Perhaps a little unwisely, Alex McLeish claims that the broken leg suffered by Eduardo in February had a negative effect on Birmingham City, and was part of the reason why they were relegated from the Premier League – as well as not being very good.
The Express and Star report that Big Eck acknowledges that the horrific injury to the Croatian put a severe dent in the Gunners’ season, although cites the incident as a turning point for Martin Taylor and the rest of the Blues team. Quite whether anyone will have a degree of sympathy for this club is open to question, especially given the emotionally-charged accusations that followed immediately after the challenge.
He said: “It was a factor here at Birmingham City, absolutely. Martin Taylor had played very solidly for a few games in the Premier League.
“He was affected as much as Arsenal FC were and we were affected by losing him.
“When he came back I didn’t think Taylor was quite himself. He played against Wigan and it wasn’t the Martin who had been playing before the Eduardo incident.
“Our other centre-half, Liam Ridgewell, must have played with five different partners last season. The one thing you see with the good teams, like Manchester United, is that their back four is pretty much the same.”
Most Arsenal fans were delighted to see the back of Birmingham City last season and won’t be wishing them a speedy recovery from relegation to the Championship. Especially as Eduardo was denied this and played no further part in the Gunners’ season, nor Euro 2008 for Croatia.