The End of Eboue

I’ll be honest. I care about Emmanuel Eboue. Can I defend him? Certainly not. Am I quick to slaughter him like virtually everyone else has done? Absolutely not.

This weekend, he did something extremely dumb. His first booking was harsh, but after he swallowed it, he should have known better. He admitted as much by apologizing on the official website. Footballers have hearts and are not robots, that’s for sure. Look at Zidane. Look at Patrick. Did the actions of Modric require such actions? No.

People have had it out for Eboue ever since he dived to win the free kick against Barcelona. At that point, Eboue was considered to be one of the most promising right backs in the entire world. If you think that’s an exaggeration, you don’t remember that Eboue was nominated for UEFA Champions League Defender of the Year in that year we went to the Champions League final. Do you remember who Wenger compared Eboue to? Garrincha. His defensive game wasn’t completely found out yet, but he had huge potential.

After the season of transition at the Emirates, his performances were lacking and Arsene acted quickly and brought in Sagna. This resulted in Eboue being pushed up to the right midfield position, and I thought he brought balance into the squad. Eboue may have been a poor defender as a right back, but as a midfielder, he provided the defensive balance we required. As Capello stated, Arsenal attack with 8 men and defend with 10. That was the key to the team.

This year, Eboue has been slaughtered for misplacing passes, for “simulation,” for not trying, and other reasons. The truth is, some of these accusations are in fact true. Eboue is not the player we were hoping that he would be. A part of me is saddened by that, but we must realize that not all of the players will make it. For all the sparkling starlets we have, Wilshere, Ramsey, Jay Simpson, Merida, Afobe, Sunu, on and on, not all of these players will make it. Eboue may fall in line with that.

After Sunday’s actions, I feel as though Eboue is at a point where he cannot win the fans back. Am I being harsh? I don’t know. There was a calculated movement towards rehabilitation with Eboue, and in this same week, he shot himself in the foot.

Now the bloggers will be relentless. Most fans will be relentless. Ask yourself, if Theo Walcott earned two yellows in the manner that Eboue did, would they be so quick to call him an idiot? Especially with the first booking. What has Rooney said to refs in the past and gotten away with? Virtually nobody defended Eboue, and most have said he actually deserved the first card. As for his second yellow, it was merited, but did the referee see it? Is that an important point? Yes, it is. The way the card was produced suggested that it was for another action and not the trip. That means that Eboue could have been suspended later, but not for the rest of the SCUM fixture. People have it out for Eboue, and for that, I’m disappointed.

What is Eboue?

He’s a servant of the club who will play wherever Arsene asks him to. No matter if it’s on the left midfield, in central midfield, or left back.

He’s the glue that holds the locker room together. Think this is nonsense? Well, for a family dynamic to develop (which Arsene desperately wants as a mechanism to increase team output and keep his players together), he needs a player like Eboue. He keeps things light in the locker room. Ask Kolo or Theo (two vastly different types, from ethnicity to player-type) who keeps the locker room fun, they say Eboue. This seems like a cheap bit of praise, but it’s really not. Three teammates personally drove to his house to cheer him up after our “fans” booed him mercilessly.

Honestly, I feel that after the season is over, we will see Eboue leaving our club. That doesn’t affect our football, but he’ll be slaughtered much in the way that Cygan was. We need to provide an environment for our players to thrive. Arsene does that with every fiber in his body. But after seeing Brazil and Italy at the Emirates today, with the Emirates being at least 50% louder than for any Arsenal matches, it’s hard to say that our fans are doing the same.

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