Arsenal - Mount Dudu Conquers His Everest
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Mount Dudu Conquers His Everest

A little under 12 months ago Arsenal players and supporters looked on in horror as fan favorite, Eduardo Da Silva, lay on a football pitch in Birmingham with his leg shattered and his career in tatters.

In an emotional match that the Gunners went on to blow in the final seconds, Eduardo had been on the receiving of a Martin Taylor high challenge with left his foot seemingly hanging on only by his football sock. Many people (myself included) feared the worst for the player, some concerned he may be lucky to walk again, never mind play football.

Eduardo had only been at Arsenal for less than a season but his work ethic and clinical finishing had made him a firm favorite in the red and white half of North London, indeed everything we'd learned about the player made his injury all the more difficult to bare.

However over the next 12 months Arsenal fans would learn of another Eduardo trait, a trait that would see the Striker pick himself up from the depths of despair and drag himself kicking and screaming back on to a football pitch in a time period few could have possibly dreamed. Strength of mind.

Everyone with even a slight interest in Arsenal Football Club had spent the last 12 months lapping up every article from that gave the slightest shred of information on the recovery of Eduardo Da Silva, and with each article, the dream of seeing Dudu pull on the red and white once again inched that tiny bit closer.

When the day finally came for Eddie to take to the pitch again a massive crowd took to Barnet's Underhill stadium in the hope of seeing the fallen hero stick one in the onion bag once again, he came close, but in honesty it was like watching a cup final just to see him kicking a ball.

Eduardo's competitive comeback came (a little disappointingly for Arsenal fans, but not really ... if you know what I mean) for his International team, Croatia. Dudu came off the bench in a 2-1 victory over Romania and even claimed a hand in the winning goal, the signs were there that his Arsenal return wasn't far away and that the wily striker hadn't lost any of his skill.

When Arsenal drew 0-0 with Cardiff at Ninnian Park, we all scoffed at the side's poor efforts, however it now appears that was a blessing in disguise. A Monday night replay gave Arsene Wenger the perfect opportunity to thrust Eduardo back into the limelight in a relatively low risk game.

Edurado seized his chance with both hands and drop kicked it into the back of the net.

When Eddie played a sumptuous one-two with Mexican whizzkid Carlos Vela nobody was really surprised to see him nod in the return, football has a habit of producing these kind of fairy tales, but the emotion was there for all to see. Eduardo ran to the corner flag, sliding on his knees and accepting the accolades of his team mates, the fans and the watching world.

I didn't cheer when the ball nestled in Cardiff's net, I simply rose to my feet, arms outstretched and nodded repeatedly in Eduardo's direction, almost shedding a tear to match that of the strikers.

After the game Arsene Wenger said of Eduardo 'this guy is small but has the mental strength of a mountain.'

The mountain has now conquered his Everest.

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The Journalist

Writer: Rocky7 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday February 17 2009

Time: 8:52AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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Non football fans often find it hard to understand the emotion we feel when we watch the game but moments like last night perhaps explain it a little better. He looked sharp throughout and so nearly got a hat trick too. I went along to that reserve game at Underhill, more out of amazement that he could play again. But last night he looked his old self. I thought of a few things while he was injured, firstly the mental strength he showed, first in moving to Croatia as a teenager and secondly making the step up from Croatia to the Premiership. I also thought about Henrik Larsson who I would say is a very similar player to Eduardo, who got the same injury and came back stronger. Eduardo has never been a player who relies on pace and the injury won't rob him of his quick feet and his nack of being in the right place in the box- as shown last night. I just hope he can avoid what seems to have happened to Diaby who, since his injury, seems to get a lot of muscle strains. The medical team get a lot of criticism, certainly from me, but credit to them too and credit to the man for not just having the physical courage but the mental courage to make this comeback. I just hope the fans are patient and don't expect AW to play him for every minute of every game and don't be too surprised if he's not involved on Saturday, he is still on the comeback trail.
Little Dutch
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17/02/2009 09:08:00

Goodluck to him I say, he looked impressive last night especially since it was his first game in the first team in a year.
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17/02/2009 09:49:00

I was of course overjoyed when that header went in, in fact when I saw the very well weighted cross left Vela's boot and I had a quick look at Eduaro's positioning, I thought it'd be a goal. But my doubt was wiped away before that - when Dudu tried that cheeky long-range shot from the half-way line and when he put his boot in to try and win a ball in a duel, I thought we were witnessing an extremely tough guy's memorable comeback. You just knew it's gonna be a special night for him and for us Gooners! And like Rocky said in the article, every extra bit of anecdote you know about this guy oozes class and increases your respect for him. The boss was right in saying that he's a very quiet boy, the way he kept a low profile despite all the attention and love he was getting was just admirable. On a related note, I'm also very pleased that we've finally exorcised the demons that've lingered on after that afternoon at Brum. Now having seen a lively and the old lethal Eduardo we had missed, I think we as a team can finally move on and really put the nightmare and the Prem failure behind us.
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17/02/2009 10:11:00

Was great to see him back in action, he looked sharp and took his first goal well, as soon as he was fouled you could see him desire and commitment, he no sooner rose to his feet then he grabbed the ball to say this one is mine. Overall a very entertaining game in which arsenal could have scored a few more.
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17/02/2009 10:22:00

This match was further proof that we should concentrate on playing football. People say we have no "plan b" but I believe that we use it far too much. Too many long balls and direct football. Pass, pass pass and more pass.
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17/02/2009 10:24:00

Spot on. When the team line up was announced, the biggest cheer was reserved for No.9 Eduardo. There was this huge grin on my face when I heard on the tele. I was just happy to see him back, and this is certainly a fairytale comeback. This lad is mentally tough, there is no doubt about it. In fact, that same point was made on this forum a few weeks back when people questioned whether he would come back the same player, but that has been answered comprehensively. Kudos to the medical staff, and Tony Colbert. They have done a fantastic job in this case, lets hope this provides them with a bit of inspiration and they can work the same magic with Rosicky.
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17/02/2009 11:02:00

If ever a player deserved a better nickname than the rather silly tellytubbyish Dudu it's Eduardo. It sounds far too soft a name for someone with such mental fortitude. The game was all about Eduardo but the effect on the team as Tom points out above is that they all played football with much greater invention and subtlety, Bendtner included, and we looked so much better for it. Eduardo played a full part in that. We'll face tougher competition but I hope in future we can continue to use the rapier instead of the cutlass that we have relied on far too much of late.
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17/02/2009 11:36:00

When he need come in Arsenal some of you was sceptical but I told how great he is. not just like player also he have great personality. I don't now nobody in Croatia who don't loves him. he is great great guy and great 'fusball spieler'.
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17/02/2009 12:34:00

I did shed a tear and all I could think of is what a person. His footballing ability and his two goals don't come close to the achievement of stepping on the pitch again and playing again, they are just cherries on the top. I have to say that his comeback wasn't as big of a surprise for me as soon as I saw him on crutches smiling. The speed of the recovery though, is absolutely amazing. The reason why I say that his recovery wasn't a surprise is because as some of you might know, when Dudu arrived in Croatia, he had nothing. He even slept in the Dinamo Zagreb dressing room, and on top of that he suffered a bad knee injury upon his arrival which made his future look rather bleak. He did come back though, he went on loan, started banging in goals and Dinamo took him back and the rest is history. An inspiration and a true role model, that man Eduardo.
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17/02/2009 12:41:00

and don't forget one more thing....England in Zagreb win becouse you were better team but Croatia without Niko Kranjcar and Eduardo is not so good and becouse that see you in London :))
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17/02/2009 12:43:00

Add to that Arshavins possible debut and Cesc, Walcott and Rosicky to come back in the near future (Rosicky? possibly not then) and we have a serious choice of weapons in the firepower derpartment. The timing couldn't be better.
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17/02/2009 12:53:00

I was following the text highlights on BBC from my phone, and I cheered (almost out loudly, had to contain myself, it was past 11 in the night, my neighbour has a little girl), when I saw the scores were 1-0 (on the ESPNsoccernet site), and cheered loudly this time when I went back to BBC and saw it was you know who. Needless to say, I didn't sleep till the game was over.
It's nice to have Eduardo back. Problem is, with him back (now Arsene can call him a "new signging" if he feels like it!), and with Arshavin in, I have a sneaky feeling we will go on a run, finish the season strongly, qualify for the CL, finish say less than 10 points from the top, maybe even 5 or so, maybe win a cup (or two, who knows), and then Arsene Who? will feel there's no need whatsoever to strengthen the team.
Trust me to moan, huh?
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17/02/2009 13:07:00

Hehe Gaga you're not alone - the kick-off was 3.30am here, and I couldn't sleep till like 9am! :D Options are a great thing, now the Eboue and Diaby bashers would be happy to see the midfielders back too. :P
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17/02/2009 13:24:00

The thing is Gaga, IF Arshavin shows that he fits in with the rest of the team and we keep Cesc over the summer, we really don't need anybody else with regards to attack/creative players.
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17/02/2009 13:55:00

TPowell you are spot on there but I would welcome a world class defensive midfilder or centreback.
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17/02/2009 14:30:00

***biting lip***
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17/02/2009 14:33:00

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Croatia's gain is Brazil's loss. I would dearly love to see Eduardo on our national team but it was not to be. I'd trade Adriano for Eduardo any day. I too applaud the work our medical team did but you're all forgetting the intense work Eduardo did in Brazil--he spent months there at a sports therapy clinic being treated by doctors who've often worked with injured players from the national team. In Brazil there was regular TV coverage of Eduardo's therapy sessions. Yesterday was a day off for most people here in the US (President's Day) so I and some gooner friends watched the game at a local "soccer bar." Fans of many of other clubs were there as well. It was like everyone forgot their club loyalties because everyone cheered both times that he scored--and again when he left the pitch. It was a fanastic atmosphere, must've been incredible at the Emirates.
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17/02/2009 14:47:00

Oh, and I wasn't the only one in the bar with tears in my eyes.
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17/02/2009 14:48:00

haha, I'll say it for you Tom... Denilson has improved at an unbelievable rate this year. Admittedly, I was unimpressed with him for the first couple of months this season, but he has really developed into a quality player. Maybe its just abnormally good form, but for me (and Tom) he is worthy to be Cesc's first choice partner.
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17/02/2009 15:34:00

kudos to the medical teams in brazil and arsenal. and especially to the man himself to get over the psychological hurdle that must weigh on him since the injury. this game was a fairytale, lets hope it influences our season and lead us to more memorable victories.
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18/02/2009 01:28:00

Jaelle, well said. I think most football fans have put aside their hatred to support Eddy. We Croats love him and I always told my friends, who scoffed, that he would prove to be good enough to play for Brazil oneday. But Brazil has so many great strikers and we need him more. He's nowhere near the finished article yet but that killer finish never leaves you, as he proved yesterday. Thank God he's back because that was one of the worst days of my life last year. And it wasn't just about football but because he's such a great guy. It's impossible for anyone not to like the guy, even spurs players love this guy. Well only Modric and Corluka.
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18/02/2009 02:10:00

Good to see him back. I say this as a Manchetser United fan, I was so pleased when he scored. This sort of thing is not about who you support, this is what's good about football. Welldone Eduardo - good to see you back.
Man utd champions
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18/02/2009 14:08:00

Little Ed- what a player, what a man. Was so proud of him on Monday; a credit to himself and his club. How we can use him now after such a disappointing season.
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18/02/2009 14:34:00

MuC, thanks for the good sentiments, much appreciated. Amazing to see how Eduardo manages to make so many transcend club partisanship.
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18/02/2009 16:17:00

It was a GREAT night for all fans of Football!! Welcome back Eduardo!!! I was lucky to actual be there, and sang with the rest of the fans in singing his name.
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18/02/2009 17:59:00


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