Archive for September 12th, 2007

Eduardo on Modric, Sagna, and scoring goals

195 comments September 12th, 2007

Whatever Eduardo da Silva achieves during his career at Arsenal, it’s highly unlikely he’ll ever surpass the level of adulation he is currently the subject of in Croatia. After bagging both goals in a 2-0 win over Estonia, national coach Slaven Bilic was fairly unequivocal in his assessment of the Brazilian-born striker:

“There’s really nothing more to say. I can only shout: ‘Da Silva!’ Ever since his first training session with the U-21 team, 3 years ago, AljoÅ¡a (Asanović) and I have said he is one of the best strikers in the world. I really think that today he is. He is a miracle. He is not just a goal-machine His every touch with the ball, every turn, every run, everything he does is special. He really is a miracle.”

Eduardo himself revelled in the adulation, stating:

“It was wonderful – the fans were great. I felt like I was at home… like I never left… like I was still at Dinamo.”

Not that he is pining for his adopted homeland. Indeed, he is settling well in England, and this week will move into a Hertfordshire home close to our London Colney training ground.

“We are a young team, and we have an excellent atmosphere in the squad. They welcomed me well and we get on superbly inside and outside the dressing-room. I don’t have trouble with driving on the left side and having the wheel on the right side. My car has an automatic gear-shifter and I have GPS navigation!”

The speed at which he has settled in is reflected in the warm congratulations he receieved from team-mates for his weekend brace:

“After the game (Croatia-Estonia) Sagna immediately called me and congratulated me. Denilson and Gilberto congratulated me via SMS.”

His friendship with the Brazilians comes as no surprise, but it seems he and Sagna have struck up a bond after arriving at the club within a week or so of each other. All Summer Arsenal were closely linked with a move for another Zagreb star, Luka Modric, and it was he who combined with Eduardo for the striker’s second:

“Those shots after pull-backs, like the one for the second goal – we practise that all the time. I knew Luka would pass the ball back to me.”

Perhaps it’s that telepathic understanding that Arsene Wenger wants to bring to Arsenal. There’s every chance he’ll resurrect that move in January.

Tonight, Eduardo and Croatia take on Andorra. If he scores again tonight, he’ll return to Arsenal brimming with confidence, and ready to begin his assault on the Premier League.

I wouldn’t really describe Justin Hoyte as a “fan favourite”, but his recent quotes will go along way towards endearing him to the Arsenal faithful. Talking about the increased competition at right-back, he said:

“That’s how football is. It just makes me more determined to work hard and get my place in the side. I am going to fight and work hard. I want to be at Arsenal all my life.”

At a time when many English youngsters shirk the challenge of competition and seek immediate first-team football, his quotes are very refreshing.

Another young defender, new boy Havard Nordveit, has come in for some praise from Arsene Wenger:

“What I liked in this boy is his intelligence and his mental strength. He is very mature. In fact I have rarely seen a boy of his age so mature. Physically we need to get him up to the Premiership level, at the moment he is a bit behind. But technically and tactically he is already there. He is an intelligent boy with good vision. He has a good pass out from the back and he is strong too.”

It’s very similar to what we heard about Philippe Senderos when he joined the club. Nordveit has already been made Captain of the Reserves, highlighting his outstanding leadership qualities. If he keeps up the good work, he might make a Carling Cup appearance this season.

Finally, just days before his possible return to Arsenal action, Jens Lehmann is “injured”. Again. Funny that.

UPDATE: You wanted them, you got them. New comments.


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