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A View From OZ: With Every Negative

In the aftermath of the Birmingham game most of us Gooners have been so focused on the tragic and horrific injury to Eduardo and the media's pompous, xenophobic and unrelentingly Anti-Arsenal/Arsene coverage of the incident that we have, understandably, forgotten to acknowledge the contribution and performance of a much improved Theo Walcott.

They say that with every negative there comes a positive and the first of the three positives I'm about to address is that of the performance of Theo. He stepped up on Saturday when nobody else looked likely and did successfully what most of us have been waiting for him to do for ages, run at defences and use his pace to scare the absolute shite out of the opposition. His second goal was exactly the type I hope we will come to expect from him, and the finish was top notch - calm and inch perfect, even off of his unfancied left foot. Bravo Theo, congratulations on your first premier league goals, may it be the beginning of a shower of them and a long and brilliant career at the Arsenal. There may not have been a better time for the young lad to show what he has to offer as, with Eduardo's injury and serial sicknote's RVP and Tommy Gun still absent, we are short of goal scorers and forwards which will surely leave Theo with more time to shine.

The second positive, is that of the siege mentality we had been lacking since November. Early in the season it seemed we thrived off the underdog tag that had been attached to us by almost every 'journalist' (and I use that phrase very, very, very lightly) in the footballing fraternity. Indeed at that time it seemed every interview with an Arsenal player alluded to this fact and Cesc has reiterated this point again just this week. Maybe now, when we really need a push in the right direction, the events of this week will tip the scales in our favour.

Make no mistake people, our season is very much in the balance. In the next three weeks we are literally playing for our lives - we could still have a good shot at a double, or if things go wrong, an outside chance at the PL title. Heads could be dropping as things seem to be beginning to fall apart at the seams but, maybe this Eduardo situation and the anti-Arsenal, pro-British/United agenda that has been prevalent in the media since Saturday will spur this young side on to great things, and their will to win may be boosted by the belief that they owe the title to Eduardo. There is only two ways it can go from here and I personally, being the optimist that I am, believe that this influx of Anti-Arsenal sentiment could just be the medicine this team needed to get themselves back to their destructive and ruthless form of the early part of the season and push them over the line.

Last, but probably most importantly, I would like to say a few words on Eduardo. We all know this boys character. He moved from Brazil to Croatia as a 15 year old boy - two more different and contrasting environments you would be hard pressed to find - because he was told he was to small and not good enough for Brazil. He fought for 6 years through 2nd and 3rd division football in a climate and footballing style that was incomparably different to that he grew up with and not only went on to became the best player in the Croatian first division and the first ever foreign captain of Dinamo Zagreb but also the key to his adopted nations qualification into the European Championships. His will to succeed is unquestionable, and this same attitude that drove him to Croatia and the hard work that earned him his reputation is what will make the difference between his successful return or inconspicuous departure from football.

Anyone still feeling negative would do well to remember Henrik Larsson, as similar a player to Eduardo as you are likely to find, suffered a horrific double break at the same age as Dudu. He had the same fight and drive as the Crozillian and went on to be a champion for both Celtic and Barcelona. If Eduardo's recovery can be anywhere near as complete as that of Larsson he, and Arsenal fans the world over, will be immeasurably happy. It maybe a long way off but Eduardo should feel happy knowing that when he does return to the side he will get possibly the greatest reception of any Arsenal player ever to take the field, bar Bergkamp at his testimonial. Here's to a good recovery Eduardo, we will miss you!

That's it for now boys, keep positive. It's still our title to lose. Drink up!

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The Journalist

Writer: Ozi Gooner Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday February 27 2008

Time: 3:35PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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Having been in Australia during the Ashes and the RWC2003, and having to listen to the pompous, xenophobic anti-English bile from the Australian press about all things English, and indeed British, the inaccurate portrayal of the British media as someone how being anti-Arsenal is quite amusing. It is the nature of the press of any nation to favour sporting figures that can represent that country.
Bran Mak Morn
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27/02/2008 15:57:00

There is nothing unusual about a partisan national media but it seems ok for you to point out what you see as anti-english but everyone is denied the same right to point out what they see as bias. That seems pretty biased to me. If the English media feels that it is appropriate to favour Taylor as a sporting figure that respresents the country then we really are in bad shape. In fact it is interesting to compare the overseas coverage of this event from Maldini's 'ugly tackle' through the french 'tres dangereux' to the Chinese commentary which exclaimed 'that's dangerous - but that's the English game'. Still best only read the Murdoch rags eh! - we wouldn't want the sensitive souls in the English game thinking that they have anything wrong. It's a mans game after all - shame these foreigners made us give up the fags and booze really.
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27/02/2008 16:12:00

An excellent article ozi gooner I totally agree on our view on the British media, itís the most xenophobic that I have ever come across. Eduardo will come back and Theo will grow now with every game, the 2 goals will give him so much confidence. As for the next three weeks I donít know I think the Saturday game against Villa will be the deciding factor for our season, win that game and we will almost surely beat AC, loose and the team will get a bit deflated. RVP will be coming back in two weeks and Rociky soon after and Toure could even be on the bench next Tuesday so as I said next Saturday is the crunch game, and please feel free to ignore the first post, itís obviously a manure fan trying to stir things up.
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27/02/2008 16:16:00

frankly....for except the time theo scored he was very very ordinary...his crosses were crap...he lost the ball too many still not convinced abt him......but neway the two goals shud do his confidence a lot of good
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27/02/2008 16:55:00

Blatant stealing of my ideas lol! Check my comments on the 'Where will the goals come from?' article. Maybe it's just that great minds think alike :)
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27/02/2008 17:57:00

Bran, I can understand your viewpoint. But seriously, Ronaldo winking at a camera? Dusher's tackle on Beckham. The Swiss ref who disallowed a perfectly good Campbell goal for England? Food for thought.
Little Dutch
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27/02/2008 19:29:00

And on Theo, that first goal gave him visible confidence, he ignored Bendtner who was on for a pass and shot on his weaker foot for the second goal. He will need a bit more of that arrogance.
Little Dutch
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27/02/2008 19:30:00

The only other factor from the Birmingham game was that Almunia's kicking wasn't great and I felt he could have done better with the free-kick first goal. Saturday is going to be massive, all the country's eyes are going to be on us. If ever there was a time for us to go into a quick one or two goal lead, this is it. Going to be very interesting.
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27/02/2008 21:25:00

Picking up on your point Gooner_Vin, Almunia has a bog weakness on free kicks I think. Bale for Spurs, McFadden,there are others that have narrowly missed, but he leaves toomuch of his goal on show for dead balls.
Little Dutch
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27/02/2008 22:04:00

I know, one thing I thought was sort of funny at the Brum game was Lehmann. They showed him as a close up on screen after the first goal, and I've said to my brother 'He will be staring straight at Almuia, the nutter'. Then ten minutes later they showed the whole bench and you could see he was still staring daggers through Almunia while the whole rest of the team were watching the game. He seriously is crazy.
Ozi Gooner
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27/02/2008 22:59:00

Well done again Ozi! Like you I'm an optimist despite - and probably because of - what's happening to/around us. We have everything ready, quality, character, camaraderie (read on that the guys went to visit Eduardo together and actually went bowling afterwards to rebuild the team spirit), siege mentality, a strong reason to win it for Edu. The only thing I'm worried about is injuries. Absolutely don't want to rush back Kolo, RvP, Rosicky and Diaby though. If the midfielders and Theo/Bendtner could chip in with goals, we can take some pressure off Ade which makes it better for him and the whole team. Theo's actually looking not bad at all. The goals obviously gave him confidence and his all-round game's improving, even tracking back to stop an opponent's cross towards the end of the game. I'm rather not sure if Bendtner can Ade can work together, but Arsene knows best. I'm crossing my fingers, toes and everything you can cross.
Lou the Gunneress
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27/02/2008 23:28:00

Way to give Larsson some recognition! Favorite player of all time for me. Whenever he played, you could feel something was going to happen. Very special player. I hope Eduardo has a similar career as I thought he's been playing fantastic for you lot. I'm glad he's out against us Saturday, but wish he could play after that!
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28/02/2008 01:40:00

Good man Ozi, I still look at it positively, and the 2nd point you raised is far more important IMO. The siege mentality is back, and this team is still left with something to prove. Thats when we have been at our best this season. When the pressure's been off, so have we. Although thats an area of concern on its own, right now, I'll back the team to do well, starting against Villa.
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28/02/2008 05:26:00

after a tough week, the dust, hopefully has settled. lets get back to what the fans do best and support the team in the weeks ahead. Wenger will get them to focus again on what they are paid to football matches. bring on villa
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29/02/2008 09:12:00

Great article, Eduardo has an amazing chracter and it's been recognised by all who've watched him play. This season is all about the next two games though and we are good enough to win both. But boy, could we do with RVP back in fitness and form! When he finally returns it will be a massive shot in the arm. I genuinely think the rest of the world seems to have forgotten how well he was playing last year. All the better for us. Go Go Gunners!
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29/02/2008 10:02:00

its a fine article that i quite agree with. Concerning the press, Its one thing to be partisan, its another to support what is wrong blatantly! In my country, nothing unites us like footy, and we will support our players through all, but are the first to admit if our team is not doing well and in some cities would even support the opposition that is playing better!
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29/02/2008 16:35:00

Crap...pure...unadulterated feckin crap....but I guess you lot think its feckin quality
Blue is the colour
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01/03/2008 21:12:00

BITC why do you keep coming if you enjoy nothing on this site? Or is winding up the only thing you enjoy doing? Really don't understand why you keep spending your precious time here. And I'm already thinking why I bother to take note of you and waste a few seconds of my life. Just how can you live off hatred like that? No dig or anything, I'm just very very curious.
Lou the Gunneress
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02/03/2008 21:52:00

Likes to releave his blue boredom i'd guess.
Report Abuse
03/03/2008 15:21:00


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