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Nightmare number nine: story of jinxed jerseys

Aneesh Gupta
1.95K   //    11 Aug 2010, 02:15 IST

Footballers are known to be superstitious in one way or the other,it may be something regarding their shoes ,the way they enter into the pitch, accessories ,celebrations ,their jersey number…but here is a case of a club that seems jinxed in a way by a jersey number …Arsenal fc and the number 9 don’t seem to go along well…Number 9 is a number usually granted to an old school poacher ,natural finisher ,a goal hanger of a sorts…the history of the curse dates back to 1999 …when Nicholas ‘le sulk’ Anelka  went to real Madrid in search for greener pastures , he was the last prominent player to figure in a nine number jersey for arsenal….as a result the no. 9 jersey was vacated to be donned by Francis Jeffers…who was transferred from Everton for a hefty amount after being  dubbed as the scouse inzaghi . Jeffers turned out to be a

JEFFERS glorious moments in an arsenal no.9 jersey

big flop for arsenal as he never turned out to be the no.9 that the highbury faithful expected him to be .The next player to wear the no. 9 was Spanish sensation José Antonio Reyes…the player was rather used as a left winger for his spell at arsenal and was quite unhappy by the ‘WEATHER ‘of London and went home to Spain with a swap deal to Madrid as Julio ‘THE BEAST’ Baptista came to arsenal..Baptista’s stay at arsenal was marred with inconsistency …scoring four goal at anfield in a game…but his one year loan deal didn’t persuade wenger to sign him on a permanent deal. The next player to wear an arsenal no.9 jersey was Eduardo’dudu’ da Silva…the brazil born Croatian seemed the real deal and capable to fill the void left by the talisman Thierry Henry.He had a nice start to his career at emirates, where he struck a nice partnership with adebayor .It seemed that the no.9 curse was over for the gunners but then came an away game at st.andrews….an English lad named martin Taylor who seemed to have made a gentle tackle on the arsenal forward  that seemed just a soft touch even for the liking of the TV broadcaster who failed to show it on replay because they thought it was unnecessary to show such a faint tackle time and time again . Eduardo made a meal of this whole incident and feint an injury and went to hospital just like that and stooped so low that he continued faking his injury for a whole year just for the sake of making the angel hearted Taylor a villain in people’s eye…But Eduardo finally got fruits for all his craftiness and never played like what he seemed to have before his fake injury and finally concluded his stay in England because he was hated by people all over for him ruining the career of martin Taylor .

"anybody wants the number???…i am better off without it"…dudu shows off the jinxed jersey

That’s the story of no. 9 jersey and how players wearing them for arsenal have eluded glory…similar jinx seem to appear at Liverpool where no 10. Hasn’t been that yielding…the last player there that was famous wearing it was Michael Owen till 2004…lately it was given to andriy voronin who seemed a phantom figure in it, now Joe Cole bears the burden of being the playmaker no.10…similarly No.7 is a number Chelsea squad is happy to keep vacant…with players like maniche ,bograde(a totally unknown figure) and most recently sheva…who was totally not himself at the club…Well it really feels that certain numbers are doomed..

Aneesh Gupta
Arsene Wenger fan, loves football and cricket
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