Ramsey and Eduardo, two lost on the same day?

by Walter Broeckx

In a supporters life there are moments that you never forget. Like the first time you see your favourite team live. I even still have a photo taken from the old North Bank somewhere in a photo album that my wife once made of the big events that happened in my life. And I still remember when in those old days that when we got the photos back developed it was the picture of our visit in London that I was most looking forward to see again. I must make myself some time to take the album out of the closet one of these days.

Or the first visit to the Emirates. The pictures from that day are visible on my computer when I want and this just shows how the times have changed since my first visit to London. And those are the good memories. The memories that when you close your eyes you can relive them.

You can feel the exceptionally warm February day in 1979 again. You can smell the food being sold in the stalls. You can even imagine hearing the same old guy shouting just outside the underground station : “Get your Gooner”.  Maybe when you are lucky to visit all the home games those memories are more lost and you will more remember the days when we won the league and you were there.

But as a fan you also have the bad days. Days that creep under your skin and no matter how hard you try the terrible memory will not go away. You don’t want to remember it but it comes back to haunt you. Images so terrible you don’t want to see them again but after the first time you saw them they are burned in to your memory and they will never go away.

The horror when Eduardo was lying there with his foot almost separated from his leg.  It still sends shivers down my spine. You don’t want to remember it but whenever you see a picture of Eduardo you see the terrible tackle and the horrible consequences. And even more because that nice young man never came good after his recovery.

And if I may add that later that season when the Emirates cup was played and Eduardo came on to the field and got a standing ovation from the crowd you could see and feel the emotions from the Gooner fans on their faces. On many faces you could see a tears wanting to come out, also on my face I must admit . One of those things when you grow a bit older I think. Something that happened again when I saw him coming out as a captain of our team and scoring his first goal on his come back. Great and good memories you never forget.

Another day we all will remember is the day that young Aaron Ramsey was send to hospital by another reckless and foolish challenge by Ryan ‘he’s not that kind’ Shawcross. Actually he IS that kind of player as his record shows and his foolish and reckless challenges on Adebayor one year earlier indicate. No Arsenal fan will forget how his leg was hanging in a very strange angle after that assault. Another terrible picture burned in to our memory. Another image we will not forget.

And now finally the young man is back in training outside with the rest of the players. He is running around in his elegant style we all remember. He is kicking the ball again. Like Wenger said: he is smiling again. And it sure looks great to see him back and to see him smile. A hard work so far has been done. The heeling process seems to have been a success. The broken bones are back like they should be.  But this isn’t the end of it.

Like we have seen with Eduardo the most difficult part is lying ahead of Ramsey. At first Eduardo gave the impression of having completely recovered physical and mentally. But after playing some games, after all those little muscle injuries he suffered, you could see there was something going wrong. He began to lose the mental war in his head. I think the departure of Eduardo had a something to do with the official reason that he wouldn’t get enough play time. But I do think there is more.

I think Eduardo said goodbye to Arsenal on the day that Ramsey got his leg broken. Or better said: he said goodbye to English football on that day. An accident can happen, but when you see the same thing happen again, time after time,  you know this is no longer an accident. And the already difficult battle in his head to forget his injury and pain and suffering was lost.

When you saw Eduardo play you could see the fear inside his head. He didn’t dare to put his standing leg firm in the ground when he was trying to score. No he pulled it off the ground and therefore couldn’t direct his shots or lost the power needed to put it in goal.

On that terrible day Eduardo realized that the protection players like him and Ramsey are getting from the refs is non existant. The refs hardly deal with such dangerous tackles and the FA just gives the usual 3 game ban and the offenders get away with it and get backed in the press who tells us all nice and friendly stories about them that only makes me feel sick.

So on that terrible day we lost Ramsey but we also lost Eduardo for good. And yes I realise that in the shape he was, he was never going to be a first choice striker but a fully fit and mental fit Eduardo could have been worth his weight in gold. If you look at the injuries in our striking department you can think that he would have had his chance to prove us wrong and show that he was coming back mentally. And if we just have a look at his statistics in Donetsk he has played 10 games and scored 4. So not that bad at all I would say and if he would have done this for us it would have been great.

But I think the only way for Eduardo to get his career back on track was to leave the EPL and to look for a league where there is less violent attacks on good and technical players. We will see him back in a few weeks and I think the Arsenal fans will give him the warmest of welcomes we can give a former player. A welcome we gave Henry, a welcome we gave Pires. This is what we should give Eduardo and I am sure he will get this. As I think that Eduardo still would be an Arsenal player now and scoring lots of goals for us if it hadn’t been for his own injury. And most of all if it hadn’t been for the Ramsey injury.

I have the feeling that on that terrible day in Stoke we did not only lose Ramsey and Ramsey did not only lose a big part of his career, but also Eduardo said goodbye to the EPL in his head on that day. So let us hope that Ramsey can do what Eduardo could not do and get over his injury and get it out of his head. And just saying you don’t think of it is the easiest part as I can tell it from my own experience. Because on the field it doesn’t matter what you said you will do, it matters what the legs and the brains actually do when you are running there.

Here is a fan that is hoping with all his heart that Ramsey will come good and that he can fulfil the promise he was carrying in him before that terrible day. And let us hope and pray that we don’t lose other players like Eduardo for good and Ramsey for a while with those terrible leg breaking tackles.

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28 Replies to “Ramsey and Eduardo, two lost on the same day?”

  1. A auperb article Walter, as always. Wonder why untold is not No.1 yet 🙂 well they are like THE ARSENAL,not so in the distant future 😉 and i so agree with you on the horrible tackles,watchin it on t.v itself was so gruesomely numbingly painful. Hope to see Rambo soon in action!

  2. Forgot to mention dudu, my bad. After his injury i was really wishing he was playing elsewhere and so he is now. Wouldn’t call him a legend but definitely deserves the warm welcome that so many greats before him got.What he went through, i sincerely hope nobody( including the spud players)have to go through it. FA please wake up

  3. Former Gunner, and Notlobian Midfield General:

    ‘Tackling is just about timing. If you’ve got your timing right, all you have to do is touch the ball. There’s no need to touch anybody’s leg, or break anybody’s leg.

    ‘Some of the players that go in for tackles are doing it to show they are the hardest man on the pitch. But it’s not about being hard. It’s about being able to get the ball, and that’s it.

    ‘Sometime people over-react, but nowadays some people just can’t tackle, let’s put it that way. Simple as that.’

    – From The Daily Heil (tm YW).

    Simple as that.

  4. Hey Guys, As always, intellectually challenging and thought provoking articles. Still waiting on the next liverpool situation update from you guys…
    The truth be told, Liverpool were purchased by a group of shareholders. They have rights and obligations under UK law. I dont see any evidence that they have acted in their own best interests.

    The default purpose for any business in the UK is “to maximise shareholder wealth”. Sorry Liverpool fans, you are merely customers of Liverpool FC, and have no other rights. The only rights you have are to not buy tickets, not show up to games etc.

    The situation with RBS is simple, if the club, or its parent entity default on the debt, then the debt holders have rights and obligations under the terms of the debt and UK law to remedy the situation. They have various contractual and legal rights.

    So while the supporters complain and have sour grapes, that should not have any impact on what is going on outside the pitch.

    Beware of billionaire owners. They tend to be business men!

  5. Great article (it brought tears to my eyes again!). Never stopped to think about that awful day at Stoke too much. Like you said, it also gives me shivers, but as you also said, it’s impossible to forget. You know there are always great and bad things in life. When I look back to all the things we’ve been through, good or bad, with OUR team, – sighs-, I get the feeling that I was meant to be a gooner no matter what. These are the moments when, more than anything, I feel proud to be an Arsenal supporter. I still miss Eduardo, even knowing he wouldn’t have a regular first team role, I think he deserved a chance to prove us all wrong. But seeing him at Shakhtar and scoring, it’s incredible. To all the gooners that will be able to see him (LIVE) next week, please be sure to enjoy that moment for all of us who won’t be there at the Emirates. I’m gonna be watching (ofc!) from far away but – sighs again- I’m already counting down the days for it!!

    Thanks again, for the great article xD

  6. Superb Article Walter!!
    Just hoping that Ramsey comes out strong and better than before.

  7. It’s very sad, Dudu was one of my favourite characters within the Arsenal camp. Just such a model professional and a genuine nice person.

    One thing I will say though, I think Ramsey will pull through this. Part of that is that he’s played in England (well, I know Cardiff is in Wales, but whatever) so I think he’s a bit more used to the sort of tackles that (unfortunately) exist in the League. The other thing is that, he’s still young. When you’re young, you think you’re invincible. Haha. So I think this will mature him a bit, get him to realise what’s important. But oh well. Best of luck to Rambo AND Dudu.

  8. I m in tears right now. you guys doing a great job. i really feel for dudu. up the gunners.

  9. Superb, Walter.

    Some months ago U read the article where you described how your leg was broken, and how you tried to come back and play. Whilst I’m sorry that you couldn’t continue playing football, I admire you for taking up refereeing, and even more so for resisting ‘higher appointments’, partly due to possible “corruptive” elements (if my memory serves me correctly).

    And many thanks for your articles, including those about referee’s and their standards, not to mention UEFA,FIFA, et al.

    Is it my imagination – or did Eduardo come on as a sub at Stoke – following “the guy was so upset, his mum had to take him home”? Did I not see Eduardo come on against Birmingham last time we played the Devil?

    I can tell you: I was more scared than any player on the pitch, so I don’t know how players come back but I’m glad they do, naturally. Whilst I think you’re correct in saying Eduardo may have made up his mind to leave following the assault on Ramsey, one mustn’t forget the whole thing with Celtic and the Scottish FA. What an insult this whole episode was to Arsenal FC. Clubs in England and abroad were given the green light to smash up our players at will – no penalties given – violence, unconfined and unpunished. (Of course it has been going on for several seasons but any previous ‘subtleties’ in said violence – disappered). The negative publicity over Eddy’s leg break, followed by Celtic-gate – can’t have done much for his psyche. After all, he’s an intelligent and sensitive human.

    On the other hand ….. Poor f’ng R’yn: Ah dun nuffin rong and I’ll continue playing like that, I mean; How intelligent is That?

    I guess I’m a sensitive person. I saw all 3 leg-breaks on big screens – Diaby, Eddy and Ramsey. Whether seeing them happen or hearing/reading about them months and years later, a tear or two still come to my eyes. I think this is not only because of the player’s misfortune, but the insane reactions/justifications that continue. On and on and on.

    I wish you very well, Aaron. It might not be easy. You will still get kicked and I hope your leg and brain can take it. I believe they will. I love the fact that you’ve never said that ‘Shawcross’s tackle/attitude’ are OK, because they weren’t. You will be fine, nay, excellent!

    Walter, Tony, and other writers: Thank you for a beautiful site.

  10. “I think Eduardo said goodbye to Arsenal on the day that Ramsey got his leg broken”.

    Wow what a statement. I totally agree with you. I also think Cesc also said Goodbye to Arsenal and the Premier league that day. He knows it is only a matter of time before he will be next.

  11. Very sentimental, a great piece. Who could fail to be genuinely upset for those seriously injured, and not just those close to heart. Many a career has been lost to accidents, just as many to reckless, mistimed tackles, and a few to malicious tackles that clearly break the rules. When was the last time that anyone was injured through law breaking?


  12. you just brought tears 2 my eyes. Its so sad; I loved Dudu so much i rmb that flicked goal on his return?! Wish him all the best, lookin 4wd 2 seeing him again!

    Rambo, oh God help that boy! He showed desire, heart n verve i last saw wit Flamini. Hope he has not lost it. I pray he has nt lost it.

  13. @Finsbury g8 Quote there. Quite true. In yester years we had Viera, Keane, G.McAllister, D.Wise etC tough -tackling guys, midfield hardmen who never broke a leg. Whats happening now?

  14. “I think Eduardo said goodbye to Arsenal on the day that Ramsey got his leg broken”

    Unfortunately I think that is true. Amongst my memories of that day were the ‘oh no not again’ looks on many of the players, some of whom were experiencing those emotions for the third time. I hope the same is not true of Cesc, but to be honest, the way we are targeted; I would not blame anyone who wanted to get out.

    On the other side, I am really looking forward to the reception Eduardo gets on Tuesday. It hopefully will be something special.

  15. well said… and look what heppened few weeks back in the newcastle v man shity game!!! young boy ben arfa got his leg broken in two by de jong,THE ref didnt even show a card.fa didnt tkae no action as yet,atleast dutch national coach had something to say about him and excluded him from the team…believe me every player wants to play in epl,but seeing horible and needless takles like they will think twice coming over here…such a pitty we lost eduardo because of that,he is a super player,but he will never be the same… this has to end asap or we will have to watch fucking ryan shawcross like players in epl…

  16. @RuFusstan,

    Watch any Arsenal Game and see how much Cesc is targeted as the main man for Arsenal. He is kicked all over the park.

  17. Thanks Walter for opening my eyes to something that id never thought of. Im still angry about what happened to Diaby, shocked at the Eduardo challenge but Ramsey’s im still numb. The ruling body that presides over our game, will not learn this lesson.
    However no matter how a manager prepares a team tactically the responsibility as to how a player conducts himself on the pitch lay solely with the individual.
    I like the rules in rugby especially rule 10. It covers all manners of sins that we regularly see in football
    Read for yourself. http://www.irb.com/mm/Document/LawsRegs/0/070110LGLAW10red_667.pdf

  18. Believe me, I know exactly how much he gets targeted. The comment was more in hope that the continual tackling hasn’t got to him yet.

  19. Adam,

    I also always try to compare Rugby Laws to Football since I used to referee Rugby. I particulary love the part of “Repeated Infringements” section which makes a point of stating that intention is irrelevant.

    But of course Football is a man’s game and Rugby……. uh, okay. Hmmm.

    I’ve said it before and I will say it again, to play ANY SPORT without due care and caution for the health of your opponent is NOT being a man. It is being a childish coward.

    We need to hope that the authorities take the necessary action to try and make Football a man’s game again, and not a game for cowards as it currently is.

  20. While I’ve previously commented here that I believe the amount of outright physical violence in the EPL will dissuade talented youngsters from wishing to ply their trade here if the FA, managers, pundits, players continue to tolerate the level of abuse we’ve seen in recent years, Cesc ain’t going nowhere, viz.

    Daily Fail este manaña: “In the end, when I spoke to Wenger he told me no – he was very emphatic, that the transfer was impossible.”


    It is therefore in players’ interests who are adversely affected by this to band together to put pressure on the authorities to apply the rules of the game properly.

    What is the players’ union doing on this?

    Can the players who have had legs broken this season by appalling tackles make a joint statement?

  21. @ paul c. I love the repeated team offending law that states send the player(s) off. That rule would soon sort out a few negative teams.

  22. Adam – I am a firm believer that a sin-bin is a fantastic punishment that Football should bring in ASAP. 10 minutes down to 10 men would deter a lot of the repeated fouling that we see, far more than a yellow card. All a yellow card does is make it necessary for other players to continue with the same policy of foul play. Once guys start to get sent to the sin-bin it will stop in a flash.

    The Football authorities have not yet grasped the simple basic truth that it is EASY to get rid of cheating and foul play. EASY, EASY, EASY, EASY. You simply make the punishment severe.

    A great example I always use is Ice Hockey. Hockey used to be a sport of constant huge team fights, back in the 70’s. In the 80’s they brought in a rule called the “3rd man rule” which said that referees would allow two players to fight until they got exhausted, but the moment a 3rd player stepped into the fray the 3rd player would get a 10 game suspension, immediately, no questions asked or appeals allowed. Mass fights ended overnight and have never reappeared.

    American Football is another example of a sport that puts player safety at the forefront of every rule they implement. Quarterbacks are protected species and you dont mess with them after they have thrown the ball no matter what, even if your momemtum carries you into the guy. Defenders know it and they just dont do it. There is no “intention” debate. It is against the rules and you know you will get penalised heavily if you do it.

    If there was a citing procedure and players knew that studs-up challenges through the opponent would get a 10 game suspension we wouldnt see another one this season. End of problem. Only the most idiotic dunces would take the chance (so maybe Shawcross would still keep doing those kinds of tackles).

  23. Once again Walter, a million thanks for maybe your best ever piece.
    Harking back to another article the other day about the responsibility of journalists – I noticed today that the Sky trailers advertsing the upcoming Merseyside derby seem to major on the bad feeling between the clubs in question and the fact that violence simmers under the surface.
    Totasly irresponsible – but, in truth, probably pandering to the audience that they know they have i.e. British fans who cherish the thought of players ‘getting stuck in’. Maybe we get the football we deserve and people like Alladyce and Pulis serve it up to us. Another reason to support our club and it’s manager and players and all that they try to achieve.

  24. Nice one Paul, i didnt know that about the hockey.
    A refferee once told me a story regarding two teams whom where at each other from the first whistle, Two players got involved in a barney, the ref had finally had enough so he told them both that they had the next 5 minutes to have it out in the center circle and then they could get on with the game. Both players refused to fight so they got on with the game. The ref in question said it turned out to be one of the best matches he officiated no more trouble.
    I just dont understand that if fans can see a way forward, why cant the powers that be. Why are they so scared of change.

  25. I would love to see the football officiated in the same way that rugby is; it would transform the way the sport works. In truth I cannot see it happening. The philosophy of the Rugby authorities is so different from that in football, and it stems from a different take on their responsibility.

    The rules of rugby are written to protect the players largely because it is recognized as an inherently dangerous sport, and its amateur roots have kept a lot of power in the hands of players. Compare that to the history of football with players having been a commodity.

    The FA has never had the pressure to protect players that occurs in Rugby; so they don’t. The rules wont change until that philosophy does. As things stand I cannot see the authorities being willing to give up the power that would be needed to put a rugby-like system in place.

    Firstly they have to trust the clubs and devolve some power to them. That way clubs can challenge decisions, and cite players for serious foul play. The very fact that the FA tend to increase the punishment if you challenge a decision says everything to me.

    Secondly, changing the rules will have no effect without referees that can enforce them. That means professional refs, who are willing to rule the field like a rugby ref (I’m guessing that Shrek would last about 15 minutes in a rugby game). The sin bin would be a great addition, but if the referee isn’t willing to use it…..

    Thirdly also needs a group of refs who take responsibility for their actions. Could our top football referees manage the game not only miked up, but giving a running commentary of all of their decisions over a radio link (and one that can be heard by everyone in the stadium). I know that the refs are on a radio link for some games, but their decisions are never made public.

    Lastly the FA needs to give the referees the support that they need to do the job, whether that is: backing their decisions when they are right, punishing the foul play that they miss, or get wrong, and giving them the technology to help them when needed. I cannot believe for example that the football authorities are still dithering over video decisions, when rugby has been using them for years.

    The irony in all of this is the amateur game is light years ahead of the supposedly professional sport in terms of how it handles the rules. I wish it wasn’t the case, and I hope it will change, but I cannot see the FA doing anything until they are pressured to change; but where is that pressure going to come from?

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