Arsenal - A Reason To Feel Positive
UK time is: 12:10:04
Vital Login
Social Login

Choose your club

Other Sites

Network Navigation

Vital Partners

'If It's Football, It's Vital'

A Reason To Feel Positive

With mixed results, a captain publicly admonished and stripped of his colours and the fall out of the Ebooooooooue scandal still ringing in our ears over the last month, there has been a fair bit of introspective naval gazing in the Republic of Arsenal. But last night a light hit the gloom amidst the dense Hertfordshire fog. Ordinarily, there is no good reason for a man in his twenties to sit freezing on his own on a December Tuesday evening at Barnet`s Underhill Stadium, but this was no ordinary reserve fixture. As evidenced by the fact that, in the hospitality box to my left, Dennis Bergkamp and Tony Adams stood side by side to take in the game. Two pillars of Arsenal history stood side by side, you can imagine the reception they were met with. But even they were mere sideshows for the main attraction.

I don`t often attend reserve fixtures, in fact I think this is only the third one I have ever attended, but I suspect the crowd is not usually as raucous and the numbers as swollen as last night. I sat in the Barnet Kop behind the goal and come kick off time there wasn`t a seat to be had (a shame for those of us hoping to stretch our legs out). The Kop literally rocked to the sound of 'Eduardo da Silva Arsenal`s number 9` for about 90% of the first half. Having been at that fateful game at St. Andrews in February, watching his comeback was as much about suspending my disbelief as supporting the guy, but I suspect the 45 minute run out was a good deal more cathartic for him than I. Save for kicking the game off, it took a few minutes for Eddie to get his first touch but when it arrived from a cleared corner, the rickety old ground was rocked to its foundations with the punters acclaim. It was like an inverse Eboue.

He understandably took a while to adjust to the pace of the game, though when played upfront, he was always the type of player that would look detached until the ball came into the area. The sort of player that would touch the ball three times on a game and end up with four goals! Though it`s fair to say nobody applied a crunching challenge on him, he did not look at all hesitant or perturbed. Right at the end of the half, he nearly conjured a fairy tale goal. Merida pulled the ball back from the left; Eduardo showed the instincts have not been dulled by finding some space, setting himself before curling the ball goalwards. But Bergovic in the Pompey goal proved to be the ultimate party pooper with an excellent fingertip stop. It kind of reminded me of when Robert Green saved Martin Keown`s penalty in the Arsenal stalwart`s testimonial. He was replaced at half time as a precaution, but the run out will have done him the world of good, mentally as much as physically. It`s been a remarkable comeback and one I doubted he would make as he lay prone on the St. Andrews turf, but it`s important we don`t apply too much pressure. His rehabilitation is not yet complete and I have taken issue with several blogs in the last few weeks provocatively trying to proclaim "Eduardo to play next game" etc. This was very much one small step, but it signified a giant leap. The young Gunners went onto win 2-0 with goals from Randall and Gibbs, lamentably for my part, I saw neither. Given that I reside some miles South of Barnet, I withdrew twenty minutes before the end (well, it was free to get in). In truth, I`d already got what I came for.LD.

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The Journalist

Writer: Tim Stillman Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday December 17 2008

Time: 9:58AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
The geezer's fast on his way to entering Arsenal modern time 'cult' status. Can't wait for his return, i was hoping it'd be boxing day but i'm a bit apprehensive now....wish i went last night!
Report Abuse
17/12/2008 10:08:00

Its an indication of our inadequacies as a team at the moment...I hope he can come into the side soon. We could have done with his abililty in those sort of games where we found it hard scoring - fulham/stokes/hull etc...I wish we were expecting Rosicky back as it is now I think 2 choice signings in january and who knows...its just that quality signings arnt exactly readily available..welcome back Edu
Report Abuse
17/12/2008 10:21:00

Dudu was rapipdly becoming one of my favourite players before his injury, as was Rosicky. Wierd that Eduardo, whos leg was pretty much snapped in two, is back before Tomas. But I'm delighted he's back, he looked sharp on his run out and although it's the first step, it was a massively encouraging one.
Report Abuse
17/12/2008 10:33:00

That's why i'm saying we should boo Rosicky on his return!!
Report Abuse
17/12/2008 10:35:00

What a man. I couldn't actually believe I was watching Dudu play last night, and his mental state looked top notch. Brilliant brilliant stuff.
Report Abuse
17/12/2008 10:38:00

Great to see the guy back. A lot of the players in our team should take on board the mental strength Eduardo has and use it as inspiration. I think he may well suffer from niggling little injuries as his body adjusts to top flight football again so any minutes he plays this season for me are a bonus.
Report Abuse
17/12/2008 10:38:00

lol...shewore...i hope thts supposed to be a joke...anyways i'll treat it as one
Report Abuse
17/12/2008 10:39:00

Oh, I forgot to mention Eddie's crunching tackle he put in aswell .... I had my heart in my mouth for a second or two!
Report Abuse
17/12/2008 10:42:00

Good to see him back. He is such an intelligent player. He doesn't really solve our primary need in wide midfield but he certainly contributes to the creative side of our game with a decent assists record to go with his goal scoring feats. Could be some way into the new year before he gets any real competitive action.
Report Abuse
17/12/2008 12:25:00

Hmmm - seems he has a hamstring strain that'll keep him out for a couple of weeks.
Report Abuse
17/12/2008 12:43:00

Best not rush him back anyways. @Rocky - like Ace Rimmer - What a Guy!
Report Abuse
17/12/2008 14:54:00

It was fantastic to see Eduardo back - we'd all feared if we could even see him in red and white again. Yeah Rocky my eyes almost popped out when Edu put in that tackle. Such a tough guy. Also agree with Iceman - it's not only about one player's mental strength now. I've been hoping that just to see him on the bench and then playing some part will give the entire team a big lift. The younger players will have learnt a great deal from the guy. Then hopefully we'll have our confidence back and truly put the Brum nightmare behind us. And yeah Amos, really hope that 'minor' setback is as minor as they say - it made me think of Rosicky when I read the word 'setback'. (Knocking a big piece of wood!)
Report Abuse
17/12/2008 16:47:00

I didn't really read it that way at all, they said he felt a slight tightening and took him off as a precaution. Eduardo himself alluded to the Plymouth game, hence the 'two week' comment, there isn't another reserve game for two and a half weeks. I don't think it was a strain, I think it was a precaution because he felt a tightening. He also said he needs to train a bit more, which suggests he will be fit to do so.
Little Dutch
Report Abuse
17/12/2008 16:54:00

Changes afoot.
Little Dutch
Report Abuse
17/12/2008 17:30:00

Yeah I read about the board changes. I wonder if there is any significance in that Lady Nina is resigning from the boards of both companies. Does that affect the lock-down in any way? Or I am reading more into it than it needs? I find very brief statements suspicious.
Report Abuse
17/12/2008 17:54:00

As of September 2007, Lady Bracewell-Smith owns a 15.9% stake in the club and is the third largest shareholder in the club. It worries me where that near 16 percent will go.
Report Abuse
17/12/2008 18:01:00

Fantastic to see Dudu back. I saw the highlights of the game, and he had 1-2 chances. Came through largely unscathed, so this met my expectations of Dudu in his comeback game. Now for him to build on this and put in more appearances to target a 1st team return by end-Jan.
Report Abuse
17/12/2008 19:32:00

My only concern with Lady Nina resigning is the impact on the lockdown, as it was initially announced that the BOARD has signed a lockdown agreement. With her no longer part of the Board, is she still bound by the agreement? I'm sure Fizsman or PHW will explain that in a day or two, but they could have easily save this question (and some speculation which the media is sure to stir up) by announcing the impact along with the oh so brief statement.
Report Abuse
17/12/2008 19:34:00

It seems your wishes have been answered swiftly prits. PHW has just released a statement. It seems Lady Nina is released from her lock down obligations. Maybe her shares are now in play. Interesting to see what happens next.
Report Abuse
17/12/2008 20:33:00

"Ordinarily, there is no good reason for a man in his twenties to sit freezing on his own on a December Tuesday evening at Barnet`s Underhill Stadium".................................... Why do you keep mentioning your age?
Orange Quadrant
Report Abuse
17/12/2008 20:58:00

OQ, why do you keep mentioning where you sit? *shrugs apathetcially*. As for the important matters, part of the lockdown agreement was that those party to it had to offer their shares to others party to the lockdown. Are we to assume nobody wanted them? The lockdown has always been flimsy in a legal context, with not much more than the moral pitfall of breaking a promise preventing the members of the board party to the lockdown selling to outsiders. Is this a Gizadis move or has it been in the offing for a while? It seems things are destined to be unsettled at the club on apermanent basis this season.
Little Dutch
Report Abuse
17/12/2008 23:03:00

With Kroenke, the board still represents enoughof the shareholding to to be fairly stable. Lady Nina seems to have played everything alsong lines that suit the wishes of the majority of the board. Chances are if she sells it will be to a 'friendly' buyer. We'll find out in time I guess.
Report Abuse
17/12/2008 23:43:00

Hear Tommy might be making a come back hmmm LD you may have to bare your bum
Report Abuse
18/12/2008 06:32:00


Have Your Say

Log in...
with your social network     OR     with your Vital account

Recent Arsenal Articles

Infographic - Most Fouled....Sánchez (Wednesday November 25 2015)

Stats: Arsenal v Dinamo Zagreb (Tuesday November 24 2015)

Match Preview Arsenal vs Zagreb (Tuesday November 24 2015)

Archived Arsenal Articles

List All Vital Arsenal Articles
Have your say
Click here to suggest an article
Click here to suggest a poll
ScoopDragon Premier League Network Sites

Vital Members League (view all)

1. Naijagunner 21
2. Galway Gooner 14
3. Wyn Mills 5
4. 0716389009 4
5. Guyfox 2
6. phreddy 2
7. Nwankwo25 2
8. Afcdc 2
9. Pat Rick 1
10. Will-i-am10 1

League Table (view table)

Team P W D L GD Pts
1. Leicester City 13 8 4 1 8 28
2. Man Utd 13 8 3 2 10 27
3. Man City 13 8 2 3 14 26
4. Arsenal 13 8 2 3 12 26
5. Spurs 13 6 6 1 13 24
6. West Ham 13 6 3 4 4 21
7. Everton 13 5 5 3 8 20

Arsenal Fixtures (view all)

Breaking League News

Infographic - Man City With And Without Key Duo
» Man City : 25/11/2015 11:50:01
Burchy's View - Sunderland (h)
» Crystal Palace : 25/11/2015 11:42:00
Mourinho Lambastes Maccabi Pitch!
» Chelsea : 25/11/2015 11:32:01
Terry Extremely Doubtful for Spurs Game
» Chelsea : 25/11/2015 11:31:01
Seven Don`t Travel To Qarabag!
» Spurs : 25/11/2015 11:20:00

Current Site Poll (view all polls)

MOTM vs Dinamo Zagreb
Suggested By:  
Cech 8%
Bellerin 0%
Kos 0%
BFG 0%
Monreal 0%
Flamini 0%
Cazorla 0%
Campbell 6%
Ozil 60%
Sanchez 26%
Giroud 0%
Debuchy 0%
Rambo 0%
Chambers 0%