We all remember it. Arsenal v. Birmingham at St. Andrews, late February of 2008. THAT tackle. Martin Taylor comes in high and late, breaking Eduardo's leg, and rightly receives a red card. Followed by death threats. Eduardo spends a year rehabbing his leg, gets a few games under his belt with the reserves, and then bursts back onto the scene with a brace (hmm, poor choice of words?) against Cardiff in the FA Cup 4th round replay.
Just a few days later Eduardo told the British papers that he forgave Taylor, and that injuries were a risk one took in playing professional football. But it was still an incredibly painful experience, both mentally and physically, for Eduardo to recover from that tackle. And if we believe Taylor, it was mentally difficult for him as well, wondering if he had ended someone's career. Thus, Taylor says that he was relieved to see the Crozilian striker perform so well in the FA Cup match, noting that he followed the minute-by-minute account of the match.
Taylor has consistently stated that the tackle was accident, that he simply got there late due to Eduardo's speed on the ball. He has also said that he went to the hospital numerous times to see Eduardo, twice speaking with an Arsenal press officer and once actually speaking to the striker, although the latter was still in a drug-induced haze. During the course of the recovery, Taylor claims that he was "able to liase with [Eduardo]", but it's not quite clear what that means.
And here's the thing - Eduardo says that Taylor has never apologized to him.
"But he still struggles to understand why Taylor never picked up the phone to say sorry. Eduardo said: “Some friends told me he was saying he’d spoken to me — but he never did. I’ve never met him...[and]he’s never sent anything directly to me."
So what's wrong with Martin Taylor? Is he exaggerating his efforts to reach out to Eduardo? Well, consider what else Taylor has to say for himself:
"If I had lost my head, or decided to hurt him, then I would feel differently to how I do now. I know in myself I went to get the ball that was there. That was the only thing on my mind. Eduardo’s speed made sure he got there before I did. It’s a difficult one. I can’t say I felt guilty, like perhaps you would do if your intentions weren’t honest ones. I empathised with him because of what had happened."
Of course, Taylor has also said that he would not blame Eduardo if the striker did not shake his hand the next time they met on the pitch. Umm, what? Why should Eduardo have to make the gesture? Isn't it up to Taylor to beg for forgiveness for such a reckless tackle? Even the Gunners among us (after we calmed down) agreed that the tackle was not malicious, but it was certainly dangerous, and Taylor should be ashamed of himself for not apologizing. If all he can say for himself is that he visited Eduardo in the hospital while the striker was still doped up (and likely wouldn't remember anything), shouldn't Taylor make a more genuine effort (even if only for PR (public relations, not Precious Roy)) to set things right?