Kicked Out Of The Premiership

Firstly I’d just like to say hello to the readership here at World Of Arsenal. I’ve been a regular reader for some time and, as Dev mentioned yesterday, an active commenter. One of the reasons I keep reading the WOA is the healthy debate in the comments and the quality of the writing – hopefully I won’t let you down!

EDIT: Ooops, I’ve duplicated some of Dev’s sentiments, blame it on a heavy wedding weekend!

As you’ve probably guessed from my title, I’m still feeling pretty terrible about Eduardo’s departure.  It’s probably for the best for both sides as Eduardo is going to get first team football and Arsenal have made some room for Chamakh in the squad. On that note, I realise last season we were stuck for large periods with no recognised striker as RVP was out, Bendtner was out and Vela was looking for his passport – some of you might be questioning the logic of replacing a striker rather than adding one – but even when Eduardo was fit he couldn’t buy his place on the pitch, sometimes even the squad. Why would we resort to playing Arshavin up front on his own, in a position he clearly didn’t want to be playing, when we had the Crozillian on the bench? Because Arsene had lost faith, and on the few occasions he got onto the pitch it seemed that Eduardo had lost faith in himself to. So I genuinely believe this is the best move for all concerned, especially with Jay Emmanuel Thomas shining and Simpson looking like he could be Arsene’s ‘Fox In The Box’ (except not shit like Blackpool bound Fanny Jeffers!).

But I digress – it should have never got to this. It’s not how it was meant to end and largely we have the lumbering man-golem Martin ‘Two-Bits’ Taylor to thank for that.

Eduardo arrived in the summer of 2007 and in his first season, a season where he was expected to take time to settle, made 31 appearances (22 starts) and created 20 goals (12 scored and 8 assists). That is an incredible return for a new addition to a top level team when put into perspective – he played for just 50% of the season, a season curtailed in the most extreme and horrific manner by the aforementioned Birmingham leg snapper. Had Eduardo not been injured on the 23rd February 2008, I have absolute certainty that I would not be writing this post.

Not everyone believes that – certainly it’s been two and a half years since the injury so it’s perhaps easy to forget the clinical nature of Eduardos finishing when he first arrived. The Daily Mail clearly have, with this terrible piece of shit ‘journalism’. Seriously, considering the source of such an ignorant pile of piss, they probably don’t like him because he can’t trace his ancestry back to the druids.

But for every piece of garbage peddled by the media, there is at least one rational mind talking common sense. Pete Gill on F365 sums up everything that is wrong with the Daily Mail article here:

Sympathy is not obligatory or even essential, but there is something deeply unpleasant in such phraseology as ‘he is leaving the Emirates like many before him: with his name almost as badly shattered as the bones in the ankle he infamously broke at Birmingham.’ If the analogy wasn’t so abhorrent, a retort to the intimation that Eduardo broke his legs without outside interference would be worth a paragraph of its own.

If you need any further proof that Eduardo’s career has been utterly derailed by his injury, since his return he has managed to convert just 6.3% of his shots. Before his injury he was converting 23.5% of his shots. Cut those numbers anyway you like, that is a devastating loss of potency.

I don’t want to dwell on the challenge, the subsequent knighting of Taylor as a defender of the British realm by the press and the vilification of Eduardo for a) being broken in two and b) diving at Celtic but clearly this has all helped shape a football size hole in DuDu’s psyche.

The trouble with an injury like this is not just the extended lay off which has visibly slowed Eduardo down but the consistent proneness to injury on the players return. Diaby has consistently had tweaks and strains and Nasri has taken an entire season to get back to full match fitness – both having previously suffered fractures. RVP seems like he might be over the worst of it, but he’s another player who seems to be constantly injured.

Outside of Arsenal, Michael Owen was never the same after serious injury and we’ve seen Torres struggle with every single muscle in his body for Liverpool and Spain this season.

And that’s really what I wanted to address. At the relatively late stage in his career (25 years old) when he was injured, DuDu was never going to be the same player on his return. Whether Taylor meant it or not, he kicked a bright star out of football that day.

Tough tackling has been debated over and over again and I’d prefer to skirt that issue right now – the long and short of it is this:

  1. Martin Taylor broke Eduardo Da Silva’s leg.
  2. Eduardo has left English football because he is no longer good enough to play top flight football on a weekly basis.

Whether or not you support/revile the tough tackling approach (or take both viewpoints depending on whether players are Dutchmen assaulting Spanish players or Birmingham/Stoke players breaking Arsenal players, right Alan Hansen?) the sad fact is that Eduardo has been kicked out of our game, and I promise you that is a very sad loss for English football.

  • Arsefan101

    Excellent piece Kieran!! You’ve hit the nail on the spot with the overall piece. Looking at Diaby, it’s the same issue… I hope Aaron Ramsey recovers and isn’t effected as he is our future captain!

  • devday

    @ Kieran, @ Arsefan101:
    Do you guys think that Ramsey will recover to the player he was, was supposed to be and was going to turn into? After reading the article, the one thing that stands out is that none of the players with serious injuries ever came back to their best….

  • mason

    Nicely written article – i think rambo is stronger in the mind and with having the british breed he will certainly come back stronger – if anything i think the opposition better be scared

  • Kieran

    @ devday:
    I’m fearful for Ramsey, I really am. I’ve struggled to find positive examples of players who have come back from injury to the same standard or better.

    In fairness, Diaby’s injury was awful as well and despite some patchiness and inconsistency has come back and improved.

    The main positive for Ramsey is his age, and also our lack of dependance on him. Wenger is unlikely to rush him back, so hopefully he should have a chance to build up to full fitness and not suffer the injuries that come from rushing back (DuDu, RVP) – his youth hopefully should mean his pace and appetite remain as well.

  • Kieran

    Van Nistelrooy got a really bad injury which postponed his signing for United, came back even better. There you go, HOPE.

  • Yemi

    @ devday: @ Kieran:

    I think Rambo has age on his side (i hope). and nice post kieran.

  • Arsefan101

    @ Kieran:
    The Van Nistelrooy example gives me hope! If an injury happens earlier on in the career, it may recover quicker. Ramsey is 19 right?

  • devday

    @ mason:
    They’ve got to be scared of Diaby, right? He did break Nasri’s leg and Nasri came back from it…

    Just for sentiments sake: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sceZkFJlUmQ&feature=player_embedded (Diaby breaks Nasri’s leg)

  • devday

    @ Kieran:
    I am worried about Ramsey – to be fair, Eduardo wasn’t exactly old when his injury happened – the Ramsey injury is very similar. The fact that Rambo was up and walking so quickly was a good sight – and of course, that Eduardo has recovered to a degree.

    I really hope Ramsey comes back to full fitness and form! I really really do, he’s got bags of potential!

  • Sam

    Nice one, Kieran.
    All we can do is keep our fingers crossed for Rambo and hope his tender age will see him through his injury.

  • Pete

    Good stuff Kieran.

    Both Eduardo and Ramsey suffered serious injuries, but Eduardo’s was worse simply because he completely broke the ankle joint along with his leg break. Eduardo acutually had two serious breaks occur in the same incident. Thats why he was out for a lot longer than wat Ramsey will be. Ramsey’s injury was basicly to his tib and fib bones, the shin, so the so he shouldn’t have any joint problems to recover from. Djibril Cisse and a few other players had similar injures to Rambo and made pretty good recoveries, so it’s encouraging for the young Welshman, but there’s never guarentees.

    Ankle joint breaks are one of the worst injuries a player can have, as they’re seldom quite the same again afterwards. For Arsenal it’s mainly Eduardo and Diaby who come to mind, but there’s a few in the Premier League in recent years you can see as an example of this: Alan Smith Dean Ashton being probably the most serious.

  • Arsefan101

    @ Pete:
    When do you think Aaron Ramsey will be back in action?

  • Kieran

    Djibril Cisse, Larsson and Totti have all played at a good standard after leg breaks.

  • Pete

    @ Arsefan101:

    Double leg fractures usually take up to around 6 months to fully recover, i.e. the bones to completely heal and be back to full strength. His leg was broken in February, so by around August time the bones should be back to normal, if they’re not already. He should have started rehabilitation exercises, so depending how his leg responds to that, he could start his fitness training September, and could be available sometime October. That’s not taking into consideration any setbacks though, however his injury sounds like it was just a simple break, so if all is going well with the recovery, we could see him avaiable around October time.

    It kind of ties in with what Colin Lewin, the Arsenal physio, said on 10th May, when gave a rough estimate of “early autum” for Ramseys return:

    “Aaron will make a full recovery. Other footballers have suffered a similar injury. The surgery went very well and the early signs are very good. We don’t expect Aaron to return until the early autumn. He has some metalwork in there and that provides the stability for the fracture. The specialists have encouraged him to walk and this weight-bearing will aid the fracture healing. It’s early days but the signs are very good.”

  • Arsefan101

    @ Pete:
    Thanks Pete!

  • Pete

    @ Arsefan101:

    My pleasure, mate :)

  • Nick

    Aside from the physical demands of a compound fracture the mental recovery can be just as bad, if not worse as we all saw with Eduardo. I honestly think the lad did Arsenal proud coming back (physically) the way he did. Some players wouldn’t have been able to come back to the level he is at. Psychologically I think he’s yet to fully recover. Rambo is young and has the edge he needs to get back to 100%. He has the right attitude and belief that he’s gonna get back. As was said, his fracture was simpler that Dudu’s and I think the mental aspect of it all will definitely go better than Eduardo. Time will only tell of course but I don’t see him having trouble getting back. He’ll get all the love, support and belief from the Arsenal fans that he could ever need.

    Ruud was a great example of coming back from a serious injury to being top class. I also think it’s a little easier for a midfielder to recovery from one of these injuries than a striker. There is so much ego and attitude to being a top class striker that when you lose that edge you do yourself a disservice.

  • Toni

    Dean Ashton is a good example.. he had to retire.. Injuries are not footballers’ friends and the press should not make it worse for them!!!!

  • Nick

    Very sad news for me since I’m a Real Madrid fan in terms of La Liga, Raul is leaving. Nowhere in the game will you find a more loyal player, captain, etc than Raul has been for Real these many years. Raul scored 323 goals in 741 games for Real Madrid, as well as 44 in 102 appearances for Spain. He’s either coming to the Prem or will go to Schalke in the Bundesliga. He will be missed.

    Guti is also leaving Real. A player I’d love to see come to Arsenal!

  • Kodjo

    @ Nick

    Guti had the chance to come to arsenal a few years ago but pulled out at the last minute. leaving spain and settling in england was tough for him…so thats history…he was supposed to fit somewhere between the depatures of petit and the signing of edu.

    All the best for Edu….

  • tom G

    really well written Kieran, thanks mate.