Full Circle: Eboue and Wigan

It was against Wigan that “The Better” Emmanuel Eboue suffered his worst moment as a professional football player. A player who wants to be loved by the fans more than any other, he delivered a humiliating performance that culminated with him being booed off the pitch. At the time, I reckoned that his Arsenal career was over. I was wrong, and I’m so happy that I was.

Sure, there are people who still rip him. There are also moments when you get frustrated with his play and his occasional forays into simulation. But here is a man who won his way back into our team the proper way.

Instead of sulking and delivering lackluster efforts, he’s worked hard and proven to be a real asset to the team. At the moment, he can function as a utility man. He can play as a right back, right winger, or a central midfield player. The fact that he doesn’t necessarily excel at any of those positions is of no real importance. He is not a first choice player, but he’s a player we definitely need in our side.

You see, I have a real soft spot for Emmanuel Eboue. He is clearly loved within the Arsenal locker room, and I truly believe that he doesn’t possess a malicious bone in his body. That doesn’t mean he can’t be ruthless, as he so aptly demonstrated in his condemnation of Adebayor’s actions. It just means that I feel his presence brings a positive spirit to the squad.

In fact, if you consider the fact that Eboue was subject to some actual horrific treatment by our fans, you could comprehend it if he came out and acted moody and continued to play like he didn’t give a damn. It happened with one Emmanuel (although his treatment was NEVER as poor as the media would have you believe), but it didn’t happen with this one.

It is no surprise to me that Eboue is still an Arsenal player. He genuinely cares about our fans, our team, and our manager.

As for Wigan, they come into this fixture as a completely different side to the one we played against. At that time, Steve Bruce was virtually lollygagging his way into the Sunderland job. He showed little passion, and the match was a rather forgettable 1-0 affair that we just about squeaked out at the Emirates.

Now they have Roberto Martinez, a figure who is a beloved figure himself at Wigan. He was one of the first foreign players to ever play for Wigan, and when Steve Bruce deserted them, there was only one possible man for the job.

He likes to play football. They’re a much more formidable side than West Brom though, as they possess the players needed to clog up the midfield in Hendry Thomas and Diame. But if they play open, it’ll be slightly easier to carve them open as opposed to when we last played them.

If we see a dominating display tomorrow, we’ll know our team is back on track. We’re beginning a stretch of games where we need to start stamping our dominance all over the pitch.


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