Arsenal striker Eduardo Alves da Silva is 25 today.
Rather a shame that his leg was shattered in two places on Saturday by an utterly disgraceful high tackle in the third minute from Birmingham City fuckwit* Martin Taylor**, isn't it?
If it was malicious, and he intended it, ban him for life. If it wasn't, and he is just clumsy, he shouldn't be playing in the Premier League. Most Sunday morning pub teams (and I have played for a few) wouldn't accept tackles like that from their defenders; shin high, studs up, sliding in at speed.
Contrary to many, I am placing the blame firmly at the door of Alex McLeish, Birmingham City's manager. It is almost certain that, in the dressing room before the game, he fired his payers up with the instruction to "go and let them know they've been in a game", "get yourselves in their faces early doors" and "the way to beat Arsenal is to kick them up in the air". Unfortunately, if you do that with players of obviously limited ability, people get hurt. If that is indicative of how English club managers tell their teams to play against Arsenal, maybe that European Super League isn't such a bad idea. At least the swan-diving, shirt-pulling, face-spitting Italians play decent football :)
Seriously, though, I am livid. I don't buy any of this 'freak accident' bleating from certain sections of the media (and Garth Crooks can just fuck right off, while we're here). The studs-up challenge was banned for a reason. With the number of 'potentially career ending challenges' analysed on Match Of The Day each week, you'd think the authorities might have reviewed the punishment for such atrocities and forced both clubs and players to address the idea that this is unacceptable and remove it from the game. But no, as it stands, Martin Taylor will serve the same ban as Jeremy Aliadiere got for bitch-slapping a Liverpool player that same afternoon. Thank you, the FA, the Premier League and all you bloated paté-munching FIFA/UEFA suits - I hope you're happy.
Get well, Eduardo. Soon, if possible, but fully at least.
UPDATE: Patrick Barclay in the Daily Telegraph says similar
* you will know that I rarely swear on my blog but I cannot bring myself to describe him as a 'footballer'.
** whose nickname is 'Tiny', I assume referring to his brain.