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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 Arsnal.com. "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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The Journalist

Writer: Amos Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday April 30 2010

Time: 12:44PM

Your Comments

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.
DBerg
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.
HuddersfieldYiddo
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.
Rocky7
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
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.
True-Gooner-Blood
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.
gronedrone
I wonder if AW contemplated to return to front 2 again next season with AA23 floating behind those 2
MrE._Man
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
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.
Sajit
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.
jaelle
I think it's particualrly sad jaelle because in the back of our minds, we all know that Ramsey is going to have to face the same demons. I hope Ramsey's relative youth is on his side, but none of us really know how he's going to come back either. That really is a quite trying thought to us to have, but one that will have been nagging all of us I'm sure.
Little Dutch
Absolutely LD, if a guy as mentally tough as Eduardo is having trouble fighting these demons one truly fears for Ramsey. And Ramsey is such a brilliant talent -
it is all so unfair.
Sajit
Its strange because he looks really good off the striker (agree with everything LD said) and he looks a handy wide player on either side. I have a feeling the 433 will stay next season, so I doubt he wil, get much chance to play centrally, especially with Chamakh looking to take up the central area with Arshavin and van Persie flanking him (creamed myself...). I like the guy, but I would sell him for his own benifit.
Tom14
It's a sad, sad case for an Arsenal fan, also would be a lot mor frustrating for himself. Knowing you're better then how you're playing and being in that sort of funk is soul crunching at any level! I really hope he can rebuilt. Also Rosicky, between Eddy and Rosicky there is a world of talent just trying to show but not finding the right path. So much respect for them both.
FuiKaka
Exactly, LD - Ramsey's recovery has been nagging at me ever since his injury. So many of us always said "well when Cesc goes, we have Ramsey to replace him." Since his injury, we've all had doubts if that's true now. Yes, he is younger, we can hope he'll be luckier than Eduardo, that he'll respond quicker. But it's just all very worrying. Sometimes I wonder if all this has an effect on potential transfer targets for Arsene--do some of his foreign targets think "not Arsenal, I don't want to have my leg brokem." Also, LD, I agree entirely with your point about Eduardo's compatibility for Arsene's new formation. I think he'd struggle in this system even without his injury--tho probably less so.
jaelle
He's still got time.
Tony Rocky Horror
This is going to sound very harsh but I do not mean to be, I get that he will now hesitate going into tackles with the same enthusiasm that he previously did and with good reason, but he really has to snap out of this otherwise the goals he will score for us will be few and far between i.e. simple tap in's, one on one's etc. Pretty soon he is probably going to be in a situation where its him and an opposition defender going for the same ball and it all will come back to him what happened previously, but he must be strong enough to come through it. I am not for one minute suggesting that he go in all guns blazing and throwing caution to the wind, he has to be careful obviously as another similar injury will be a disaster, but at the same time it unfortunately is part and parcel of the level of physicality in the EPL. The midfield and his strike partner will only be able to protect him so much in situations. I pray that he comes through it and recaptures the form that made him such a deadly striker and I would absolutely love to see him pick up a few EPL and (god willing) C/L medal before he calls time on his Arsenal career. He will deserve it all the more...
True-Gooner-Blood
It would have been nice if the media and the teeth knashing masses had shown a modicum of sensitivity towards him after he 'went to ground'. Providence has picked Eduardo out to suffer, but he'll recover in his own time. And he'll be a better, more knowlegable, more sensitive person for having been on his journey. More well rounded than the average BMW driving, groupie spit-roasting, club bothering, perma- tanned prem playing dullard.
Tony Rocky Horror
I think you guys all made some valid points. What I meant to add - and Jaelle and TRH have just mentioned - is that dive thing against Celtic. To be desperately unlucky and incredibly strong to come back is one thing - which he indeed did, if you try to remember, at the end of last season and the pre-season games, up until that Celtic game, he was nothing short of brave and strong, determined to be back at his best, especially after making his scoring comeback. It's the Celtic complaints, the press that came as a second blow that cast a huge shadowin his psyche I think. It's bound to have some ups and downs on his way back. When he's on the up, he got that. He's having strong commitment going into challenges, etc., but at the back of his head he'd naturally be a bit cautious in those situation. Just once he went down slightly easily and the sort of treatment from Celtic fans and the press struck him down, almost leaving the 'cautious' approach not an option for him. It's downhill since then. Who can blame him for being in two minds now? This is exactly why I was *almost* as angry with the press on the Celtic incident as on the Brum one. I absolutely hate them for ruining such a great player's career. Sorry about the long post. Rant over - but I still certainly think Eduardo's career isn't. If he wants to get a fresh start in another league to be away from the thugs, fair enough, so be it. Only he can decide what's good for him, as none of us really knows what he's been through.
GoonerLou
Great post, TRH, very much appreciated. TGB, no need to apologize for your post, nothing wrong with it, I think we all agree with it.
jaelle
Yes that *****ed me off royally as well. When you have suffered such a horrific injury, the bone is not going to have the same versatility as it previously did and the tibula and ankle are clearly important in terms of balance. It didnt occur to the media that perhaps Eddy just simply lost his balance and wasnt diving or looking for a penalty....no they just saw an Arsenal player dive and got their knives out and made Eddy out to be a cheat. Eddy is a very honest guy from what I can see. Remember against Wolves at Molineaux, he took a shot that went in off Craddock's head (if I remember correctly), the guys immediately went to congratulate him and he immediately waved them off and said it was an own goal. It probably would have been put down as an own goal anyway but the point is that he was honest and he is not a perenial diver or cheat as he was made out to be...
True-Gooner-Blood
Exactly TGB. To suffer such a career-threatening injury was cruel. To be branded a cheat after such a small incident, while you see that sort of stuff literally every single week, is incredibly unfair. 'Benefit of the doubt' has consistently been afforded to the likes of Gerard, nothing of the sort was given to Eduardo. Why? You figure it out.
GoonerLou
Yep I've always felt the 4-3-3 will leave Eduardo firmly on the bench in games of substantial magnitude. To be honest I think Eduardo's intelligence goes against him here. Some players who have had similar injuries but still throw themselves into tackles and go hounding after loose balls may be brave, but, let's face it, most are just plain stupid. To have missed 2 years of, as Amos mentioned, an extremely short career, should be enough to stop a player engaging in the activity which caused the injury, but the less pensive players will probably just go with their instincts. Eduardo used to be a highly instinctive player, but after the injury I don't doubt that he was angrily questioning why he went for the 50-50 with Taylor when he was lying in hospital, and I think that regret has taken an edge from his game, which could have something to do with his poorer finishing, too. Again, many footballers may end up reaching the 'right' conclusion through the 'wrong' methods - mindlessly throwing themselves into everything on the pitch just because they haven't taken acount of their past experiences in their minds - a trait of stupidity, which may work to aid some footballers. I know that all sounds very loose and far fetched, but it wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if this was the case.
ArsenalRob
The Eduardo dive controversy was the most blatant display of press driven xenophobia in recent footballing history. Eduardo's penalty was a 50-50 decision in which there was proven contact between the defender and Edu. It was a routine decision by the referee which happens nearly every week in the Premier League. When actual dives have been taken by players after the Eduardo episode, the press and commentators have brushed them aside with phrases like - "He won that penalty" or "He was light on his feet in the box".

Eduardo is too senior to be a fourth choice striker at the Arsenal next season and will probably even lose out to Walcott in the impact substitute stakes. Seeing him move on to another club will be a very sad day. It is a real possibility however with AW hinting that he will speak with him about his future. Also as LD pointed out, dudu is not at ease in a 4-3-3. Best of luck to him. Hopefully he'll return to a semblance of his old self wherever he goes.
Deltaforce
Honestly, I dont think the dive affected him that much. Wenger and Arsenal stood firmly by him throughout the whole episode. Its all because of Taylor.
Sajit
Talking to ATVO Eduardo says he prefers to be on the left or on the right rather than in the middle, but it's 'easier' for him in a 4-4-2: http://www.football365.com/story/0,17033,8689_6126172,00.html
GoonerLou
I dont think his poor form has anything to do with his injury. We saw him after he just came back from injury last season, and he looked top class, just like he did before his injury. This season, however, the new formation, niggling injuries and poor form have cost him. I think (and hope) that he will come back strongly.
prits
He has lost a great deal of pace,used to be lightning quick,cant blame him though injury does that.More games will get him leaner & quicker.You should look into pavlychenko,the partnership he could strike up with arshavin...
Chelsea24/7
As much as I like Eduardo, I can't see a future for him at Arsenal. A fox in the box player needs to be able to finish, and he seems to have lost that clinical edge. Even if we do revert to a 4-4-2, he still has too many strikers ahead of him in the queue. Which is a shame because someone like Chamakh would probably bring the best out of him. He should be loaned out or sold for his own good; maybe to Ligue 1 or back to Croatia, where he'd no doubt still be in demand.
krismon1
 

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