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'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.




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The Journalist

Writer: Tim Stillman Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday December 17 2008

Time: 9:58AM

Your Comments

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!
shewore
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 well...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
number14
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.
Gunnerman
That's why i'm saying we should boo Rosicky on his return!!
shewore
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.
Rocky7
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.
iceman10
lol...shewore...i hope thts supposed to be a joke...anyways i'll treat it as one
number14
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!
Rocky7
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.
Amos.
Hmmm - seems he has a hamstring strain that'll keep him out for a couple of weeks.
Amos.
Best not rush him back anyways. @Rocky - like Ace Rimmer - What a Guy!
Gunnerman
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!)
GoonerLou
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
Changes afoot. http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/arsenal-holdings-plc-board-restructuring
Little Dutch
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.
Amos.
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.
paul_ownz
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.
prits
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.
prits
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. http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/hill-wood-on-the-changes-at-arsenal-holdings
Amos.
"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
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
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.
Amos.
Hear Tommy might be making a come back hmmm LD you may have to bare your bum
alwaysgunner
 

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