Eduardo close to return as Arsenal prepare to host Wigan

This is a guest post by sports writer Thomas Rooney

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has revealed that Eduardo could soon be back in first-team action after making a full recovery from the broken leg he suffered in February. The Croatian endured the horrific injury after being challenged by Birmingham City’s Martin Taylor.

However, ten months after the incident, it is thought that Eduardo is closing in on a competitive return. Wenger has said that the striker is ‘joining in full training matches’ and that he will make his first-team return ‘as soon as possible’.

The Arsenal boss wasn’t putting a time frame on when Eduardo will play again, but I imagine that as long as he comes through a couple of reserve team games – we could see him before 2008 is out and that would be a great boost.

During his 31 appearances for Arsenal to date, the Croatian found the back of the net on 12 occasions. There was no doubt that he showed his fantastic finishing ability and the Arsenal fans really began to warm to him before the injury. I just hope he can come back as the same player because ten months out is a long time.

Eduardo will get a heroes reception when he returns though and this should give him a huge confidence lift. He should know that no Arsenal fans expect him to be back to his best straight away. As long as he can start producing some of the quality he showed before the season is out – that would be excellent.

The former Dynamo Zagreb man won’t be involved in tomorrow’s clash against Wigan the Emirates though. The Gunners take on Steve Bruce’s men looking to follow up their previous Premier League victory against Chelsea last weekend. As we all know, it is vital that Arsenal pick up the three points and start to string some results together.

We have said all this before, but this time it is an absolute necessity. The result against Chelsea is worth nothing if the Gunners don’t brush aside Wigan. Even though winning the title is still unlikely, for the sake of the season – in terms of momentum for the FA Cup and the Champions League – Arsenal need to hit some form now.

Wenger agrees with these sentiments by saying that the team ‘cannot afford to drop any more points’ and that they must ‘go for it’ in the coming weeks.

In terms of the team news ahead of this one, the senior players are likely to return to the starting line-up after the midweek Carling Cup defeat at Burnley. Injured duo Emmanuel Eboue and Kolo Toure should be amongst the squad as well.

However, William Gallas will miss out because of a calf injury as Arsenal look to record their first home win in the league since the Manchester United game back in early November.

By Thomas Rooney – A sports writer who blogs about football betting

Theo takes three, impresses on the international scene

Afternoon all,

I’m not the biggest fan of internationals, but I have to say I am delighted that Theo got a hattrick for England in Croatia last night.

Click for video highlights of goals: One, Two, Three

He needs to score more goals for the Arse, so getting a hattrick for England should boost his confidence. Croatia don’t lose at home so the 4-1 drubbing was a pleasant suprise. He commented on his goals:

“I tend to cross those quite a lot. So I thought I’d be a bit more greedy this time.”

He told the press that he just took his chances, after advice from David Beckham:

“Becks told me to be a bit more greedy in the box, then afterwards he said I was probably too greedy!” Walcott said.

“He has been absolutely brilliant to me and he just gave me so much confidence. He’s given me praise and it’s unbelievable coming from David.”

Theo says he’s not getting carried away though:

“I’m not going to get ahead of myself.”

See video interview here.

Praise came from all quarters, scumbag Rooney said:

“He offers something a bit different. He is probably the quickest player I have seen.


“At this moment he is fantastic psychologically and physically.

“It is very dangerous for defenders against Walcott. At this moment, he is difficult to contain.

Wenger on Tf1:

“That’s superb news, he did pretty well for England. But this means I’m going to have to offer him more money (laughs)!”

Great news for Walcott, lets hope he can transfer those goals to the Premiership for Arsenal!

A Cultured Left Foot gives a good roundup of the rest of today’s news.

Eduardo may be back in July for pre-season training!

Eduardo is recovering fast from his horrific leg injury. Every week we seem to get little bits and bobs from his native Brazil on the progress he’s making.

We’ve heard even more recently as Croatia play without him in the Euros. Bilic, the Croatia coach, has now said that Eduardo might even be back for pre-season training at the Arse.

“He is recovering and may even join Arsenal for their preparations. Eduardo’s absence is a handicap, we feel it all the time.”

This would be great news, but the club should be wary about bringing him back too fast, I’m sure they will get it right this time, look at what happened when we tried to bring Van Persie back quickly – he got injured again.

For Eduardo to get back to his best he needs time to recover to 100% of what he had before. This will take a while and it won’t help to rush him back.

Nevertheless, I hope his speedy recovery continues and he is back playing for Arsenal as soon as he is 100% better!

England Fail To Enamour

England just lost 3-2 against Croatia at Wembley. I don’t care about internationals, but I thought I should mention this from an Arsenal point of view anyway. Hey Modric looked good tonight, maybe we can sign him up, if we are in for him?

I won’t say much, I’m not bothered about England at all. The repercussions will be that McClaren is probably sacked, people will be going crazy about ‘so many foreign players in England’ sounding like the Church vs Darwin… Some people inevitably will be targeting Arsenal and Arsene over this…

The thing is the FA have been more bothered about Wembley than building a national centre of excellence, like Clarefontaine in France, to aid the development of players. I hate the crap that is said about foreign players, I think that people need to look hard at the facts.. They need a shock to realise that England are a load of rubbish and they are bloody lucky.

This should have happened earlier. They are not even comparable to N.Ireland or Scotland, or Ireland.. The media frenzy is going to be ugly and pointless.