep knocking our players. We are top scorers in the league without a recognised centre forward and yet the doubters keep chipping away with cheap snidey remarks. Well I say fuck off and support that other lot up the road and leave the real supporters to back our boys. ARRR-SENAL!!…ARRR-SENAL!!….ARRR-SENAL!!

  30. EDUARDO!!!!!!

    he is an inspiration to all.

    (and the hell with jamie redknapp. part of the first family of footballing idiots.)

  31. He’s lost a little pace and sharpness but that’s down to fitness and perhaps confidence, but overall the ability is still their and his movement is great. As mentioned earlier the goal he scored at the beginning of the season when he deliberately sliced the ball over the keeper, his turn against Wolves (poor shot but exquisite turn) and his header against West Ham. All examples of his excellent ability.

    Of course the whole debacle over his ‘dive’ against Celtic added to the natural apprehension that must go through his mind every time a challenge comes in doesn’t help, but like Arsene we need to have faith in him. It’s not a matter of if but when he comes good.

    I remember when he missed against Burnley in the FA Cup a couple of years ago and their was almost a silence of disbelief. Pure clinical!!

  32. Spot on Walter !He’s peaking a the right time and if he stays injury free,
    he may move up the scoring charts.I’ve him being the top scorer for us this season – its not too late !

  33. Eduardo is a true hero!
    A rare case of real determination and spirit and a fine player on top of that.
    Viva Eduardo!

  34. Great Article. Eduardo is a class act. Regarding Rafaels question-I think Wenger knows hell rarely have a full healthy squad. When was the last time Arsenal were fully fit? even in the off season players were recovering, and this year, with the world cup, players have a greater risk of getting injured. I hate it…i do. Its annoying, and no one wishes injuries on these guys who are giving their all and all for the team and for the fans…but it seems inevitable to me. A Big squad gives depth and padding for fatigue (like walter mentioned), and injury. players who werent getting as much time suddenly wind up starting 5 or 6 straight. its a natural rotation!

    But im wrong all the time so lets hope im wrong again! Heres to a fully healthy team!

  35. KG, I remember in a game before his injury at a moment the match commentator saying after Eduardo missed a chance: “Oh so he can miss”.

  36. He can do it if we show him our trust in him. So admire of him and the way he overcame all difficulties. Come on my beloved Sil!!

  37. Perhaps one reason pundits are quick to spot the supposed ineffectiveness of Dudu as a No.9 is that he never wins any air ball hoofed to him as a lone striker when Arsenal’s defence is under pressure.

    I am sure Wenger doesn’t expect him to nor does he put him in the team for that reason.

    IMO, Wenger is creating a new way to play the No.9 position by making it fluid such that all attackers can come to the position – from the wings and from the mid field and through quick ball and body movements on and off the ball that you cann’t really say that any particular player (among 3 or 4) in a team and during a game owns the position.

    This calls for a skillful and unselfish ball passer, close control dribbler and lighting quick (but not necessarily speedy) finisher. Dudu is all these as is Van Persie. He is making good already and will be even better if he remains injury free this season.

  38. Eduardo = Arsenal legend, he came back from the brink to once again be a star man in the team.

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