We'll win the league for Eduardo, insists Flamini

February 25, 2008

Mathieu Flamini has revealed the determination of the Arsenal players to win the Premier League title in honour of broken-leg victim Eduardo.

The Croatia international is facing many months on the sidelines after suffering the setback following a tackle by Birmingham defender Martin Taylor during Saturday's 2-2 draw at St Andrews.

A distraught Taylor, who was red-carded for the challenge, went to visit Eduardo in hospital in Birmingham yesterday before he was transferred to a London hospital.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger has back-tracked on his initial comment minutes after the final whistle that Taylor 'should never play football again'.

But the incident still left the Arsenal players feeling distressed and now they want to capture the league crown for Eduardo who today celebrates his 25th birthday.

Midfielder Flamini said: 'We have lost Eduardo. It is a terrible injury because he has a broken leg. It was difficult. I have no words to describe what I saw.

'It was maybe the worst injury I have seen. We will have to stay very close to him because it's going to be difficult. It will be difficult to get over. He is a friend and a team-mate. It upsets you.

'Would I like to win the title for Eduardo? Yes, of course. We wanted to win it before, but now we want to win it also for him. Eduardo is not going to be with us for a long time so, of course, we want to win it for him.'

Gunners striker Nicklas Bendtner, who spent last season on loan at Birmingham, believes Taylor would not have deliberately looked to inflict an injury on Eduardo.

The Danish international said: 'We obviously have to think about Edu who is terribly hurt. We wish him all the best.

'I know Martin Taylor and he is not a player who goes in to hurt people - never. He is really calm. I've been told he is very upset and I know he would be like that.

'But in football things like this happen. Even though he is not one who does bad tackles, this was a bad tackle and he deserved to be sent off. The referee had no choice.

'I could see from the players' reaction that it didn't look very good. I could see everyone running on to the pitch, I thought something was wrong. It made us all really sad.'

Taylor has already issued a statement insisting there was 'no malicious intent' in his challenge on Eduardo.