I have to admit that I find Eboue difficult. Everyone can admire the way he has turned the Arsenal faithful and become an icon at the Emirates. He has more songs than any other player, which is astonishing considering we have had the genius of Fabregas. When we first sang “You have only come to see Eboue”, it was ironic, that is no longer the case. He has gone from leaving the pitch in a flood of tears to being our touchstone.
Eboue is admirable in so many ways. A family man, a religious man and a happy man. The team joker, the dressing room darling. He has shown that with dedication, hard work and non-stop action, it is possible to resurrect a career. But, and here is the rub, he has that other side which we all find so frustrating. Eboue is our Steven Gerrard – our own Greg Louganis . the man could have won an Oscar for some of his acting over the past few seasons. It is embarassing and is not the Arsenal Way. However, my purpose is to look at Eboue as a footballer and what he brings to the team.
EE has been at Arsenal for 6 years, played close to 200 games but has yet to establish himself. A natural Right back, he has developed his game to become a general dogsbody, capable of filling any role apart from GK, and he could well be a better GK than what we have! He has pace and can beat a man at will. He is our best right sided crosser which will be important given the arrival of Chamakh. The man appears to be the perfect squad member; capable of covering a multitude of positions, and in particular be back-up to Sagna.
In my opinion, our season fell apart because our squad wasn’t good enough. Our first team have qualities that could well win the PL. but with the unfortunate run of injuries, players who are on the periphery of the team got the opportunity to shine. The rest is history. It became clear that our squad is not strong enough, incapable of competing with the likes of Blackburn and the Spuds, and Eboue, the most experienced of this bunch (sans Sol) did nothing to indicate he is worth a first team slot.
It is strange that we have yet to develop an outstanding youth right back. We are blessed on the left with 3 fantastic players, but rely upon Eboue should anything happen to Sagna.
Wenger had concerns about Eboue otherwise he wouldn’t have signed Sagna, yet there is a feeling around THOF that EE should start ahead of Sagna, primarily because he brings extra potency to the attack, but I believe when Walcott is playing, Sagna is the better bet – he is more disciplined in his positional play and is a far better defender.
The media is full of rumour that Barca are interested in signing Eboue. Can you really believe it?
The Ivory Coast played him in an advanced position in the World Cup and he was close to anonymous – tried hard, went on mazy runs, but had no cutting edge.
I believe Eboue has a place at Arsenal, purely as back up RB. He has no end product, runs into blind alleys and panics the moment he gets in the penalty area. That he gives everything for the shirt is not in doubt and his arrival as sub certainly raises the energy level of the team.
My ambivalence stems from my concerns that he just isn’t good enough for the Arsenal. Good player, yes, but good enough…. No.