Monday, July 02, 2007

The low-down on Eduardo da Silva: I'm excited.

First thing's first. For all you commentators out there, it's Eduardo, not da Silva. In the same way it's Gilberto, not Silva. In fact, he likes to be called - perhaps unfortunately - Dudu. Sorry if that's patronising, but it's worth stating from the off.

It's also worth stating that the fee is meant to be in the region of £8 million, not the €24 million that's been quoted in some circles (including the Dinamo chairman). Worth a punt at that price I'd say, and should be covered by any fee received for Reyes, let alone Henry.

The one thing Arsenal lacked last season was goals. Our build up play was superb: we stroked the ball around in beautiful triangles, dominating possession in a sometimes cavalier fashion. But what we didn't do enough, was turn that possession into a concrete advantage. And in doing so, we put ourselves under pressure time and time again. We allowed our opponents to poach a goal, even when our dominance produced almost farcically one-sided affairs. The Beast was meant to be the answer; it's safe to say he was not.

And so what has Wenger bought? An out-and-out goalscorer, something he has not done for some time. What has concerned me most about signings over previous summers - Hleb, Rosicky, Adebayor etc. - was their goalscoring record prior to joining the club. The same cannot be said about Eduardo, who's exploits in front of goal are, frankly, phenomenal thusfar. Last season he scored 34 goals in 32 games for Zagreb; his overall record is 71 goals in 100 games for the club. Moreover, and before claims are thrown about regarding the quality of the Croatian league, Eduardo has scored 7 goals in 12 games for Croatia, including a memorable looping header over a certain English goalkeeper. He's also scored against us in virtually his only Champions League game. In short, his signing is a gamble, but I understand why Arsene is willing to take it, given Eduardo's nose for goal and positional sense.

If you're uncertain about trusting my opinion, have a look at this article published on the Guardian's website a month ago, which features the extremely positive thoughts of Slavan Bilic. He's been recognised as a terrific talent for some time.

What we're getting is someone who lives for goalscoring on the pitch, and someone who can also play on the left-wing. In fact, after conversing with someone who's watched him far more than me, it was suggested that his best position may be on the left, upfront in a 4-3-3 attack. And with Cesc increasingly looking like the future lynchpin of our side in such a system, this could be ideal.

In short, have we finally found someone to help finish off all those attacks from last year? Despite what most of the media will say - that we've signed an essentially unknown Brazillo-Croat - I'm going to trust Arsene on this one. Whether he's the replacement for Henry remains to be seen; I certainly hope one or two more players are on their way in, in any case.

Finally, this article is also illuminating, especially for those who fear Eduardo may be another fairweather player in the mould of Senor Reyes. Eduardo arrived in Croatia from Rio at the age of 17. He struggled with the language and snow, but stayed focused and broke through into the first team. If he can survive the Croat snow, and even learn Croatian, he can survive the British rain, I'm sure.

I've had a few messages from readers who are aggrieved or concerned that we haven't signed an established name, a Tevez, an Anelka, an Eto'o, or someone of that ilk. I'm not going to pretend that I can definitively say that Eduardo will be a success, or that he is of comparable quality to those mentioned. Moreover, Wenger's transfer record is certainly not unblemished, as the signings of Franny Jeffers, Sylvain Wiltord, Christophe Wreh and even Louis Boa Morte will testify. But then again, who was Nicholas Anelka when he came in to replace Wright? Who was Cesc Fabregas? Even Thierry himself was hardly the player he became when we signed him from Juventus. And it's hardly as if the transfer window has shut: we still have a good £20 million to spend (provided we can get a reasonable deal for Reyes). Other names may be on the way.

So let's give Arsene and Eduardo some leeway. I'm excited by the signing, and you should be too.

26 comments:

JJ said...

About time you were excited (in a positive way), after your over-emotional moaning when the Thierry news broke and complaining that nothing was happening the other day!! Have faith

Anonymous said...

from despair to elation in 1 moment,these blogs are great aren't they?

RICKY ROCK said...

Very sanguine and sensible response. I agree with everything you say - except the reference to Wiltord! Sure, he may have been a tad pricey when he arrived but he did a job for us. When you compare how much he cost to that of British players he at least finished with a report card that could be described as "satisfactory" and he will always have my respect for a certain championship winning goal he scored at Old Crapford...

Anyway, with the signing of Eduardo my spirits are once again raised and I am looking forward to the new season. Assuming he can adapt, settle and raise his game to Premiership expectations (and PLEASE let's give him some time to do so before he is written off by Gooners who wanted a "big name"), he looks ideal.

Looking at his goals last season on YouTube, the temptation might be to describe the majority of them as "poacher" efforts. This belies the simple fact that he is a player who knows how to read the game, be in the right place at the right time and most of all knows how to calmly put the ball in the net; when you consider how many opportunities we both created and failed to get a decent effort on last season and then the number of decent efforts that just went for a horlicks, these talents are exactly what we need.

It will be interesting to see what the ideal combination will be. Methinks that playing him alongside Van Persie in the Bergkamp support striker role he was seemingly born for could be the answer (although Van Persie's passing vision has yet to reveal it's potential to match the master). Adebayor's ability to put himself about on both wings could also work well; it will be interesting to see how it pans out for him (not to mention Bendtner) as I suspect that after having such a taste of it all last season he isn't the sort of character who will accept sitting on the bench for long periods ...

Time as they say will tell!

Anonymous said...

I would argue wiltord werent a failure he never lit up the premiership but he was a useful little player!and anelka defo didnt come in to replace henry since he was here before him!!

Lifelong Gooner said...

I never doubted AW, he has the midas touch when it comes to the crunch. He made Henry what he is today, I won't go into all of the other unknowns he has picked up for a pittance and turned into world class footballers. In short AW is a footballing magician, lets see what's up his sleeve for his next trick. God bless Arsene.

Anonymous said...

DUDU, That's exactly what he will be

Goonerboy said...

8.58: I'm an emotional person, what can I say.

Goonerboy said...

9.02: Yes, sorry, have edited the bit about Anelka and Henry.

Anonymous said...

eddy is only the 4th striker.

he is replacing baptista/lupoli. arsene is till targeting etoo or tevez as henrys replacement.

are we really stupid enough to believe an unknown from one of the poorest leagues in europe will replace henry?

stormin normin said...

Eduardo seems to be exactly the type of player we need, and trust AW to rub off the raw edges and turn him into another star.

BUT... can we please stop talking about any new signing as TH14's replacement. We played one way with him in the side, we will play another way to get the best out of our present - and new - players ..... no signing is a 'replacement'... but the right player to fit in with the maestro's plans.

Other than that ... a good blog, and yes.... one signing takes us from gloom to gleam!

Dong Zhou said...

The Times does seem to want to put our new player down, claiming international football is easier then club football, bringing up any half bad buy of Arsene and bringing up that he only touched the ball in the box three times against Arsenal. I wonder why they seem so keen to dampen the fans enthusiasm

I think this lad could be a good buy for us, injuries permitting, all we need now are some wingers and a defence coach.

Anonymous said...

hes shit- hope i am wrong though

Goonerboy said...

If he only touched the ball three times against us, he scored with one of those touches. Not bad.

The Times probably haven't forgiven him for showing up the England team last year.

Dong Zhou said...

Anon 9:49, nobody can replace Henry for Henry is Henry but spending 8 million for a fourth choice striker seems odd when we have so many strikers already, I honestly believe he is a potential first teamer.

Don't forget his record at country level and his excellent header against England.

HC said...

Im worried that no other club was interested in this guy, surely one of the big clubs, with their global scouting system would have him on their radar?

Dong Zhou said...

Remind me how many clubs bid for Veria or Henry when we grabbed them? I think the big clubs were waiting for him to go to a stronger league at a half decent club to see what he did.

Goonerboy said...

PSV put a £4.4m bid in for him.

Shaktar Donetsk (who take on a lot of European Brazilians) and the Spuds were also interested.

Anonymous said...

Werder Bremen saw him as the perfect replacement for Klose. Seville were also apparently interested. He is not completely unheard of...

Anonymous said...

no one put in a bid for him.

for god sake he is 24. if he was so good why didn't a big club come in for him when he was 18?

he was pants against england. if we didn't have mclaren as coach wngland would have won 2 or 3 nil.

i am sick of being duped by the board. my season ticket just cost me 1300 at the emirates. btw he cost nearer 4m just like adebayor cost us 3.2m. he was average last year. stop being taken in my fellow gooners.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous @ 11.32 - since you aren't happy with the Arsenal, perhaps you could take your business elsewhere. You won't be missed.

Several clubs were watching him, but maybe they already had a player like that on their books, whereas he is just what Arsenal need to put away the countless opportunities our super talented team create.

Players like Henry are a one-off and cannot be replaced, what you do is buy a different type of player and play to the strengths of the team overall. I am very proud of Wenger for buying the type of player we need at the right price rather than splashing the cash on a name. Torres at £26 million is as much of a gamble as Eduardo but at least if he doesn't make it Wenger will not have wasted money paying for hype.

Anonymous said...

thats a classic.

i live near the stadium. born gooner and now cannot criticize my own club?

maybe you don't live in london or UK so don't understand the concept of freedom of speech.

harry redknapp buys players like this. we have never done it in the past. btw i also own shares of arsenal.

you are so naive.

Anonymous said...

let's start grabbing those early goals again and stop letting teams start to believe they can get something out of the game. The mental side is seldom addressed yet vitally important.

how many teams think they can realistically draw or win against the top two? thay all just cave in.

Dong Zhou said...

Anonymous @ 11.32- Ian Wright, why wasn't he playing top flight football at 18? Henry wasn't too big a name when he got him at what, his early 20's? Gilberto at 25 or so before anyone heard of him? Why did nobody sign them up at 18! They must be rubbish!

He had a big name in Croatia but with few managers having Arsene's knack of spotting good players on the cheap and the league isn't well known. Few would take such a gamble I imagine when they can sign big names that appease the fans. As for the England thing, your very funny. Sure, against a team who has never lost a home, regular qualifiers for the world cup, we should be thrashing them! Oh wait, no, England are a formidable quarter final team, getting a win there was always going to be tricky. It was a brilliant header, got between experienced defenders and placed in one place Robinson couldn't reach.

Ade has been pretty good, he won't score a lot but he does score in big games, works hard and sets us others up. If Silva gets same amount of goals as Ade then I would be concerned but that is because the two are different types of players.

RICKY ROCK said...

Anonymous 12.43:

Of course you are entitled to criticise your own club ... but it would be nice if you could do it from an informed perspective or to back your comments up with some thoughtful speculation. "Free speech" in all other circumstances is at best just hot air or at worse total bollocks - either way most people don't want to hear it when they are trying to exchange thoughtful views.

As other comments had already pointed out, other clubs were interested in him and had bids turned down ... and yet your only real come-back when this is pointed out to you is that "harry redknapp buys players like this. we have never done it in the past". Do you remember the headlines when Wenger himself was recruited? And how big a player was Vieira or Anelka or Henry when they joined?!

I don't live near the ground, don't have shares and even if I thought these were the main measures of it, I am not interested getting into any dick-swinging contest about who is the "real" fan. But to call others naive in the face of your apparent ignorance of past signings is somewhat laughable to say the least.

gazzap said...

here here ricky rock. what a twat that guy is. Had EDS come from the Spanish league he would have cost 4 times as much. Personally I trust wenger but if you prefer the way other clubs go about their business go and support them instead.

goonerbo said...

check out this detail on DUDU
http://sameoldarsenal.blogspot.com/2007/07/dudu-and-other-signings-croatians-view.html