The Jury’s Out: Eduardo…

As the speculation of who will play and who won’t play this Saturday is not the thing on people’s mind, and of course, being Wednesday, there is a lot more time to think about the game on the weekend… In the meantime, we can spend a bit of time examining our squad, and for the players who haven’t performed at the level expected of them, we’ll be doing a new section called “The Jury’s Out”…

Today’s “Jury’s Out” is on Eduardo Da Silva, the Crozilian who was bought as Thierry Henry’s replacement. It pains me so much to see the decline of such a good player, as when Eduardo joined us, his first touch, his vision and his finishing were outstanding.

I remember that every time the player had a chance, he used to score – his accuracy was so high that when he missed the target, we were all in shock. I remember one quote from Arsene, let me share:

“He is growing towards that [fox in the box role]. I must say he has deservedly got rewarded because he had an outstanding December. If you look at the numbers he has 14 starts, 11 goals. That is top, top numbers for any striker anywhere in the world. It is exceptional. And what struck me on Sunday at Burnley was not the goal he did score, but the one he didn’t score. That shows you how big an improvement he has made in our minds because every time he is in front of the keeper you expect him to score now.”

That statement was said in January 2008, just a month before his horrific injury, and it was a statement hat we all believed in. His immediate impact was notable and when he was injured, it was hard to take for the player, the manager and the fans. He returned from his lengthy lay off with a bang scored against Burnley (including a wonder goal) and showing the rest of us that he wasn’t fazed and had come back. But then, the niggling injuries started – something we thought would only last until the end of last season, but in fact, has lasted most of this season.

It’s hard to understand whether or not Arsene has lost faith or trust in the striker, as even when fit, he’s had more bench time than most of the other players in the squad and when we have been stretched for firepower, it’s been players like Rosicky, Diaby and Eboue who have been chosen ahead of him. About a month ago, Arsene did say that he was returning to his best, but since that statement, we’ve not really seen any of him:

“I believe he is still on his way back. He is not completely yet where he was before but the signs are positive. He is getting better and better but I knew that it would take a long time.  Don’t forget that he had a second surgery at the end of last season and that was decisive in getting him back to where he was before because the injury had affected his pace.  After that he had a few muscle problems but now I feel him coming back. For a while he had not found his sharpness completely. However for the last two or three weeks in training he has been showing that he is back where he was before. But it took him a long time.”

Whether or not we will see any more of him before the season is out remains to be seen, but with Van Persie back and our formation leaning to having only one striker, it’s doubtful. If you’ve been reading the news lately, you’ll probably have come across the rumour that Lyon are interested in the player and are preparing an £8m bid. This time last year, we would have laughed at that offer, but this time around, what should we do?

With Van Persie coming back and Chamakh likely to be signed, with Bendtner one of the manager’s favourite and Vela probably more suited to he left attacking role (the jury’s still out on him too), then how does Eduardo fit into the long term plans of the manager?

Has Eduardo lost his touch? Will he ever recover from his injury…?

The jury is out.

  • Berth

    selling edu will be a big mistake

  • Berth

    Improved tactics(having an attacking and defensive formation),discipline and postive attitude should be our first signing before any other follows suit.

  • vj

    i think if he stays he will barely play, he went from being our 1st/second striker to our fourth now (van, B52, chamakh), i like to keep him as back up but if he has to go i dont think too many tears will be shed. the jury is out should look at: rosicky, vela, denilson, almunia, fabianski, arshavin (suprisingly i think, he hasnt performed in a while, maybe hes been injured but he hasnt played as well as he could in my opinion)

  • Berth

    people easily forget that form is temporal and class permanent.

  • Yemi

    @ Berth:
    I think edu should STAY. I actually think for our 4-3-3 formation we should be able to rotate the front 3. He and RVP are both left footers. Chanakh and arshavin right inclined. I think the problem with edu is that the boss has been trying to give B52 a lot of playing time so he can fill the gap left by adebayor. That is why edu is not playing. I would rather have an edu (hoping that the injuries are over) than a B52. Then i’ll have B52 for a plan B just as we see spurs do with pete, bring him in when you need height and strenght

  • vj

    i dont agree yemi id rather have B52 forgeting that B52 is much younger than edu B52’s height has helped us so much this year in that last couple games its been him and campbell only who have performed well i think. Berth straight quote from fifa 10 i see and i agree with you but the question really is if he still has that class cause he sure hasnt shown it at all this year

  • Yemi

    @ vj:
    Don’t misunderstand me. I specifically said “an injury free” edu.
    You seem to forget that he has not had a good run of games. I’d rather have a fit edu than a fit B52, don’t forget “form is temporal and class permanent.”

  • Yemi

    “City, who are ready to offload Craig Bellamy, Martin Petrov and Shaun Wright-Phillips, are also eyeing Milner’s Villa team-mate Ashley Young. (Daily Mirror)”

    I say we go for bellamy (even though he does not have good character.) remember the boss did some wonders on bad boy RVP. Also i think balotelli should be available. He too is an odd one but i believe the boss should be able to handle him

  • Yemi

    Gary Cahill will cost Liverpool or Arsenal a whopping £17m if he leaves Bolton this summer (Daily Star)
    Arsenal are monitoring £10m-rated Wigan striker Hugo Rodallega (Daily Mirror)

  • Nick

    I think Edu is mentally lost. I really don’t think he’s recovered from his leg break and there just seems to be something missing. He made some incredible assists earlier this season but every time he shoots you just know it’s not going in.

    Bellamy I’d love to see at Arsenal merely for his heart. He might have a bit of an attitude but he’s got everything else we need. Pace, grit, loads of talent, & tons of heart. He could teach our young ones what it is to leave it all on the field.

    Anyone else see Mario Balotelli take off his jersey immediately after Inter beat Barca 3-1? He just ripped off his jersey, gave the middle finger to the crowd and stormed off the field. Reports are that Materazzi went after him in the tunnel. He wants out of Inter sooooo badly (mainly because he’s an AC fan). I think Arsene could work wonders on that kid. He’s a superstar in the making.

  • clash

    I dont want any players leaving this season. I want arsene to add upon what we already have.

    Eduardo will get his nick back after a good pre-season prior to the coming up season. I cannot vouch, if he can return back to his best as, off late he looks very jaded and slow. Probably there is some kind of physical problem that needs to be addressed.

    I think people tend to forget that this season, he did put in a string of appearances, where his link up play was excellent even though he did not score enough goals as expected from him.

    I think, it would be a mistake to ship out a player who has a natural instinct of being in the right place to score a goal. Some mental conditioning would help him revive his confidence and his approach towards oncoming tackles.

    He has been very courageous in his rehabilitation process so far. We have seen that Diaby took oddly 3 years or so after his horrific ankle injury to reach where he is now.

    On an emotional perspective it would be callous on the clubs part to ditch a player, who maintained a tremendous record prior to his injury.

  • Francis

    @ Clash

    i agree with you on this one,it will definitley be insensitive to ditch Edu at this stage, unless of course he wants out. For me, my fear is his inability to get of the mental and psychological scars. I’ve seen him pull out of tackles and snatch at shots…when in the past he had the ice kool mentality to just pick his spot.

    As a matter of fact, i don’t think Edu should be the subject of discusiion after all that has happened…remember he is not a machine.

    Ps give Edu a break!!! We can have this discussion next season!!! Not now!!!

  • Francis


    i meant to write… my fear is his inability to get over (and not of) the mental

  • Yemi

    Edu stays !!!!

  • Francis

    I’m happy that Mourinho laid into Barca last night as they had the nerves to complain about refereeing decisions.

    Good point Mourinho pointed out how Barca have been assisted in the past more recently in last yaers semi final game against Chelski. That referee ranks with the worst performance i have witnessed in my life..on par with the ref we had in the first leg game against Porto…and the ref who wouldnt let arsenal take quick free kicks in the return leg against Barca.

    I’ve always said that arsenal needs another David Dein to take care of the political side of the game…bcos football is not won only on the pitch!!! Sad to say, but that is the reality for you.

    Politics permeates every facet of life…including our beloved game.

  • Kuka

    Am leaning towards Clash’s view. Selling Eduardo might be a blander for us. As Berth said, he does have class, and that is irreplaceable. He might not be on form now, but I do not think he has lost it. I do believe that for a top side like ours, you need such players….ala Berbatov, who could do miracles off the bench, or when injuries come in. Would I have Eduardo as my key striker? Probably not. But I would not mind having him among my 5 top strikers.

    ….If we choose to sell players, let us not loose our experienced crop of players. They might just be the gold when things get tough…So I would Keep Eduardo, use him as a key striker in the FA and Carling Cup and super-sub in the PL, as a strategy to rebuild his confidence and form..

  • Kuka

    Good point Francis @ 1:32PM above. We should extend grace to Edu, off course unless he wants out. Last thing you want is a player who wants out…..

    …..Devday:- This is a great start, but Edu is a little sensitive I think, because the memory of what we have of the guy (as you rightly put) is how deadly he is. The injury rocked him and the only way we can experience what Edu had, was by giving him another chance. I would hate to see him rediscover his best at another club….

  • Josiah

    what about when he scored in the fa cup against west ham, that header for me means he has to stay.

  • max

    In all fairness i can see us falling behind to the likes of chavski and spuds. This nutty prof has gone as far as he can with this squad. My question to you all is How much longer must we wait for the promise to become reality? I fear we may never know. The pull of Barca must be getting almost unbearable for Cesc and we all know that it will happen in the next 12 months if not the next three. RVP will also begin to wonder if he could achieve more elsewhere in Europe and a good World Cup for the Dutchman will have Europe’s elite sniffing around. We all know that we need to invest in a new defence and a 30 goal a season striker, but will we be able to hang onto our best assets?

    The defeat at Spurs was hard to swallow, but the weekend’s collapse at the DW was so much worse because of the shameful, gutless way we allowed Wigan to expose our frankly shoddy goalkeeper and defence. For most of the season our forward line and Cesc have carried us to wins and results. But at no point have we looked solid at the back. Without Vermaelen, I doubt we would be in the top six. So as it is election time in the UK, I say, “It’s time for change”. Several first team players must make way this summer.

    Almunia has never been good enough. Simple as that. A new goalkeeper is essential if we are to challenge for silverware next season. Silvestre has never been good enough. Had his best days at United. Denilson has never been good enough. We need players who can pass forwards on occasion and take a hard tackle without falling over like a wounded deer. Walcott has never been good enough. All pace, no end product. He will never suit our style of play. Man City beckons…

    Eduardo is no longer the player he was. This of course is not his fault, but the fact remains he has had a very poor time in the last few months, he looks slow and unwilling to even attempt a 50-50. I don’t really blame him, but how long can we carry a striker who will not put his foot in? Andrey Arshavin clearly is not happy in England. He has openly criticised the squad during the run-in and has gone missing since his annual show at Anfield. Great talent but another lightweight flair player we just don’t need. At least he will be fresh next season, if he is still here of course.

    Unfortunately I don’t see much changing again. Wenger still has a firm belief that this current crop IS good enough to win silverware, when everyone else knows that is simply NOT the case. Possibly a new striker, possibly a new centre half, but little else will happen. Just three months of rumour and counter rumour about Cesc. It’s Patrick Vieira all over again.

    Oh to be a Gooner can be painful…

  • max

    On hearing wenger’s latest load of crap I am not sure which fans hw states he has convinced about his current squad, would that be the clueless armchair ones that only started supporting the club after the like of Thierry Henry joined the club, I have not spoken to one of these so called appeased fans on the terraces where the support counts, the ones that like me, scrape together in excess of £1000 a year on a season ticket not including money spent at the ground on match days, why doesn’t Wenger and the board shut up with the empty promises and start fixing the massive holes in this squad so that Arsenal can challenge on all fronts and that includes the league cup, United managed to win it and keep themselves in contention in all of the other trophies, they are still in with every chance of lifting the Premier league title for the fourth time in succession and they were only unluckily knocked out of the Champions league, whats the differences between United and Arsenal? United build on success, Arsenal sell after success, United have negative equity because they were purchased on loans, Arsenal are the richest self funding club on the planet, United sell a player for £80 million and still manage to succeed because their squad has strength in depth, Arsenal sell two first team players AGAIN and don’t have any players to fill in the voids, how many players do Arsenal have that could walk straight into Uniteds first eleven? Fabregas and van Persie? if you swap that scenario around you will find 9 positions and the same goes for Chelsea and thats why they both beat us with ease with the exception of Arsenal’s game at Old Trafford where United were probably still warming to the tasks ahead, theres a long long way to go Wenger, but well done in ‘appeasing’ the plastic fans.

  • parksy

    Max you begin with a personal assertion, “In all fairness i can see us falling behind to the likes of chavski and spuds.” There is no justification for this, no evidence to be debated, just a personal assertion.

    The next sentence follows in the same way, “This nutty prof has gone as far as he can with this squad. My question to you all is How much longer must we wait for the promise to become reality?”

    This is a common trick in propaganda: set up the assertion, take it to be true, and then demand to know how much longer we will let this go on. It is impossible to answer this question without admitting the assertion, and yet the assertion remains an assertion, with no evidence or logic.

    Indeed this is the methodology in the piece – an approach which I find repeatedly used in most commentaries against Wenger.

    Try this one, which comes next. “The pull of Barca must be getting almost unbearable for Cesc and we all know that it will happen in the next 12 months if not the next three.”

    I can quite clearly say “no” to all that sentence. I am not at all sure that the “pull” is getting unbearable. What evidence is there for this? What this simplistic statement does not say is why Barca appear to be courting Cesc, and knowing that would be but the first step to analysing the claims made here. We also need to incorporate the fact that one interview in Spanish was utterly mistranslated to such a level that it bore no relationship to the original (my apologies I cannot quote the exact source tonight, but we did deal with it in detail on this site when it arose). As one piece was utterly invented why not others? Without examining why Barca seem so besotted with Cesc rather than anyone else, the assertions are valueless, the debate unstarted. Only with such an analysis can we then even make a slight guess as to the outcome. (And one can of course say the same about Arshavin leaving – another story that is in the press over and over again).

    The writer then says “RVP will also begin to wonder if he could achieve more elsewhere in Europe.” Really? How do you know, and where is the evidence? RVP might equally be thinking, ‘God I have been an idiot playing friendlies for Holland, and that’s wrecked my chance of going anywhere else, I’d better stay put at Arsenal and hope for the best.”

    He might also be thinking (and this is a concept that I have never once seen put anywhere in this debate) “I wonder why Dennis Bergkamp stayed at Arsenal, even when he was subjected to a year under Rioch? He became revered at Arsenal and in football, without international games, and for a number of years without any club success. He now has an almost god-like position in the game. I’d like that. I’d better stay at Arsenal.” (And if that sounds odd to you, I would suggest it is no more odd than the assertion in the commentary).

    “We all know that we need to invest in a new defence and a 30 goal a season striker, but will we be able to hang onto our best assets?”

    Here we are again: “hang on to” as if it is desperate stuff. I could write a piece which stresses how every professional wants to play for Arsenal, an article full of them “beating a path to our door”, and “virtually begging Wenger to let them play for Arsenal”, and concluding “how on earth will we ever choose which ones to take and which to disappoint?”

    Such a piece would have as much factual basis as the one on which I am commenting. if there is evidence about players leaving us, then it has to include Vieira and Henry who have had careers since leaving which one can argue have been less than their careers when here.

    Next there’s this: “The defeat at Spurs was hard to swallow, but the weekend’s collapse at the DW was so much worse because of the shameful, gutless way we allowed Wigan to expose our frankly shoddy goalkeeper and defence.”

    What is interesting here is the lack of all context. I am writing this late on at night, and I am working from memory, but I think we had something like 7 league wins in a row, followed by a draw, and played those games without seven of our normal first team squad. That is not to argue that these are excuses for a lack of focus at the end of the Wigan game, but if you are going to make a serious point about events, then context is important. We might also add that this was the first Tottenham league win in 10 years (historically the best run since we started league games against them exactly 100 years ago). And we can add that Chelsea lost to Wigan, so although we should have won, defeat for a top club is not unique. I think Liverpool did too, although I might be wrong.

    “For most of the season our forward line and Cesc have carried us to wins and results. But at no point have we looked solid at the back. Without Vermaelen, I doubt we would be in the top six.”

    Now that is odd. Having ignored the context of the Tottenham and Wigan games we get a spurious piece of context – the “without Vermaelen”. What does that mean? We only play with ten? We put in a five year old boy? Clearly we would have had someone else. The manager had decided to buy Vermaelen, and from what I have read elsewhere, the club would have identified two backups in case Vermaelen didn’t come. So what are we to make of “without Vermaelen”? Without Vermaelen, someone else – who might have been better.

    But let’s try this defence thing: in our opening game we had the team that Wenger wanted, we were completely secure and we won 6-1 away. So what happened?

    Looking at the table today we have let in 39 – a whole seven more than Chelsea. Seven. Yes the worst defence in the top four, but not the worst in the top five since Man City have let in 42.

    And more to the point even without our best attacker most of the season, and with Eduardo getting injuries and Bendtner, Arshavin and Cesc all out for long spells we knocked in 78. From my perspective I would sooner see us win 5-4 each week than 1-0. With 5-4 I might have a heart attack and people will say our defence is useless, but still, it really is fun.

    “So as it is election time in the UK, I say, “It’s time for change”. Several first team players must make way this summer.”

    That is curious again. First, it is an assertion. Second, it is odd because most of the time we have not had most of our first team playing. And third, there is that old point of getting the people we want. To buy a new player the following needs to be true…

    a) the club has to be ready to sell and the player ready to move. Remember we are “hanging on” to Cesc who is apparently ready to leave, so if we can hold on to a player who has already moved in his mind, how the hell do we get players to come to us if the club and/or the player is not minded to move? I think this is a major point – if we can keep Cesc this long, how are we supposed to prise away players from elsewhere.

    b) the club must be ready to sell at a reasonable fee, rather than one that is insanely high, just to put us off. Chelsea and Man C can pay double the cost for a player, but the rest of the league can’t. (Man U and Liverpool did for a while, but that has added to their financial collapses.)

    c) the player must be willing to fit into our wage structure. We have the third highest salary bill in the league, so we are not mean, but if the player says, “I want to be the highest paid,” that could well produce turmoil in the club. Chelsea will do it, because they’ll put up everyone’s money – but they end up with a club for of A Cole and J Terry, and I personally don’t think that’s a very good idea.

    d) all the medical bits have to work. Players can develop problems while they are at a club, which make them less attractive on a transfer. They might be playing wonderfully today, but the medical reveals a doubt. There is a risk – so how much risk do you take. Spend £10m on a player who then gets has endless ankle problems after 3 months, and no one thinks you are clever.

    e) the player’s family needs to want to move and want to stay, and the player needs to be of a type who is ready to settle. England is not everyone’s cup of tea, and there’s no point in bringing in an utter genius who will then not play well because of psychological issues or worries.

    It’s even later now, and I am tired, so I am going to stop without dealing with the final part of the original comment. But I’ve done enough and you can see where I am going. I believe that if we ever are going to have a debate, we need to have some reasoning, not a set of personal assertions. I hope in a small way I have actually illustrated how that debate should work.

  • Yemi

    Edu stay !!!!

    Next jurys out please !!!

    Silvestre goes

    Next jurys out please !!!

    Denilson goes on Loan to bolton to replace jack while jack returns

    Next jurys out please !!!

    One more season for gallas and sol

    Next jurys out please !!!

    Diaby goes on loan to birmingham

    Next jurys out please !!!

    Alumina, flappyhandski go

    Next jurys out please !!!

    Manone ,Cesc, Bendtner, Arshavin, Vermaelan, Van Persie,, Ramsey, Rosicky, Merida, Alex Song, Eboue, Vela
    All stay

    Next jurys out please !!!

    Walcott Impact sub

    Next jurys out please !!!

  • Gooner Get Ya


    have not noticed the new stadium you “real” fans sit in every home game? That is whywe have not been buying players and why we are now the richest self funding club. Times are now about to change for the better now debts are more managable.

  • max

    Gooner Get Ya says on April 22nd, 2010 at 10:33 am :

    Hmm yeh nice new stadium and we play to just compete – not to win anything.

  • Nick

    That’s interesting, according to Forbes we’re the 3rd richest club in the world!
    The Top 20 in full is:
    1) Manchester United
    2) Real Madrid
    3) Arsenal
    4) Barcelona
    5) Bayern Munich
    6) Liverpool
    7) AC Milan
    8) Juventus
    9) Chelsea
    10) Inter Milan
    11) Schalke 04
    12) Tottenham Hotspur
    13) Olympique Lyonnais
    14) Hamburg SV
    15) AS Roma
    16) Werder Bremen
    17) Olympique Marseille
    18) Borussia Dortmund
    19) Manchester City
    20) Newcastle United

  • Prass

    Arsenal can win the league by 1 point.