Tag Archives: Eduardo

On this day: Eduardo da Silva suffers broken leg at Birmingham City

On this day: Eduardo da Silva suffers broken leg at Birmingham City

When Arsenal made the trip to Birmingham City eight years ago today, they did so as league leaders who had not lost any of their last 10 Premier League matches, having won eight of those.

The lead over their closest challengers, Manchester United, was five points, but by the end of the weekend events at St Andrews, coupled with United’s 5-1 thrashing of Newcastle United, saw that advantage cut to three.

Having scored in recent wins over Everton, West Ham United and Manchester City, summer signing from Dinamo Zagreb Eduardo da Silva was starting to have an impact for the Gunners at a crucial time.

However, his season was ended in just the third minute against Birmingham when he suffered a sickening injury. The Croatian international beat Martin Taylor to the ball, but the Birmingham skipper could not stop his follow through as he caught the Arsenal striker on the shin, which snapped his fibula and dislocated his left ankle.

Taylor was instantly dismissed by referee Mike Dean, while the players who remained on the pitch were visibly distressed by what they had witnessed. Following seven minutes of treatment, which included oxygen being given to the striker, Eduardo was stretchered from the field of play.

In terms of the action, 10-man Birmingham broke the deadlock in the 28th minute when James McFadden was brought down just outside the area by Mathieu Flamini. McFadden then dusted himself down to convert the resultant free kick with a curling effort.

The visitors, understandably, appeared to remain perturbed by their stricken teammate, but within 10 minutes of the restart they were in front thanks to young England international Theo Walcott.

First he scored from close range, and then he embarked on a solo run that saw him slot the ball into the bottom corner of Maik Taylor‘s net.

It seemed as though Walcott’s intervention had sealed all three points for Arsene Wenger‘s charges, but as the match entered stoppage time, Birmingham snatched a point.

Gael Clichy hauled down Stuart Parnaby inside the area and McFadden stepped up to power in the resultant penalty, much to the anger of Arsenal defender William Gallas, who sat on the pitch after the final whistle, almost in tears.

While Arsenal had dropped two points in the title race, unsurprisingly it was the injury to Eduardo that dominated the thoughts of both managers.

An unhappy Wenger said: “It goes with the idea that to stop Arsenal you have to kick Arsenal and that kind of thing was waiting to happen. Many people have got away with too many bad tackles. We’ve escaped a few times but it’s just not acceptable. If that is football, it’s better to stop it.

“The worst thing you hear after is that ‘he’s not the kind of guy who usually does that’, but you need to only kill one person one time – it’s enough.”

As for Birmingham boss Alex McLeish, he jumped to the defence of Taylor: “I’ve seen the challenge and, yes, the studs land on Eduardo’s ankle. In slow motion these tackles always look bad, but he’s not a malicious player – Eduardo was just too quick for him. The referee’s done his job, it’s a sending-off, but Taylor’s not a malicious player.”

It was an injury that ruled Eduardo out of action for 12 months, but he struggled to hold down a regular spot in the team upon his return and was eventually sold to Shakhtar Donetsk in July 2010.

BIRMINGHAM: Maik Taylor; Kelly, Martin Taylor, Ridgewell, Murphy; Larsson (Nafti), Johnson, Muamba, Kapo (Zarate); McFadden, Forssell (Parnaby)

ARSENAL: Almunia; Sagna, Gallas, Senderos, Clichy; Walcott (Denilson), Fabregas, Flamini, Hleb (Silva); Eduardo (Bendtner), Adebayor

Arsenal v Burlney

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There’s something comforting about a good, old-fashioned, 3pm FA Cup tie, isn’t there? It’s quintessentially English, I find, with bad weather normally thrown in to the mix too. We’ve certainly ticked all of today’s boxes, as well as a a game against a lower league opposition in Burnley, who will probably be a Premier League opposition next season.

I love it. There’ll be a bit of rain, a bit of wind and a bit of rotation from Le Boss today, which makes sense given the fact we’ve got some tricky league games coming up on Wednesday and then Sunday. It’s Burnley we’ll host and like Blackburn three seasons ago, they pose a potential banana-skin-shaped threat unless we give them enough respect in the team selection. There’s also the traditional pantomime villains that we might see, in the shape of Joey Barton and Paul Robinson, the former Spud ‘keeper. If he plays we’ll get to resurrect an old favourite that I thought had long since disappeared from the Emirates, because apparently “event Tottenham think you’re sh*t”. Barton will be booed because, well, he’s Joey Barton. It all adds to the ‘magic’ of the FA Cup, you know.

To be fair to Arsene, I think he will give our opponents respect today, because I think we’ll see a mixture of squad and first team players. This would be a game in which you’d expect Ospina to play, something Arsene confirmed in his pre-match press conference, but I think he’ll also rotate in Chambers and Gibbs too. Gabriel comes in for Mertesacker and because Debuchy is on his way out, you’d expect to see Koscienly in defence with Calum in at right back.

Midfield will most likely have Elneny get a start, which seems even more the case with Arsene talking up his style of play, so the next question is who will probably play in front of him. Personally I’d be tempted to give someone like Iwobi the nod in the number 10 role, whilst the idea of Rosicky starting really appeals. He has played some reserve football and perhaps is not fit enough, which might then see Ramsey retain his place, but the Little Mozart must surely be given some game time at some stage. He’s right on cue for his late season impact and games like these are always ones in which he is useful. Coquelin too will probably see some minutes I would have thought.

The front three will have Walcott up top and Alexis out wide, I’m sure of it. Giroud didn’t get much game time after being subbed off on Sunday after 20 minutes, so he will be fresh, but we need him for both Southampton at home and Bournemouth away, so i’d ask Theo to try and prove he can at least have a go at wrestling that starting position off of the Frenchman, by having a good game this afternoon.

On the right Arsene has a plethora off options. If Giroud does start he could play one of Walcott, The Ox, Iwobi (if he’s not in at number ten)  or Campbell, but I think Campbell will play on Wednesday so he might be given some time off. Or at least a place on the bench. He’s an all-action running winger and we don’t want him running out of puff by the time the Bournemouth game comes around.

Burnley’s gravelmaster Sean Dyche has already said he’ll rotate with the Championship games in mind, so whilst that might give us a perceived advantage, I’d always be wary of Clarets bearing gifts. They will press us quite hard and try to remain compact, but if there’s an early Arsenal goal, then I’d expect us to be able to put this game to bed with time to spare. If Burnley score first, it will be about breaking down a stubborn defence, so we need to make sure we’re not caught out cold. The excellent tactics column by Michael Cox on the official site gives an insight in to the way they’ll play, which does make you wonder whether Chambers will be risked at full back or whether Hector will play, with Calum moving alongside Gabriel to give Koscielny a rest. If Burnley are going to look to spread the ball wide, then that’s going to be a consideration Arsene will need to ponder on.

There’s no doubt we have the players to win this game, regardless of how much rotation there is, but the winning mindset needs to be re-established after a somewhat poor January. We are getting to the crunch time in the season and whilst the priority is obviously the league, the FA Cup is a competition that has seen us taste the sweet success of trophy victory, so we want to win it again.

If you’re going, you know what to do, if you’re not,then scream as loudly as possibly at your computer or TV. Up the Arsenal!