What’s the difference between Eduardo and Manu Adebayor?
Sitting in the pub with a non-Gooner on Saturday, I told my mate how good a player Eduardo can be.
My mate is a West Ham fan and, like so many others, remembers Eduardo only for the horrifying nature of his injury last season.
Among the justified and the unreasonable question marks about Arsenal’s strength in depth over the past few years, the absence of Eduardo for the run-in last season was the reason we lost the title. Categorically.
But it seems that few football followers from outside N5 really know how good Eduardo is.
We may finish in the top four and win a trophy this season. Let’s hope so. Or we may find ourselves having too much to do, playing too many games in too short a period of time, to be able to cope with everything the fixture list and opponents throw at us.
But yesterday, Eduardo’s goal (Click on 'goal' to see it again!) proved that quality lasts forever. He may have eased himself into the game slowly, but his finish for our second goal will live in the memory for some time. It was the finish of a champion.
No wonder Arsène Wenger had made him captain for the game, in only his second appearance back since that fateful injury.
“It was a tribute to his personality and how well he has behaved during the nine months [he was injured],” said Wenger. “He never complained and I think in our world that says a lot. That goal shows that finishing is instinct. In a fraction of a second you consider the right surface, the flight of the ball and his position.”
As his name rang out at Emirates, I was moved in a way I haven’t been for some time at THOF, delighted for the Crozilian that he is showing once again how good he is and that he is fit and getting better as his rehabilitation nears completion.
Fifteen goals in 33 games, nine of which were as a sub, says it all. None of us knew much about him when he arrived, but he is natural goalscorer, a fox in the box, as it were.
Now, a little bit of compare and contrast.
After a lacklustre season which has totally failed to live up to expectations and which has understandably raised questions about his commitment after a summer of transfer rumours, what do we hear from Adebayor today?
"I knew that Milan and Barcelona were interested in me, but in the end I chose Arsenal. Arsenal are a club that I want to repay with important victories for having allowed me to become one of the great players in world football. I find myself well here, even if, as I say in life, you can never know what will happen in the future."
It’s almost as if he wants to remind teams that he is available for transfer and how many of us would be gutted in the summer if he leaves?
Adebayor is a fair to middling striker who can score goals for us when we’re playing at our best and creating plenty of chances.
Eduardo needs fewer opportunities to hit the back of the net and if Wenger can find another player with his professionalism, decency, quality and humility for the £8-9m we paid for him, I’d be delighted.
Adebayor can then go and laud it somewhere else where, as at Monaco, he will probably fall out of love after one half-decent season.