this guy is small but has the mental strength of a mountain

Come give me a kiss you big hairy man

I love it when I’m wrong. Not only do you all get to gloat over me and my negativity but when I’m wrong it almost always means that something unusually good has just happened. Yesterday, I was wrong. Oh boy was I wrong!

Granted, it was a very safe prediction to say that Wenger would play Denilson out right, rather than bring Vela on — it’s what he’s done time and again, so I wasn’t exactly going out on a limb there. But Wenger doubled down on the surprise lineup changes and handed Eduardo his first start since Martin Taylor nearly ruined his career — and I don’t think anyone seriously saw that coming.

What a difference that change made. Those first 20 minutes of the game were a blur. I can’t remember the last time I saw Arsenal get an astonishing 9 shots in the first 20 minutes. Every player on the pitch seemed revitalized, alive, full of piss and vinegar. In short, the Arsenal that everyone wants them to be.

I want to say that it was as if just having Eduardo on the pitch sparked the team into action but the reality is that Dudu made great runs against the Cardiff defense, opening them up in ways that we haven’t seen so far this season. He also linked play expertly, putting in nice little passes to his teammates that more than once should have earned Arsenal a goal.

And then, of course, after the flurry of shots came the moment that I will remember for a long time: Eduardo collected the ball on the wing, dribbled in to the center, played it out to a streaking Vela in support, who one touched the ball over two defenders as Eduardo lept up, floated for a moment, said a prayer, cured Eboue of his retardation, and nodded the ball back across the box and into the net. The sky opened, angels cried, grown men kissed, and the burden of a million dour Arsenal supporters was lifted.

It was a miracle and, truth be told, I nearly wept.

Some other stuff happened in the match, I think Bendtner got a lucky goal, and Eduardo added a third on a PK, and uh… van Persie capped the night off with a goal in the 89th minute but what I’ll remember is the goal. To come back after nearly a year out because some talentless hack got his timing wrong, and score in your first first-team appearance is about as special as it gets.

After the match, the boss was effusive with praise for his LaNS (like a new signing), saying

I am not surprised he played well tonight. I didn’t play him as a reward for his excellent work; it was because in training over the past few weeks he has done extremely well. He made a big step forward two weeks ago when he found sharpness in front of goal and in his runs and he got rid of his apprehension in the tackles.

Of course it is nearly 12 months out and he has been extremely strong mentally during that time, I could never see one minute of doubt in his mind or one minute where he said ‘no, I don’t want to do it’. He always wanted more and this guy is small but has the mental strength of a mountain.

He is intelligent, talented and he understands what is happening quickly. He responds very quickly to every situation. That is why he is a striker. He is a quiet boy. He is very, very quiet – he is focussed but of course very happy tonight

Of course he’s very happy, all of Arsenaldom is very happy tonight!

It’s funny, too, as I look over the day’s news stories, it’s as if that goal and that game shook the pillars of heaven and the shackles of negativity fell aside. Amaury Bischoff, one of the most contentious of Arsene’s signings, came on and got his first appearance for the club. Fabregas indicated that he’s only 10 days away from practice and absolutely itching to get back into the game, having shaken those blues of January where he claimed he was basically sick of football. Walcott is looking ready to put pen to paper and secure his Arsenal future for 5 years.  Atalanta beat Roma 3-0 heading into next week’s Champions League clash — their first defeat in 8 matches. Bendtner even denied the quotes attributed to him in the papers!

What the hell happened? Why am I suddenly so optimistic? Could it be that St. Eduardo’s Emirates Miracle lifted the dark cloud that has been hanging over the club for the last year?

Can one goal do that?

I don’t know, but it was a very special goal.

14 Comments on this guy is small but has the mental strength of a mountain

  1. What a goal by Eduardo! The team did seem reviatlized and it was great to see the team running so clincially (besides Bendtner, how did he miss that open goal!)

    I am too fairly optimistic and excited for the rest of the season. Once one of Walcott, Fabregas or Rosicky (not likely) come back we will have a bevy of attacking options to choose from. Just imagine:

    Almunia
    Sagna, Gallas, Toure/Djororu, Clichy
    Walcott, Fabregas, Arshavin (denilson), Nasri
    Eduardo, RVP

    Bench: Fabinanski, Toure/Djororu, Wilshile, Rambo, Roskicky, Denilson, Adebayor.

    What a quality team! We dont even have space for eboue and bendtner!

  2. U were right, i think the dark cloud over arsenal has cleared.And our quest for trophies just became clearer and more possible.

  3. What makes is so special as well is his reaction and celebrations. He understands the moment and how important it is for him and Arsenal. After the first goal he seems to want to cry with joy and his teammates share that same feeling. After the second goal, he goes to the man who helped him get back.

    A very touching game to watch indeed.

  4. As if returning to the beautiful game after a supposedly career ending injury was not enough, Eduardo goes on to net twice in his comeback..i dont care if we go on to win the league, coz no moment this season is gonna be more special..congratulations to dudu and i hope the rosicky enjoys such a moment too

  5. yep hes back and ye it nearly did bring a tear to my eye, very emotional and has to be one of the greatest moments in arsenal history, we just need to get him games now, he wont start on saturday, im sure itll be van persie and bendtner, with eddy and andrey on the bench, were 12 games unbeaten now and we need to be consistent we need to keep this up, i know we gona do something special, and with walcott,fab,tomas,ade to come back, we look a force, and on bendtner lay off the poor guy, yesterday he was one of our best players, his link play and attack play was top class, but yet you moan cause he missed 2 or 3 chances, give the guy props where its due, he had a great game, scored a goal, we won 4-0, eduardos back now bring saturday on.

  6. Definite lump in the throat moment.

    I was watching it in a bar here in Minneapolis and when AW took him off in the 63rd all the Arsenal supports broke into applause. It was a pretty cool moment.

  7. i just loved the moment when dudu shot from the halfway line is was as if he was trying to show us what we have been missing badly , more shots at goal at last the arsenal are back with dudu at the helm maybe witrh him back it might give crapebayor a kick up the back side hail dudu good times r back !!!!!!!!!

  8. It was indeed a special moment and tears came to my eyes after each goal. The ovation received from the fans when he left the pitch made my season. Not only that, but Dudu, Vela and Nasri brought the much needed creativity to the pitch, ably assisted by Bendtner who provided flashes of brilliance and moments of, well, just UGH. It’s been a long time since Arsenal has played the type of football we are all accustomed to and it was a delight to watch.

    Now, after salivating at this tremendous display let’s put it into perspective. We beat a good Championship side which seemed somewhat over awed by the occasion and one which put up very little resistance, but the facts remain it was a Championship team. Whether we can use this as a spring board to continue in this manner against the EPL teams remain to be seen.

    Of note in the absence of Djourou, the only 6’+ player we had on the starting team was Bendtner. Not a good sign against many EPL teams where we will be deficient on both defensive and attacking set pieces.

    Hopefully, Dudu’s emotional lift, Arshavin’s creativity and the returning Walcott’s speed can substitute for our deficiencies and continue to spark us for the rest of the season.

  9. i don’t know what Bendtner did but he has always given us a better game than Ade, his off the ball movement, facing defenders and passing was good and drawing defenders helped the team. he was unlucky with some chances but his goal was great losing 2 defenders to head in. It was a great match and i cried when Eduardo scored it was what the team needed. Hope.

  10. As arseblogger so succinctly put it today, it would be quiet ironic if Eduardo’s return yesterday prompts an improvement in our fortunes this season when his untimely injury last season effectively started our implosion in form.

    Welcome back Dudu!!!

  11. It was a special moment and has lifted the clouds as eduardo provided much needed creativity and intelligence upfront. With the spark created by a returning eduardo the hope is we can keep it together just enough in midfield to transform nauseating draws into 1-0 wins.

    I’m still concerned about a top four spot and retaining the services of certain players if we don’t make a cl place, but we should have just enough to overcome chels, villa, or even pool if any of them stumble a bit and claim a cl place, but we’ve got to turn these draws into wins somehow, while they endure a sufficient number of draws. No epl team will give us that much space to play, it wasn’t so much the handbrake off, it was cardiff not playing smart.

    Note to wenger – bring in two types, two world class dms a cb and manu won’t be so untouchable anymore.

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