Birmingham City’s Martin Taylor has spoken of his relief at Eduardo’s return to fitness, and hopes his own ordeal over the broken leg incident is now at an end.
Indeed, the controversial Taylor received death threats after his tackle Eduardo in last February’s Premier League game left Eduardo with horrific injuries. He has always maintained that the tackle was not malicious, and says he has received plenty of support over the last year.
“I must admit that it’s a relief to see him back playing,” expressed Taylor.
“But there is nothing like that first proper game because you are never quite sure whether you have recovered or not. I had a feeling he would be okay because he’d played for Croatia last week. I think it lifted Arsenal on Monday night and I can understand why.
“To recover both mentally and physically — to get through that training and to get back to that standard — he has done really, really well. We must consider that you have to be exceptional to reach that level in the first place. It is one thing to come back and play at all. It is another to play for Arsenal.”
Speaking about the tackle, for which Taylor was dismissed, the former Blackburn footballer expressed: “‘I know in my heart of hearts that it was an accident. A horrible accident. So I wanted to see him playing again. You can never be sure. I was hopeful because of the updates I received from the Gunners. I kept my fingers crossed when he was playing in the reserves.
It’s amazing to notice that in the immediate aftermath of that tumultuous 2-2 draw at St Andrews, Arsene Wenger called for Taylor to be banned from football for life, comments the Frenchman later retracted.
However, the immediate aftermath of the incident proved incredibly difficult for Taylor and his family.
“I had death threats,” he expressed. “No one would sit here and say that was enjoyable. When I received them, I wasn’t too sure with some of them. A couple were written in crayon, some were more sinister. and in despite of that, generally, I didn’t take them too seriously.
“Ninety per cent of the correspondence I had, though, was encouraging. We must consider that the other 10 per cent wasn’t.”
Asked whether Eduardo would shake Taylor’s hand should the pair meet again, he expressed: “I wouldn’t expect him to. Maybe, I don’t know. It’s up to him.”