Tiny Terror Tale Tumbles On

Posted on February 26, 2008 
Filed Under Blues News

When I woke up this morning, the first thing I thought about was Martin Taylor. I think that’s the first time that’s ever happened to me. It wasn’t a pleasant experience. As much as I like and respect the Blues ‘gentle giant’, he’s not the image I’d wake up to, given the choice.

As I trudged downstairs, I thought about when all this would eventually blow over (me waking up thinking about footballers and the furore surrounding Tiny’s challenge on Eduardo.) All things in football do and this inevitably will but it’s been a very slow news week and Tiny seems to have been on the minds and lips of everyone in the footballing world. “If only,” I thought to myself “something big could happen today… Pele having a minor heart attack might do it.” I did actually think that although you’d believe that I actually wanted it to happen going by the responses of some of the users of this wonderful blog’s community on the forum. Perhaps I should’ve saved that particular thought for the blog only… you lot seem to ‘get’ me a bit more.

I thought no more about Taylor or of any more legends of the game having heart-attacks… until I got onto the bus for the journey to my lonely office. I noticed one particular gentleman was reading The Sun. So horrified was I by it that I snatched it out of his hand, screwed it up and put a curse on anyone else on the bus that read it. Okay, I didn’t but I should’ve. Half of the back page was taken up by this.

I shouldn’t be surprised… after all, my fellow Blues fans – and lots and lots of fans of other clubs – aren’t. “Typical” is the word that I’ve read quite a lot today.

Speaking of, it’s been nice to see that the majority have backed Taylor over the incident. I think it means more when it comes from the terraces although in this instance, people who have played the game to an extremely high standard saying that ‘these things just happen’ is a big help. After all, what do us Regular Joe’s truly know about the speed of a international class striker? Not much.

I’ve purposefully avoided posting each time a Blues player has come out in defence of Taylor. Partly because they’ve pretty much all done it and partly to avoid fans of other clubs registering just to say “Well, they’re going to, aren’t they?” I can’t be doing with petty name calling in the comments section of this blog. Yesterday, however, we had a friendly Gooner here and I’d like to think he’s typical rather than the mad “Taylor must die!” types that we’ve seen on YouTube.

Fabrice Muamba is the latest player to come out in defence of Tiny and I’ll link this article because he talks a lot of sense. He talks about the team spirit and how this incident has brought the team closer together. He also talks in a way that doesn’t allow the incident to overshadow the overall objective from a Blues point of view. It happened, it’s sad, we all genuinely wish Eduardo the best (and I personally also hope that Arsenal still go on to win silverware this season) but we still have a job to do and we need to consign this to the past and move on as quickly as possible (a sentiment that Alex McLeish has echoed in his latest interview in the Mail.) It may sound callous to Arsenal fans but had it been the other way around, I expect that I’d still be angry but they’d have ‘moved on’ already too.

And speaking of Eduardo, the news is filtering through that they hope that he’ll be able to return around Christmas. Considering that his career was in doubt 48 hours ago, that’s wonderful news and I hope that we see him in the Premiership again as soon as humanly possible. You can read an official Arsenal statement regarding the injury here. As well as that, there’s a small interview with Eduardo’s wife on the Setanta website. It’s only a small one and I thought it interesting because as soon as we move on to our next game, beyond and further into our inevitable relegation scrap, she will be there supporting the striker through many months of, no doubt, painful rehabilitation. It brings a nice human reminder and perhaps a bit of perspective to the story.

There’s a few other bits and pieces floating around regarding the incident today with Gordon Taylor seemingly saying quite a lot without saying anything at all. James Lawton in the Independent is being very much from the Wenger school of thought and wanting smaller clubs to meekly stand-by and be out-footballed by the much more skilful sides (not that I or any other football fan would advocate dirty play but intimidation and a bit of honest, tough and genuine tackling rarely hurt anybody.) Meanwhile ex-ref Jeff Winter has seemingly not seen the challenge and, looking at the damage alone, has waved a dismissive hand in the air and rated it in the “studs-showing two footed lunges” category. Later on in his column, he proclaims “Talking of thugs and bad tackles…” A thug? Considering earlier in the article, he pointed out that he would not argue that Taylor doesn’t have a bad bone in his body? As someone said to me earlier… “Typical.”

There has been quotes from players, pundits, Arsenal, Blues, ex-refs, journalists, bloggers and even Mrs Eduardo… but what about quotes from the man himself? They’re elusive. I’ve read some from him but depending on which site you visit depends very much on whether you think he blames Taylor or not. I’ve read him say that he doesn’t blame Taylor and I’ve read quotes that say that he feels that Taylor deliberately went in aggressively. I think we’ll have to wait a bit longer to know the truth to what he feels. It must’ve been a whirlwind and confusing 72 hours for him.

Whatever… McLeish has said something that I agree with. Although it clearly affected the Arsenal players on Saturday, they weren’t the only ones and Blues players will have just a hard a time coping with what they saw on the St Andrew’s pitch. It was a situation that can happen to any player at any time. It was a situation that, thankfully, is extraordinary in football but nonetheless inevitable. Eduardo and Tiny found themselves in the middle of such a situation on Saturday – although they weren’t the first and they most certainly won’t the the last.

Comments

One Response to “Tiny Terror Tale Tumbles On”

  1. WorcsBlue on February 27th, 2008 10:42 am

    I am sure all right-minded football fans wish Eduardo well and a speedy recovery. It is also clear that Tiny did not mean it. Aren’t The Sun ridiculous – I bet someone sat around for hours to capture the photo!! It’s hardly a lunge and I notice that all the players inc. Taylor are not wearing shin pads so assume that it was a non-contact training session in any event!! Idiots – why can’t they leave it alone?
    KRO SOTV and SOTheSun

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