Bend but don't break
It's a shame that is has taken a terrible injury -- a broken leg and dislocated ankle suffered by Arsenal striker
Almost without exception, former players have lined up to express sympathy for
Taylor was not a malicious player, they said. But soccer is a physical game, and occasionally injuries of the ferocity of that suffered by Eduardo will happen.
"Ooh, that's harsh!" is Gray's standard reaction when a player is booked or sent off, usually for a late or mistimed tackle. While I agree that tackling remains an essential part of the game, I can't accept Gray's general assertion that players don't act without intent.
The increased pace and intensity of the English game, combined with an unwillingness by referees to punish players, has created a situation where an injury on the scale of that suffered by Eduardo was just waiting to happen. The real surprise is that such injuries don't happen more often.
Over the last three seasons, the English media has become obsessed with the issue of diving -- particularly by foreign players like
Another intriguing aspect of the whole affair has been the way the global media has covered the story, as well as Arsenal's reaction to coverage of the story.
It's been virtually impossible to view any footage of the incident on the Web, thanks to the Premier League's obsession with protecting its copyright. Broadcasters and newspapers have been remarkably squeamish in their reporting of the story, with most refusing to publish pictures of the actual point of contact of Taylor's boot on Eduardo's ankle.
It's a sensitive issue -- in the
Arsenal acted quickly in reaction to manager
Wenger's U-turn and Taylor's apparent remorse at least spared the Birmingham player the wrath of the English media. Overseas, however, it has been a somewhat different story.
The Web site of the Brazilian daily
Eduardo was quoted as saying: "I don't remember the incident very well and it's not something that I want to see again on television or in the newspapers. All I remember is that when I fell, I looked down at my foot and it had turned the other way. The rest is just a blank."
He was then quoted by
The same quotes were translated into Spanish and picked up by the Spanish news agency EFE, and the story was
Eduardo subsequently issued a statement via the Arsenal Web site where he insisted, perhaps under pressure from the club, that there was no malicious intent on the part of Taylor.
I was immediately suspicious of the
Despite doubts over the veracity of the quotes, they were widely reported in Brazil, and thanks to the EFE story, throughout the Spanish-speaking world.
Rightly or wrongly, the English media has chosen not to report Eduardo's comments to
The only thing for sure is that Eduardo's injury itself won't be the end of this debate. Let's just hope he has a speedy recovery.