Who has been my least favoured player over the last 3 seasons? Emmanuel Eboue. Who has been my favourite Gooner of the last 3 seasons? Emmanuel Eboue. And herein lies the conundrum. How could such a likeable man become so annoying when he got on the pitch?
We have had many discussions over the months about the efficacy of Emmanuel; what he brings or doesn’t bring to the team, but no-one has ever questioned his commitment to the cause. He swallowed the whole AFC cake, history, tradition, fandom and obsession. He become the totem at the club when not playing, greeted the players when they left the pitch, was the first to celebrate a goal, he has been a Gooner personified. BUT he was not paid to be a Gooner, he was paid a huge amount of money to be an effective footballer and it is this context that he let us down.
This is the man who invented the starfish – lying on the ground as though hit by a piece of 4 by 2. Staring at the ref, beseeching him to take action against the miscreant who was close enough to Eboue to allow him to
dive. simulate. I hated his theatrics. I hated his lack of honesty – it was not and is not the Arsenal way. I also found his lack of end product immensely frustrating – for a man who can beat a player both with pace and tremendous skill, he should have had more assists. He has a wonderful engine, can get from box to box in seconds , can drift past opposition defenders with ease but to what effect? He never learned to cross accurately, find a man in the box, nor shoot on target. To be fair, he did become more disciplined in his last season and perhaps Galatasary have signed a bargain.
I was ashamed to be a Gooner when he got booed off the pitch having been brought on in a position he had never played in previously, no Arsenal player should be humiliated in such a manner that AW is forced to replace him. It was a night of shame for all true Arsenal fans. How did Eboue react? He manned up, put in more effort, more training, made himself popular again. Grounds all over the country resounded to “You’ve only come to see Eboue”, such was his resurrection as a player.
It was typical of EE’s luck that he left the club in the same week as someone else who has been hogging the limelight. Few words have been devoted to his 6 years of loyal service, it is a shame because he deserves so much more. This is not a Nasri whose love for the club can be measured in £’s, it is a man who sweated blood for a club he loves.
Eboue’s AFC career was blighted by injury and it was his ankle rather than his lack of talent that forced AW to sign Sagna as our first choice right back. He played 132 games for us and always gave his all, never hid despite the boo-boys, always played with a smile.
I wish him well at his new club, they have signed a Man, not a spoilt brat but some-one who knows how to overcome adversity with a wide, toothy grin. Emmanuel Eboue is a clown but he is also a real Arsenal man, farewell and thank you.
Written by Big Raddy