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Many Silva linings have a cloud

Many Silva linings have a cloud

Some footballing careers are destined not to meet the excitement and anticipation of an obvious talent despite a promising debut. The reasons can be different and varied. Reyes is a clearly talented player who couldn`t settle in the UK. His failure to cope with life here coupled with the disappointment of the unrequited love he lavished on Real Madrid seemed to push his career into the doldrums. His performances for Atletico Madrid this season have shown that he is still a very talented player though and maybe he`ll still earn the plaudits his talents justify.

Other players, equally talented, just become dogged with misfortune. One such career under threat at Arsenal is that of Eduardo da Silva. When he joined in 2007 he was in many ways a typical Wenger signing. A player with a remarkable record in Croatia both at club and international level that the rest of football had largely overlooked. In just 22 starts he had answered questions as to whether he could take that ability displayed in the less demanding Croatian league into the PL with 12 goals and 9 assists before his debut season was cruelly cut short by another player without a bad bone in his body. The clinical nature of his goal scoring plus the intelligence he displayed in creating goals and goal attempts for others marked him out as a player that couldn`t fail to succeed.

Players do suffer serious injury of course and do recover but momentum can be lost and in Eduardo`s case the wave he was riding before his injury just wasn`t there when he returned late last season. Despite that he managed 3 goals in 2 starts with his first goal appropriately celebrated with fitness coach Tony Colbert.

This season should have been the season to kick on then, to show that talent that had excited so promisingly. But a disjointed season interrupted by comparatively minor injuries to himself, but equally importantly injuries to other squad players that meant the options left open didn`t always allow the team the balance to use Eduardo, haven`t given him the opportunities he needed to build up a consistent enough run to establish the consistent form he needs. Frustrating as it is that hasn`t prevented him collecting 6 goals and 7 assists in the 17 starts he has had with an 'attempts created` record also worthy of note.

At the moment it is unclear where Eduardo fits into the squad but while Wenger has insisted he is very much part of his plans for next season, and that he looks much sharper in training, he also acknowledges that Eduardo is at the stage of his career where he needs to play regularly. Though it`s only 6 months since he extended his contract it is important that the player feels wanted and needed and Wenger intends to talk to the player this summer to ensure that he is confident of getting what he wants out of his time here.

"In the last month he looked sharp to me in training,' Arsene told "He had a period where he was in and out, a little niggling injury.

"It was the first full season after his injury. He was a bit disturbed but I think next season should be better for him."

Eduardo is possibly one of the most astute and intelligent players to wear an Arsenal shirt. He has also proved to be a remarkably strong and resilient character. I hope that mental fortitude convinces him that he can still prosper here. At least to see what the effect any other squad changes this summer might make on his participation. It`s not hard to see that he could perhaps benefit playing behind someone like Chamakh for example more profitably than the combinations he has played with this season.

In football, as much as and maybe more than some other spheres of life, time and tide will wait for no man. Football is a short career at the very top and it`s sad that a player, with just a little more fortune, could have had a very different last 2 years plus at something near his peak than the gods have conspired to allow him to enjoy until now. Maybe those same gods still owe him one.

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Date:Friday April 30 2010
Time: 12:44PM


i sincerely hope he stays, it's taken Diaby up until this season to show the same form he was showing before his injury (albeit not consistantly!), i really feel Eddy will regain that composure and form for us again.
30/04/2010 12:50:00
From an outsider looking in i think hes looked poor this season, usually totally ineffective. I think theres a very good player in there somewhere a Robbie Fowler type, whether its the nature of the Prem thats changed where his type no longer suit or whether hes still suffering from that horrible injury hangover who knows, but i thought he'd be alot better for you lot this season.
30/04/2010 13:01:00
It's definately linked to his injury. He looked World Class prior to that day, and now ........ well, he just looks like a shell of a player. If he can get back to his best then he'll be a vital part of our team, if not, well, hopefully he can play some good football for somebody else. Good luck to him though, he's a great player and one who seems to be a good guy to boot.
30/04/2010 13:05:00
I still think there are issues for him with the new formation. He certainly can't play the central point of the front three because that exudes too much focus and involves a lot of hold up play, which doesn't play to Eduardo's strengths. He looks better suited to playing on the left side of the 3 but we have so many options there it is hard to see him ever playing there regularly. His form flourished when he played alongside Adebayor in a front 2 and I believe he plays similarly for Croatia. I wonder if he'll ever get the chance to replicate that in our current system.
Little Dutch
30/04/2010 13:10:00
Such a damn shame he got struck down with that injury. If he hadnt, I think he would have cemented his place in the 1st team by now and would be RVP's established partner in crime. I still maintain that had that oaf Martin Taylor not crippled him, he would have got us some crucial goals that season and we would have won the title and possibly gone further than we did in the C/L. I hope does regain his form and starts scoring goals for us again because it would be so good to see him back in the 1st team. I think AW should stand by him. Ultimately if a few seasons pass and Eddy is still strugling then AW will have to think about offloading him. But give him some time yet, I think he will be back to his best soon enough and will soon be scoring goals for fun.
30/04/2010 13:32:00
His link up play has pretty remained unchanged but his finishing has diminished. Confidence, the new formation, and the injury have all been contributing factors to his poor form this season. I still think we should keep him for at least one more season. Rosicky has had the same problem IMO but because he is a not a striker it gets overlooked, how many times has Wenger preferred Ramsey and Denilson over him.
30/04/2010 14:02:00
I wonder if AW contemplated to return to front 2 again next season with AA23 floating behind those 2
30/04/2010 14:34:00
I think it’s all about his injury because he has lost the cold-blooded focus in front of goal. You could tell before the assault at Birmingham that his finishing was something special and that he had absolute concentration on the task of putting the ball into the net. Now I think he is too aware of the incoming challenges, maybe for a split second before striking, but enough to lose the moment. By all means give him to next January (provided he gets the opportunity to play), but I think we should be looking to offload him if he doesn’t perform. Very sad because I think he has been the consummate professional and an all round good guy. He doesn’t deserve it.
Sir Henry
30/04/2010 14:41:00
The problem for Eduardo is that he is running out of time. Diaby got injured when he was like 19, so had plenty of time to recover but unfortunately time is against him. The body also recovers slower at that age. Im absolutely gutted about Eduardo because he is a world class player and a real team player. Its a pity to see him struggle like this. I believe he is mentally very tough and hope that he will make it at Arsenal.
30/04/2010 14:51:00
You've brought up an issue that has been heartbreaking for me all season long. I think it was Patrick Barclay who pointed out--during the whole Ramsey/Shawcross media debate--that he'd seen in one instance (I forget the game, maybe it was Stoke) in which Eduardo had not gone for a loose ball (or hesitated before going for it) just as a defender was bearing down on it. Barclay said that in Eduardo's first season with us, he had seen Eduardo go for such loose balls with no hesitation whatsoever. Barclay (one of the few pundits to come down against Shawcross' tackle) was discussing the wild, out of control tackles in England and the potential affects of such horrific injuries on players' psyches. Some players go on and have success after horrible injuries but there aren't a lot of them--some never do. I really do think that Eduardo's been struggling not just physically but mentally. He may think he's going out on the pitch with total commitment but I think subconsciously he's still recovering. I've been particularly emotional all season long watching Eduardo, and angry at what English football's done to him. The fact that I've watched his interviews on Brazilian TV is one reason for that. He doesn't have a lot of football yrs left and I wonder if, for his own mental health as well as for the good of his career, he shouldn't just leave England. He showed so much promise, so much of what we've been lacking: clinical efficiency in front of goal. To see that great gift of his taken away from him--and then to see him villified as a cheater and a diver--has been heartrending.
30/04/2010 15:07:00
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