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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Eduardo Ban Revoked

Arsenal striker Eduardo just wants to focus on Wednesday's Champions League clash against Standard Liege after his two-match ban was annulled by UEFA.

The Croatia forward was initially suspended for allegedly diving to win a penalty against Celtic in their Champions League qualifier at the Emirates at the end of August.

Eduardo successfully converted the spot-kick himself and the Gunners went on to win the game 3-1.

Scottish FA chief executive Gordon Smith was quick to call for action against Eduardo and UEFA subsequently began an investigation, which Gunners boss Arsene Wenger lambasted as a "witch-hunt".

The Premier League club lodged an appeal against the ban which would have ruled the player out of the games against Standard Liege as well as the home match with Olympiacos in a fortnight.

However, UEFA have now announced the ban has been quashed and the 26-year-old has welcomed the end of the episode.

A statement from the Croatia international on Arsenal's website read: "I'm very pleased that we have finally arrived at the truth. All we needed to do was to prove what happened and we have managed to do that. This decision makes me feel a lot better.

"I certainly feel relieved now. I have had great support from my family, friends and of course everyone at the club.

"Now I just want to forget about this and think about our match against Standard Liege on Wednesday. I was always prepared for the match in Belgium because I had good feeling and I always remained positive about the outcome.

"Now we have a final result, I can now look forward to helping the team on Wednesday night.

"All I remember of the incident is that as soon as I had possession of the ball I headed towards goal at full speed. I was very close to the Celtic keeper and felt contact on my foot and then lost my balance. I know perhaps more than anyone else that when you have contact at speed it can be dangerous.

"I just want to say that I'm a fair player. To score goals you must take your opportunities and I'm not the type of player who needs to be dishonest to score goals."

The north London club had been furious with the initial ban and welcomed UEFA's action.

A statement read: "We are grateful that the appeal body focused on the evidence and made the right decision in this case.

"We were able to show that there was contact between the goalkeeper and Eduardo and that the decision of the UEFA disciplinary body should be annulled.

"We fully support the drive for fair play in football and believe it is important that UEFA provide clear and comprehensive standards that will be consistently enforced going forward.

"We are glad to put this incident behind us and concentrate on the games ahead."

UEFA had earlier announced their final decision on www.uefa.com, saying: "The UEFA Appeals body today accepted the appeal lodged by Arsenal FC against the two-match suspension handed to striker Eduardo.

"Following examination of all the evidence, notably the declarations of both the referee and the referees' assessor, as well as the various video footage, it was not established to the panel's satisfaction that the referee had been deceived in taking his decision on the penalty.

"Therefore, the decision of the UEFA Control and Disciplinary Body of 1 September, in which the player was suspended for two UEFA club competition matches, is annulled."

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Van Persie Hits Out At UNPROFESSIONAL adebayoh

"I am sad and disappointed by my former team-mate Emmanuel Adebayor's mindless and malicious stamp on me during today's match," he said.

"We are both professional footballers and I know that the game is physical, I too have made hard and sometimes mis-timed challenges but never with the intention of hurting an opponent. He set out to hurt me today.

"I knew he was aiming for a collision because he changed the angle of his body to allow contact to be made. He moved backwards when his natural momentum would have taken him forward. I find that deeply disrespectful. He has shown a real lack of class today, to me and the fans.

"I do feel lucky that I have not suffered a greater injury. The contact was only centimetres from my eye. I have not received an apology from him, there were no words exchanged afterwards. He had his own agenda today and that is bad for football. It's bad for the game we all love.

"I want to make it clear that this has nothing to do with the result of today's match. We do not hide from that disappointment but I need to speak out about his behaviour."

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Tomas Rosicky is Back BUT Andrey Arshavin is now Injured & Wenger is not Happy!

Tomas Rosicky started for the Czech Republic against San Marino and played 56 minutes. He has not played for his club since January 2008.

Cezh coach Ivan Rasek revealed: "I'm happy above all that Tomas could play, that he was ready for the game.

"I had a deal with Wenger to keep Tomas on the pitch no longer than an hour."

Meanwhile, Andrey Arshavin completed 90 minutes for Russia in Wales but aggravated a groin injury that will keep him out of this Saturday's visit to Manchester City. Arsene Wenger is not incredibly happy.

"He should not have played," he said. "He will be out for Saturday and Wednesday and certainly Wigan. He had a groin problem which I took him out after Manchester United. He should not have played. You can say a lot, but it doesn't do a lot."

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Bilic Knows That Eduardo is NOT a Diver!!!

Croatian coach Slaven Bilic has blasted England skipper John Terry over his comments about the Eduardo diving affair, and said that he has known Eduardo for years, and he does not dive intentionally.

“If anyone knows him (Eduardo) I know him. He is no diver. He is a good guy, a sportsman, a professional and a role model of fair play. Sometimes he waits for a contact. Maybe it wasn’t a penalty against Celtic but you can’t say there was no contact,”

Beckham Defends Eduardo

David Beckham spoke out today in defence of Arsenal forward Eduardo da Silva, who recently received a two-match European ban from UEFA as punishment for diving during the Gunners' second-leg Champions League play-off tie against Celtic at the Emirates on August 26.

The England midfielder, who could line up opposite Eduardo in a World Cup qualifier on Wednesday, is unhappy with the 26-year-old Croatian's widespread vilification, and believes it is important to remember how the former Dinamo Zagreb standout fought back from a horrific leg break which kept him out of action for a year.

"There has been far too much talk about diving," said Beckham.
"No-one wants to see it and it is disappointing when it happens. But it happens every week and Eduardo is not the first person to have done it.

"The whole thing should be put to bed.

"Eduardo is a great player. It is not that long ago that he suffered an horrific injury.

"You don't know what was going through his mind. He might have been trying to get out of the way of a tackle so he didn't get injured again."

It's unclear how these words will go over with England manager Fabio Capello, who is known to take a dim view of diving and has admitted to admonishing his own teammates during his time as an Italian international for unsporting behaviour.

The former Real Madrid boss has similar expectations for his current squad, revealed Beckham.

"The manager has high expectations of the players, on and off the pitch," he said.

"You always have to behave in the right way, whether you are playing or just walking round the hotel."

Beckham's former manager, Manchester United's Sir Alex Ferguson, announced his satisfaction with UEFA's verdict last week and insisted steps should be taken to prevent simulation throughout Europe.

"Something should be done and we hope the message gets across," said Ferguson. "It was a high-profile game and something has to be done."

Meanwhile, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has been very vocal in his opposition to the decision, branding UEFA's investigation a "witch-hunt".

As a result of the ban, Eduardo will miss Arsenal's group stage ties against Standard Liege and Olympiacos.

Jeremy Brown

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Transfer Deadline News

09.14: Stoke City chairman Peter Coates has confirmed the club are still in talks with Danny Collins and also hope to bring in a loan signing.

Danny Collins, eh? It doesn't get much more exciting than that.

08.51: A bit of news you may have missed from last night - Eidur Gudjohnsen has agreed a move to Monaco from Barcelona.

08.43: Busy day at Pompey - SSN claim Nicky Shorey is on his way down to Fratton Park for a medical after agreeing a deal to move from Aston Villa.

08.34: A cookie to Portsmouth, for they have completed the first deal of deadline day - the man joining the south coast basket case is Hassan Yebda, a midfielder who has joined on a season loan from Benfica.

08.27: Speaking of City and SSN, the yellow news ticker chug-chugs into glorious life to 'confirm' word in some of the papers this morning - namely that City are in talks with Spurs over David Bentley.

08.26: Our old friends at Sky Sports News reckon Richard Dunne is at Aston Villa today for a medical ahead of his move from Manchester City.

08.12: Harry Redknapp will no doubt be doing some ducking and diving and dealing today, and while the move for David James seems to be a source of some friction between he and Daniel Levy, a move for Niko Krancjar looks as if it's in the bag.

Redknapp told The Sun: "I'm really delighted. I signed him for Portsmouth and he's a fantastic player and a great lad.

"I've already got two fantastic Croatian players - Modric and Vedran Corluka - who can help him settle in."

08.09: Lots of stuff in the Gossip Column this morning, including a review of the the busy day approaching at White Hart Lane, while there's some doubt about the comings/going at Everton and a whole bunch of other stuff.

08.02: Morning all, and welcome to the final Transfer Blog of this window. Now, don't get too emotional - we'll be back in January, and until then you can sit back and enjoy the football.