Da Silva shocker
Posted July 29, 2007on:
Arsenal face an anxious wait to see if they will get a work permit for Eduardo Da Silva after the Home Office turned down their initial request.
Worried boss Arsene Wenger admitted last night there was no certainty that the Gunners would get the okay to play the £8million Brazilian-born Croatian, signed as Thierry Henry’s replacement.
And Wenger is now sweating on Thursday’s appeal hearing to discover if he will have to rip up his pre-season plans and make an emergency plunge into the transfer market ahead of the big kick-off.
The Home office confirmed last night that Da Silva has not met the criterion of playing in 75 per cent of Croatia’s games over the past two years.
Wenger said: “He has played in 50 per cent of the games they’ve played, which is a fantastic achievement for a 24-year-old.
“I don’t want to talk about what we will do if the appeal is not successful.
“All I will say is that we are optimistic but we know it will be extremely close. There are some signings at other clubs who’ve not even played one game for smaller countries than Croatia.”
Wenger (right) could do without another massive headache after a summer in which he has lost both Henry and Freddie Ljungberg, who accused the club of breaking its promises over player recruitment.
The manager put Ljungberg in his place with a pointed put-down but admitted that the pressure was on him to deliver a serious title challenge.
“I didn’t make any promises to anybody. A player is responsible for his performance in the team, not the policy of the club,” the Frenchman said.
And he went on: “Last season we were out of the championship too early, even though we knew we would drop points because we had moved to a new stadium.
“An acceptable season this time is only one where we fight for the championship all the way.
“If we then lose by one or two points we’ll accept it but to be out of the championship by October, like we were last year, is just not acceptable.”
Wenger, entering the final year of his contract, refused to make his intentions clear despite speculation about his future.
“I’ve shown since I arrived here that I’m very faithful to the club,” he said.
“I’ve always shown commitment to the club and I’ll come out at the right moment to speak about the future, especially about my future.
“It would be easy for me to say now what I will do. I cannot announce things when they are not signed, not done, not discussed. There’s still one year to go. Then we will see.”