TAYLOR TALKS: City defender breaks his silence over the tackle which threatens Eduardo's career

Last updated at 14:46 29 February 2008

Martin Taylor - the man responsible for THAT tackle on Eduardo last weekend - has spoken for the first time about his sadness at the horrific injury to the Arsenal striker.

The Birmingham City defender said that it was never his intention to hurt Eduardo, who fractured his left fibula and dislocated his left ankle, and that that it was his greatest hope that he will see the Brazilian Croatia international play again.

Taylor, who in the six days since the incident has received death threats and, initially, endured calls from Arsène Wenger to ban him from the game, said: "I will be really happy on the day when I see he is back in the Arsenal and the Croatia line-up and when he is scoring goals again.

Scroll down for more

Eduardo leg break - The tackle

The tackle: Birmingham's Taylor goes in late on Eduardo

"The injury was terrible enough. When he gets back to fitness and he puts the ball in the net for Arsenal for the first time we will all feel much better. People will be able to see that accidents like these are the nature of football and you can recover from it.

Taylor told The Independent that, during his visit to Selly Oak hospital to see Eduardo, the player himself made it clear that he did not blame him for the challenge.

"I went to see him on Saturday but, unfortunately, he was still recovering from an operation, so first thing on Sunday morning I went to the hospital and he was really good to see me," the centre half added.

"He didn't need to see me. I heard Tony McCoy [the jockey] talking on the radio about injuries in horse racing and he said the worst feeling is when you wake up after the operation because that is when the reality hits and the drugs start to wear off.

Scroll down for more


What have I done? Taylor realises the damage his tackle has caused

"I was mindful of this and I thought maybe he [Eduardo] wouldn't want to see me, which would have been fair enough because of the trauma. But he was really kind to see me. Although there was a language barrier, I just said that I didn't mean him any harm at all and that I hoped he made a quick recovery.

"He took it on board and nodded. I was just really glad we could communicate. He is obviously a really strong man. Since then I have read in the papers that he would be happy for me to visit him. That's something I'd like to do."

Taylor, who was shown a straight red card by referee Mike Dean and will miss Birmingham's next three games starting with tomorrow's home match against Tottenham, added that he was simply relieved that Wenger, who he spoke to in the after the game, had realised that he had gone too far in his initial comments.

"Personally, it [Wenger's words] hasn't changed my view because I know it was an accident. But it has affected the way people react to it," Taylor said.

"Arsene Wenger is one of the most highly regarded managers in the game and people listen to what he says. They look at it in a different light because someone who is so learned has said something like that.

Scroll down for more

Eduardo stretcher

Rushed to hospital: Eduardo is attended to by the St Andrew's medics at the weekend

"At the time it didn't register too much what he [Wenger] said. Because I knew I had gone for the ball I knew it was an accident. That Arsène Wenger later retracted his comments demonstrates that he now accepts it was an accident.

"I went to see him [Wenger] but I said exactly what I would have said if I hadn't heard his comments. I just said that I didn't mean any harm to his player and that I wanted to visit Eduardo in hospital. Talking to the manager of a team who has lost a player to injury is difficult because he cares for his players and works with them every day – so he will be upset."

The 28-year-old former Blackburn defender added that he was grateful for the kind words of fans from all clubs. He said that their messages have far outnumbered the threats and he added that he was determined to carry on with his career.

Scroll down for more

Martin Taylor in training

Full-blooded: Martin Taylor does not hold back in training with Birmingham yesterday

"It has been difficult, the whole incident shook me and my family, but I have had a lot of support that has helped me through a difficult time," he said. "I have had support publicly and privately. I have had great support from my manager, Alex McLeish, my team-mates and Birmingham fans as well as supporters across the country – including those from Arsenal.

"I also want to thank ex-managers and also friends coming round to my house or talking to me. It has been exceptionally helpful. It is a strange situation, looking in from the outside, watching the news, reading the newspapers. It feels like it is happening to someone else."

No comments have so far been submitted. Why not be the first to send us your thoughts, or debate this issue live on our message boards.

We are no longer accepting comments on this article.

Who is this week's top commenter? Find out now