I still don’t believe that Eduardo got injured while playing in Rome. I’m convinced he is being protected. If my memory serves me correctly it was around this time that he got injured last season. Clubs fighting against relegation start to get very desperate around now, relentless pressure is piled on managers to do what ever it takes to survive and that pressure, in turn, is piled onto the players. As far as I can make out, the unwritten rule is: if you have to break legs to survive — then break them.
Just take the game on Saturday: Newcastle, whose management team is made up of three ex Spuds. Number one spud being in hospital leaving the other two talent less bozos, Calderwood and Hughton, to pick the team and decide upon the tactics.
One of those two gave the instructions to tread on Arshavin’s stitches and one of those two gave the instruction to try and hit him if they could.
Hughton is such an insipid nonentity that I find it hard to believe that any footballer would take him seriously enough to follow any instruction that he gave out; so, I can only assume that the decision maker was Calderwood, which makes sense: Calderwood was a nasty piece of work as a player and so it comes as no surprise that he is a nasty piece of work as a manger.
It is clear to me that the attempt to injure Arshavin was totally premeditated. We were lucky, Taylor could have broken his cheek bone and it is not beyond the realms of possibility that he could have broken his neck.
It takes no great leap of the imagination to conclude that part of the Newcastle pre-match team talk was focused on how to tread on Arshavin’s stitches; that is to say “hurt a previous injury”. So if that was the case with Arshavin what do you think the instructions would have been if Eduardo had been played?
Nothing will convince me otherwise that last season the Birmingham players were under instructions to take as many Arsenal players out as they could by any means possible and Eduardo was the unlucky victim that day. As for whether it should have been a red card: it was a hanging offence as far as I was concerned.