Based in London and writing for a global audience our aim is to produce EliteFootballTalk. Enjoy the site and feel welcome to join in our discussion on the beautiful game.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Reactions of Cesc and Sagna will be remembered

When Martin Taylor flew in late on an attempted challenge on Arsenal's Eduardo it looked a clear foul. Ed went down and the first thing I noticed was that he was staying still. The next thing I noticed was a couple of Birmingham players protesting as if it was not a bad challenge. But then the camera focused closely on the fallen Eduardo with Cesc standing right over him and the young Spaniard's reactions immediately raised concern. There was clear shock and alarm in his eyes and body language followed by exasperated calling for the medical staff to come to Eduardo's attention.

At the moment I saw the distress in Cesc's eyes it was clear that Eduardo had sustained a serious injury. This anguish in seeing his friend and teammate left no room for doubt. There were no replays of the incident. No close-up of the horrifically broken leg. It was the look of Cesc that said it all.

Eduardo's season is over. He will be ruled out of Euro 2008 after being a key player in Croatia's successful qualifying campaign. And there must be doubt whether Eduardo will be able to return to the football pitch.

After resisting I decided I had to view the pictures of this challenge - to see the extent of the injury for myself. And it is truly devastating. The tackle is late and high and I won't even describe the result. I will only say I am left in doubt whether he will be able to walk again.

There are rare moments during football that transcend football. Moments more fundamental than the great joy of seeing a goal go in or the terrible disappointment of witnessing a last minute goal cost victory. Those minutes starting with Cesc's reaction, followed by seeing Ed being attended to by a legion of medical staff as Sky Sports commentators declared they will not show replays because they are deemed too horrific, followed by the cameras focusing on stunned and ashen-faced Arsenal players trying to come to terms with what they had just seen - including Adebayor standing in complete isolation having retreated in shock all the way across the other side of the pitch in an eerie replay of what Peter Schmeichel did after witnessing the horrendous leg break of Coventry's David Busst - that is when you feel you are watching something more important than a football match.

I want to make a mention for Bacary Sagna. His elder brother passed away two weeks ago. And yesterday with Eddie down with a broken shin, fibula and ankle there was the 25 year old right back in his first season at the club crouching down looking after and consoling his distressed teammate. Not only was this fantastic, but then he had another great game afterwards - showing a strength of character that is truly admirable. He is a star to have in the Arsenal team.

I definitely won't be alone in hoping to see Ed come back in an Arsenal shirt. The reception for his comeback will be extraordinary for a player whose team-ethic is fantastic and finishing is super-natural. Just as Slaven Bilic told us about his character upon buying the Croatian international of Brazilian roots - he has proven to be a humble worker for the team and this sort of guy in this ego-infested age is great to see playing in your team.

Our thoughts are with Eddie. Please get well soon.


Blogger MJL said...

Spot on.

Eddie unfortunately wont be the same player again even if he does return - which must be doubtful.

Sagna is f$%king hero. My player of the season just in front of flamini.

2/24/2008 12:31 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eduardo wil be back...the injury was horrific and probably the worst i have seen in my team, Cisse, Diaby, Dyer, Smith, Pires...they all came back, but what will make it different is that Eduardo is a blessed and humble brazilian, who has come through one difficult situation after another. Heis not the kind of player who is going wallow in self pity, or just accept that this is his slice of life. I wish him the best of luck and god speed to recover.

2/24/2008 1:14 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

deepest deepest sympathies for edu terrible injury... I truly hope (like all genuine gooners do) that he recovers well, and i look forward to seeing him play in our red and white again.. I hope he knows that he has earned all our love, respect, sympathy and concern for this awful incident..what will Taylor do to fix this? He should be held accountable, a full investigation into the balistics/motion, forces involved in the incident should be carried out and a serious example should be made of Taylor. If he was adjudged to be less precise/accurate than a premiership pro should be, charges should be brought against him. He should forgoe his wages to Arsenal for the duration of Edu's injury.

2/24/2008 1:15 pm

Blogger RedsMan said...

I dont think the wages point is feasible to a man earning his living but certainly I would endorse an investigation into the technicalities of the incident to establish how accountable Taylor is to it all.

You could apply the 'McEveley test' when McEveley challenged WITH then Liverpool player Djibril Cisse and it was Cisse's leg which gave way rather than anything on McEveley's part. Alternatively or additionally, you could apply the 'Binya test', after Benfica's midfielder Augustin Binya, who could have broken Celtic's Scott Brown's leg with an abysmal challenge upon the shin.

If you have read Law, you may compare these tests to that of Cunningham/Caldwell test of manslaughter. I think such a test in football can help assess a situation and conclude on the accountability of a player. Taylor is faced with a three-match ban. Binya's conduct was seen as so extreme he received twice as much and a broken limb was not involved then, thank goodness.


2/24/2008 2:08 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

video of it replayed from other angle on french tc

2/24/2008 2:26 pm

Blogger RedsMan said...

I haev seen footage of a man riding a motorised kart at 60-65mph who stuck his right foot out to prevent his impact into a crash barrier, which resulted in his right ankle snapping and exposing flesh and bone, I kid you not. The right foot flopped in movement explicitly and I see identical comparison with that to Eduardo's injury. I sincerely hope to not hear nor see anything like that anywhere, much less in football, again.


2/24/2008 2:35 pm

Anonymous Stone said...

I hope that Cesc and the rest can step up now and win that title for Eduardo. That would be the best thing for his recovery, to walk out on the Emirates and get that gold medal.

I also hope that as soon as he feel ready, he will come to stadium before a game and everybody will cheer for him. That way he will see that he is not alone and all of us care about him and want him to get well.

2/25/2008 3:33 am

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the mental health of that beast taylor should also be checked. What he did to Eduardo was intentional and inhuman to say the least. Like Wenger said, this demented beast should be banned from football. All my prayers are with Eduardo. May God be with you and heal you soon.

2/25/2008 8:46 am

Anonymous Anonymous said...

win it 4 eddie

2/25/2008 9:07 am

Anonymous Anonymous said...

win it for eddie

2/25/2008 9:07 am

Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeh... just win it 4 ed

2/25/2008 9:07 am

Blogger Skipper said...

Thanks for the summary T. The Arsenal player’s reaction indeed summed up the extent of the injury.

Eduardo is quite e religious man and I think only divine intervention will make him kick a ball again.

Come back Eduardo.

2/25/2008 11:25 am

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't believe morons like MJL!! How about we look on the positive side? Let's face it, you know nothing about how his body will recover or anything about his mental attitude (which appears spot on btw), so why don't you shut your mouth and sit down.

OK, rant over. I fully admire the way Wenger handled the post match interview. Many teams have been getting aways with murder for too long now, especially against Arsenal. Taylor is obviously a) filthy or b)if you're of the small minority that believe he's innocent, completely uncoordinated; both of which should warrant him never playing professional football again.

Teams causing actual harm like this to fellow professionals should be docked points. Maybe this will cut out the reckless challenges once and for all...

2/25/2008 1:13 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oi, last comment, put a sock in it, twat. You lot kick people just as bad and no one moans now youre moaning funny that you didnt moan when you kicked lumps out of ronaldo andnani what about vannistelrooy????? Shut up moaners

2/25/2008 1:21 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

yawn! Last comment, blah blah, another manc calling the shots. The fact that united have more English players seems to propel them above the law. You sad prick

2/25/2008 1:43 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, mate, we are up there cos we win things, not cos we moan about getting kicked and that rubbish. Thought you could play football? You can do it to others but dont like it yourself. Your the saddo mate cant accept you lost cos you are stopped from playing nothing about getting kicked bucco

2/25/2008 1:46 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

so Fergie never moans, no? Not much! He doesn't even hold interviews after most games cos he's an even worse loser than Wenger! At least Arsene turns up and conducts himself (usually) in a civil manner. The fans have a right to hear their manager, my friend, and what Fersuson does is, frankly, pathetically childish. He's a proper maoner if ever I saw one, still banging on about how the beeb slighted his family. Get a grip man!

Oh, FYI Arsenal didn't lose it was a draw you plum.

2/25/2008 2:00 pm

Blogger RedsMan said...

Listen, Eduardo suffered a terrible injury. It's not about rivalry anymore, it's about the speedy recovery of a professional and international player who frankly anyone wishes to see back again playing as he was. Forget about who moans, for me it's about Eduardo right now because I feel for him and I read his words on the BBC site as to what he recalled, so it was good to hear he spoke, good words, encouraging, determined, as one should be when they get a knock in life. Football doesnt resume until this evening with Man City v Everton so let's reflect on that instead of rivalry.

Secondly, my thoughts on Taylor were made in my own article earlier to this. On reflection, if I haven't mentioned it already, Taylor was not malicious in intending such an outcome from his 'challenge', reckless at best yet malicious in intending to impede Eduardo. I feel he came over to deliberately foul him, possibly catching him by the shin to thoroughly impede him and potentially pick up a booking in the process. I feel he did not intend the injury.

He should, nonetheless, have an extended ban for what did happen because it's the reality of it all. The manner in which Taylor conducted the 'challenge', with studs showing at mid-shin level, is proportionate to Binya, i see very little difference.

I also sense the FA will not see this as an 'exceptional circumstance, as it did with Ben Thatcher's clash onto Pedro Mendes which put the Portuguese midfielder into unconsciousness. I despise the FA regularly because they only seem to make moves if a public debacle is made of conduct on the pitch. No doubt they would say Mike Dean dealt with it and therefore no jurisdiction for them to intervene, as a way out.


2/25/2008 3:45 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

What are you on about? Fergie's been saying nowt about BBC, what claptrap! Wenger moaning everyone kicks lumps out of his lot, he and you should get hold of yourselves and wake up! Premier League, pal, physical, demanding, want to be the best? Then win it and shut up when you dont. Like said, you lot kicking lumps outa Nani last week, did it with Ronaldo, jumped on Van Nistelrooy, and you moan. Think you're elite but youre not cos 10-men and you still cant beat them thats why Gally cries. Muppet.

2/25/2008 3:50 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

FYI, wasnt on about Saturday twat cos you wasnt stopped from playing were you??! 1-2 up Ade-cant-score cant score for peanuts and you then you mucked it up so cry on that! And AC want him??? hahahaha

2/25/2008 3:53 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey manscum folks .. we played against 10-men ? was more like 14-men .. u sure u watched at all ? The craziest part is the two significant moves that gave them goals came from those not wearing blue .. funny, how manu also features in matches we are also playing ...

manscum + english refs association === a supposed title winning combination (but not now after what they done to dudu) .. u lot will end up with nothing ..u watch ..

2/25/2008 7:04 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

God there's more on ere!! More Gooner shite on about Man U when you should look at yourselves! We didnt hurt Eduardo mate so lay off!! If you want all pigeon chested like you can pop down the Theatre and we can shut you up again dont give it large pal six pts is nowt to the Mancs of Red no champs league no title

2/25/2008 10:55 pm

Anonymous alex butterfield said...

What is wrong with everyone?

It's not about Man U. It's not about the result of the game either.

And I'm not keen on all these Arsenal fans who are saying 'win it for Ed'. You really show where your priorities lie dont you. Not with Eduardo recovering, but instead with let's win the title. Of course you want to win, but save it for another day.

The only tragedy is that Eduardo might not play again (although other players have recovered from bad injuries before and he seems to have a good character - is very young still - so I'd expect him to return eventually. Arsenal press release today expects him back in 9 months) And that a talented young player who was key to Croatia's qualification will miss out on this major international competition.

Good luck to Eduardo with his recovery.

2/25/2008 11:31 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I teach martial arts. That type of kick does damage, not intercept moving balls. Intended or not, the tackle was exceptionally negligent and would be considered criminal in other contexts.

Ban the b*****d until Eduardo makes a comeback.

By the way, distill the other comments to this article and in a microcosm, you have the answer to why England and Scotland are not playing in Euro 2008 (and haven't played in a meaningful cup game in quite a long time). Your national focus on work rate, endless running, "getting stuck in", the "cheating" behaviors of other country's teams, etc. all miss critical points. Your national teams have simply fallen behind those same countries in technical skill and tactics.

Football in the UK has become an archaism and your national expectations in this arena are nowhere close to the reality on the ground. Either get a grip on reality or continue on with your national angst and xenophobia.

2/26/2008 12:52 am

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fully agree with comments above (from martial arts teacher).

2/26/2008 6:39 am

Blogger RedsMan said...

"I teach martial arts......Ban the b*****d until Eduardo makes a comeback"

I have practised and taught martial arts myself. Having an attitude like "Ban the B*****d" is pleasing to hear from one who passes on such tuition to others. Tell me you don't train people to just beat people up?

You must have meant to refer to Scotland only, England were in the Euro2000, 2004, WC2002 and 2006.

Banning a player for the duration another takes to return to football is unfeasible. Some players do not return, meaning another professional is banned for life.


2/26/2008 10:13 am

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Redsman: The art is aikido - so you know I couldn't, and wouldn't, beat anyone up. They call it the gentle art for a reason - it's 99% defensive only.

Other than not turning his foot so the outer edge made contact with Eduardo's shin, the kick showed pretty good form ... for karate.

Secondly, qualifying for tournaments is not the same as playing significant tournament games. One World Cup and 0 Euro Cup victories since '66 is underachieving in the extreme for a country like the UK.

Witnessing the successes of Italy, Germany, and a couple of smaller European countries must be a nightmare for England given your arrogance about your history, your league and your style of play.

Watching your FA's rep to the Japan / Korea WC accuse the rest of the world of cheating during a tv interview, was most impressive ... and revealing of a certain national character.

I agree that my ban idea is logistically impossible, but that tackle deserves more than a 3 match ban for Taylor.

Thanks for the response.

anonymous in San Diego

2/26/2008 2:29 pm

Blogger RedsMan said...

Yeah, OK, anon in San Diego. I have trained and taught in kung-fu and have come across obnoxious instructors in other forms of martial arts who view their style as the best and taught mainly to intimidate, particularly to another martial artist. That phrase "Ban the b*****d" made me recall, sounded like a battle cry or a rally for a lynch mob.

Playing in a meaningful cup game for an international team is taking part in tournaments, no? What is a significant tournament game, the semi-finals or the final itself? You cannot leap-frog, you have to go through the preliminary stages to get there. Regardless who you face, you have to overcome to process further. They are, objectively, all significant.

Other than failing to qualify for the 1994 WC, we have been there for the tournaments since. Perhaps you meant having won a tournament?

I dont recall the England FA rep making such accusations, please, I would like a link to a report or article on it. The achievements of other European countries have left us in the shade, no doubt. The arrogance you speak of and the revelation of "a certain character" represents us as England fans as a whole?

I dont have arrogance at all, particularly considering our exit from Euro2008 qualification when we had been given two lifelines by the Israelis' and the Macedonians. I think our players are superb enough to perform much, much better yet unfortunately I wasn't the coach at the time to guide them thoroughly and properly.

Maybe, and I hope so, Capello's appointment can put an different prospective on our play and our players and emit from them the progression which they clearly do have at least individually at domestic level.


2/26/2008 4:49 pm

Blogger T said...

Good discussion Redsman and San Diego commentator. For me the debate in this country about THE TACKLE does betray that our footballing culture is not great. Look at the Croatian reaction - they can't believe the brutality of the tackle. In Italy Roberto Mancini has come out to condemn the tackle. Redsman you compare it to the Binya tackle and I agree with that.

But generally in this country the instinct has been to defend Taylor... and for me this lies in a desire to defend the English way... that of battling spirit and effort over skill. In England we have a lack of 'football intelligence' - and this has been betrayed by the general response to the tackle.

Alex, good comments as ever. Must say think you are misinterpreting the call from some fans and Mathieu Flamini to win the title for Eddie - this simply reflects the emotion to make sure his efforts this season are not in vain and that we can get him a medal... anyway that's how I see it.

As for the petty 'rivalry' comments - they are always unwelcome here... take your playground spats elsewhere.

2/26/2008 10:15 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Redsman: Good, I'm enjoying this, because there are few here (Calif.) who have any clue what we're talking about.

The "ban ..." quote came from the heart, not the head. My family's originally from Croatia.

Living in England and Italy for 20 years taught me to love football. We do what we can to live it here - so I owe you and your countrymen a lot of respect for making this possible. And I lose my cool ( I know I shouldn't) when someone tramples my expectations for how the game should be played and which may cost a player his career.

By the way, I heard a British tv news report that had the physio's not gotten Eduardo quickly into surgery, there may have been a need to amputate his foot. No tackle, no game, no trophy is worth that.

Given the arbitrariness of the pre-WC qualifying, getting there is expected for some, nirvana for others. I too desperately wanted to see England do better than just qualify - to play attractively, to win with grace and style - not the "Dream Team" crapola you get with US Olympic teams.

I also think your your popular media do a real disservice to the sport and its supporters, but that's another thread.

I arrived in England in late '70. The next 20 years, plus or minus, were usually miserable for the England national team, while domestic team triumphed abroad. I see the same cycle being repeated constantly; hence, my comments yesterday.

The "cheating" quote I mentioned from the FA rep was broadcast on tv here during the wee hours. Whoever he was, delivered his comments directly after the initial meeting of the various national reps, directly prior to the start of play.

Thus, I can't provide a citation. I can tell you that my wife and I watched it live and were shocked in the extreme by the insensitivity and arrogance. I know it happened; I just can't prove it.

When I used "you" I meant England as a whole, not you in particular. As for the arrogance issue, this is primarily the responsibility of your media and it's ability to manipulate fans that are vulnerable to same.

The "certain national character" referred to the arrogance that finds way too much so-called "cheating" from foreign teams.

If you and others agree that " ...the England way ... that of battling spirit and effort over skill" (see t's comments), then when foreign teams incorporate things like diving and some of the other BS theatrics to deal with the English tactics, what else do you expect them to do?

After all, your media constantly reminds everyone that you invented the sport and have the best pro league in the world, etc. etc. Too often, the national response to an important defeat or non-qualification, is one of incredulous disbelief and scapegoating, rather than a realistic analysis that leads to change and improvement.

This is the same response I witnessed in 1974, 1978 and later. It continues today, unabated. England really expects to win (despite the recent history) every time they go on the field. This is good to have as a spirit, but not as a philosophy.

If the expectation is absolute, then how does one handle defeat?

So, how does this change? Win an important cup and show the rest of the footballing world you can change a style of play that's doomed to failure.

Yes, you do have the players, and not surprisingly, (as you confirmed) they play better domestically. I imagine that most England fans don't ask themselves why this has been the case, for so very long.

I tend to enjoy the group play rounds of the WC more that the single- elimination rounds. Why? Because I get to see teams play from parts of the world that I may never get to see again. Seeing how culture and physical environment influence style of play is VERY compelling.

Here's a trivia question for you: Has England ever worn a blue national team shirt? If so, when and why did they apparently abandon it?

Thanks once again,

anonymous in San Diego

2/27/2008 12:19 am

Blogger T said...

Great comment San Diego commentator - you are welcome back anytime.

BTW, don't know the answer to the triv question...

2/27/2008 11:09 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks t - I really appreciate the compliment.

As for the trivia (and you should've anticipated this from a Yank) ... England did wear a blue national team shirt. They wore it when they got knocked out of the Uruguay WC (1930?) - I believe the score was 2-0.

They never worn the blue shirt again (given the embarrassment, I'm not surprised)

I believe we may be scheduled to play each other later this year. I'd hate to see England have to stop wearing the red as well!

Those of us here that have been football fans for a long time have had the immense pleasure of seeing an astoundingly rapid growth in the sport here. We've come so far, and from such humble beginnings (you wouldn't believe the venues our national team played in as recently as the early 1980's).

San Diego

2/28/2008 2:36 am

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, I was at the University of London, 1970-1980 (Institute of Archaeology in Gordon Sq.). Finally got the 'ol Ph.D out of the way.

San Diego

2/28/2008 2:45 am


Post a Comment

<< Home


Locations of visitors to this page