It was a horrible weekend.
Lost in the midst of Eduardo’s career-threatening injury are two dropped points, an excellent second half from Walcott and a bizarre five-minute episode from Gallas when he looked like he’d downed 10 pints of Sunny Delight and was paying the consequences. But in the end, it’s harsh to criticise either the profligacy or the behaviour of any of the players in the light of what happened to their team-mate.
We’ve all seen the pics and they are sickening beyond words. The tackle was very high and very dangerous, but I don’t believe it was intentional. As many since Saturday have argued – such as Patrick Barclay in yesterday’s Telegraph – the real anomaly here is that you can get a maximum of a three game ban for that, and it’s the same for something petulant and physically harmless.
It just has to be addressed to give all players a sufficient disincentive to wade in with studs up. Taylor might not have meant it but he does need to be the guinea pig for a tougher and more equitable punishment scale. And that means he has to be banned for more than three games.
What of the poor player himself? He is fighting for his career, it’s that bad.
The injury could have lots of knock-on effects, not least those for Eduardo himself. In addition it has certainly weakened our squad. It has almost certainly hastened the return of van Persie and guaranteed more games for Walcott. It may have an unbelievably galvanising effect on the team (the ‘let’s win it for Eduardo’ motivation), but it may not.
I’m looking forward to Saturday already. I am convinced the team will be champing at the bit for it, and the fans too. So I’m excited by that.
I’m also desperately sad for Eduardo, who himself has said he is “determined to overcome this injury”. He’s a fabulous player (12 goals in 31 appearances) and I hope he makes it back.
Meantime, raise your glass, next time you are raising a glass, to Mr Da Silva.