Will Arsenal’s Eduardo Rise To The Occasion?
By Jonny Payne
Arsenal striker Eduardo will return to the ground where he leg was horrifically broken tomorrow in what will surely be an emotional game for the Croatian international.
Signed from Dinamo Zagreb the previous summer, the striker had forced his way into the team with some impressive performances, scoring 12 goals in 22 games. With Arsenal leading the title race, but with Emmanuel Adebayor struggling for form and Robin van Persie out with injury problems, the Brazilian-born player could have fired the Gunners to the Premier League title.
The match at Birmingham soon put an end to both the aspirations of the player and the team, however, as a strong challenge by Martin Taylor resulted in one of the most gut-wrenching leg-breaks seen in football. With Arsenal’s players in shock, Birmingham scored a late equaliser and Arsenal’s title challenge tailed off.
Wenger has not spoken to the Brazilian-born striker about his return to St.Andrew’s but he said:
“There is not a lot to say I just think that he will have to face certainly the fact that he returns there, he’ll have to face some articles about it and he has just got to prepare his mind to deal with that.”
Despite scoring a sublime goal against Burnley soon after his return, and a handful of important goals so far this season, Eduardo has not hit the form he had been in before his injury. Fans and pundits alike have suggested that the striker is now more reluctant to challenge for the ball, lacking the fearless attitude that is needed at the top level.
Wenger, however, insists Eduardo has no problems in regard to his mindset.
“Of course it certainly has a weight in his mind emotionally, but part of a career is to show that you have that mental strength to deal with those kind of situations and Eduardo has a lot of mental strength. He can deal with that but overall we want him to go back there and just win our game. That’s the only way you can deal with that situation.”
“It’s like if you drive every day somewhere in your car and one day you have an accident, you cannot after that not go the same way any more, and you have to live with it. Life goes on and it’s only one time in the thousand games he’s played that he had an accident. It was at Birmingham but it could have been anywhere else.”
With Nicklas Bendtner a minor doubt, Eduardo may well play some part in tomorrow’s match, and with Arsenal needing all three points, who would bet against the Croatian scoring the all-important winning goal?
Will Eduardo rise to the occasion? Have your say below….Occasion
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