Arsenal Transfer News: Eduardo Da Silva Leaves Arsenal

Joseph MillardCorrespondent IJuly 22, 2010

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - AUGUST 15:   Da Silva Eduardo of Arsenal celebrates with teammate Emmanuel Eboue (R) after scoring his team's sixth goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Arsenal at Goodison Park on August 15, 2009 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images
As expected, we got confirmation yesterday that Eduardo has left Arsenal to

join Shakhtar Donetsk.

There can be no question that he goes to the Ukraine with the best wishes of everyone involved with Arsenal Football Club.

Eduardo joined Arsenal in the summer of 2007, a period of transition for the club following the departure of Thierry Henry.

Arsenal fans had seen him briefly before as he scored the first goal in European competition at Ashburton Grove. He scored for Dynamo Zagreb in a Champions League qualifying match, which Arsenal came from behind to win 2-1 on the night.

Eduardo's performance was enough to attract the attention of Arsene Wenger, who took the necessary steps to sign him the following summer.

It took a while for Eduardo to establish himself in the Arsenal first team, but by the beginning of 2008 he had staked his claim, goals flowing as he repeatedly demonstrated his trademark composure in front of goal.

His celebrations were always remarkably contained, those of a player who simply felt he had done the job he was put on the field to do by scoring.

With Emmanuel Adebayor at his best during that season, and Eduardo showing the signs of a real top class talent, Arsenal looked to have overcome the departure of Thierry Henry with a minimum of fuss. Eduardo was attracting praise and admiration from all quarters, and his future in an Arsenal shirt looked very bright indeed.

For better or worse, the defining moment of Eduardo's Arsenal career came in the opening minutes of Arsenal's league game away at Birmingham City in February 2008.
Eduardo was played in during the opening exchanges and Birmingham defender Martin Taylor threw a tackle at him that was so violent, and so thuggish that it broke Eduardo's leg and dislocated his ankle.

Make no mistake, it was a disgraceful "challenge," and the repercussions for Eduardo continue to this day.

Whilst Eduardo suffered in hospital, Birmingham City, their fans as well as those of other clubs, and the English media raced to the defence of Martin Taylor, "He's not that kind of player" they wailed.

Nothing has quite so effectively shown the ignorance of the English media, and the fans that give them credence as the reaction to Eduardo's (and later Aaron Ramsey's) injury.

They made a mockery of what little pretence they had of hoping Eduardo (who is after all foriegn) recovered by turning the incident into a witch hunt against Arsene Wenger and Arsenal because we as a group dared to criticise a "good old English lad" like Taylor, whose only crime after all, was to recklessly endanger the career of a fellow professional with a brutal, cowardly act.

But as I say, Eduardo is foreign, what it would have mattered to them if he'd never even walked again, let alone played football?

Arsene Wenger was severely criticised for his post-match comments that Taylor should "never play football again," yet he retracted those comments a matter of hours after he said them.

It's a shame Taylor couldn't do the same with what he did to Eduardo. were completely correct in the statement they released yesterday on Eduardo's departure when they said, "Eduardo's recovery from his injury sustained at Birmingham City in February 2008 is a testament to his strength as a human being," that he came back and still has a professional footballing career is a magnificent achievement in and of itself.

He returned to the side almost a year on from his horrific injury, but as often happens with long term injuries, his return was interrupted by niggling injuries that kept him out for a few weeks at a time.

Nether the less he still managed to score one of his finest Arsenal goals, a volley on the outside of his foot, against Burnley in the FA Cup shortly after he came back to fitness.

At the the start of the 2009/10 season, Eduardo was again at the centre of a media storm, after he earned a penalty against Celtic in a Champions League qualifier.

I was present that night, and indeed had a better view than most of the incident and I could see at the time that the Celtic goalkeeper had attempted to pull out of the challenge and Eduardo had gone down, attempting to draw the foul, but failing because of the goalkeeper's quick thinking.
Unfortunately for Celtic, the referee did not see events in that light and awarded the penalty.

Eduardo did nothing that professional footballers don't do in every game, every week.
He tried to draw a foul, which is not the same as diving. The penalty was of no consequence, because the tie was already beyond doubt in Arsenal's favour.
But these things don't get in the way of a good story for the English media.
They conducted a character assassination of epic proportions on Eduardo, over a protracted period of time.
This, the same media that ignores Wayne Rooney's constant cheating, constant swearing and abusing of match officials, the same media that ignores Steven Gerrard's repeated diving using the "starfish" technique (If you don't know what I'm talking about, just keep an eye out for it next time he does it, it won't be a long wait I'm sure.) finally had a nasty old foreigner to pin the blame for the evils of football on.
They grabbed that opportunity with both hands.

Sadly, Eduardo never recaptured the tremendous form that he showed before his injury, his trademark composure seemed gone during his last season with Arsenal, and his confidence seemed to seep away with every game he played.

He was reduced to a bit part player, and it was clear Arsene Wenger was very reluctant to play him. A new start has seemed to be the best option for him for a long time.

Some stories in football are great, and I think Arsenal fans really wanted Eduardo's to be a great story—to come back from the terrible injury and to be better than ever. I know I desperately wanted to see him shake off the effects of the injury, and latterly of the "diving" incident.

Unfortunately, this was not to be a fairytale story, and now Eduardo is off to Shakhtar Donetsk for a new start.

I think it's for the best, and I still hope he'll go on to have a marvellous career. It's just terribly sad that the chance of him having that career with Arsenal was taken away by an act of absolutely abhorrent violence.

Good Luck to Eduardo, I'm sure I speak for all Arsenal fans when I say we wish him all the very best for the future.

In other news today, Arsenal played their second preseason friendly last night, a comprehensive 3-0 win over Austrian side Sturm Graz. The performance was less than inspiring for long periods but there were nether the less a few things to remark on.

Samir Nasri provided the first two goals, and he looks quite eager to play some football after missing out on the World Cup.

He looked sharp and played well.

Jack Wilshere showed us what he's learned at Bolton by earning the only booking of the game for persistent fouling, and Emmanuel Frimpong looked like he found Sturm Graz a little more taxing than Barnet.

Personally I was most impressed by Jay Emmanuel Thomas, who seems to be about ten feet tall and three feet across. He caused the Sturm Graz defence a host of problems and looks like quite the prospect.

From what I understand he can play almost everywhere, but on the strength of last night's performance he's a centre forward and no mistake about it. I'm looking forward to seeing what impact he can make in the rest of preseason.

So, that brings us to the end for today, once again all the best to Eduardo.


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