Emmanuel Eboue still has a lot to offer

Emmanuel Eboue has had a hard few months at Arsenal having been booed off the pitch. However the Ivorian still has the ability to win over the Arsenal fans, he just needs the confidence.


From being one of the potentially best right backs in the world to labeled one of the worst players in the Premiership by some people, is quite a turnaround. Eboue has been fighting a constant battle to win over the fans since his switch to midfield and seems to be lacking that confidence by the pressure put on him from fans and himself.

It has been interesting watching Eboue play since those boos in Arsenal’s uninspiring but nevertheless important wins over defensive minded opposition. He has made some good surges and looked to support the man in possession; at times he was on the other side of the pitch but ultimately he has lacked the end product. However when he made those runs he was near isolated in support; his fluidity and flexibility needs better appreciation and understanding from him and his team-mates. Against Hull a fine move concluded by a scuffed effort from Eboue showed how hard it is to defend when a team displays such movement but build up like this has been few and far between.

It has also been interesting to see people talk about the Gunners changing their formation to a 4-3-3 like Manchester United’s so that they can acheive greater interchangeability. Football is about winning battles in different areas of the pitch. Players able to ‘play between the lines’ are seen as the key to unlock defences hence why Man United went for Berbatov instead an out-and-out forward. Better movement especially in the area between midfield and attack (providing the team doesn’t park the defence in front of the box) can be explosive. Tactics counts for only some of football’s logic, it is about the players applying themselves. “When defending, great teams want many behind the ball,” says Slaven Billic. “When attacking, players from all sides. We have to be compact, narrow to each other. It’s about the movement of 10 players now.”

Maybe Eboue needs to be more dynamic instead of always looking for the give and go but his style suits Arsene’s vision of total football. He just needs the confidence from fans and the players around him clicking more often and the movement to provide support, dragging defenders out.

There are similarities between the ‘total football’ sides of Holland and Dynamo Kiev and Arsenal. Arsenal play with overlapping full-backs, quick passing and a fluid midfield and attack. It has been practiced by the reserves as stated coach Neil Banfield. “We are trying to develop a game style for them so they can interchange and there are player rotations. We have got players who can play inside or out wide so we don’t mind them coming inside as long as when we lose possession we go back to a 4-4-2.”

It is about self-expression, individuality within a system and how football should be played at around the same time and with no obvious mutual influence. Arsenal are getting there; it will require a bit more time and patience. “We need to stick to it – because this is how Arsenal is. The Arsenal way is in our system now, it grows into you, and I don’t think it’s clever to change your philosophy,” Arsene Wenger says. ”Things take time, and you often see clubs sacking managers for fun, and they don’t get anywhere. You need a long-term strategy. At Arsenal, the players have time to grow into the system, and if we stick to our principles we will get silverware.”

This is not an article to change one’s minds on Eboue and stop the criticsims because as they say, “let a hundred flowers bloom, a hundred schools of thought contend” but instead next time he starts, watch in anticipation rather than expectation and maybe we will start to see the best of Eboue.


11 thoughts on “Emmanuel Eboue still has a lot to offer

  1. I dont know if we can see the best of Eboue but i think shifting him to midfield has been very bad for him. He cant make the first team like he used to and this is bad for a player who , a couple of seasons back, was an automatic selection. Sagna coming in has not been good for him as his attacking weaknesses are now exposed. That said i think he brings one level of unpredicatability (in a good way) to the arsenal midfield. I remember that run against Hull i dont think anyone else in that midfield of Arsenal could have done that .
    He has to live the fact that he would not make the starting level for a fit Arsenal team. And this i believe should strive him on. Coz he has only a few matches to prove his worth as a midfielder. Once walcott/rosicky/arshavin(!) is in the team he wouldnt get this chance.

  2. We need players to step up period. I would prefer it be one of the underperforming players who are on the brink of class i.e. Bendtner, Eboue, or DIaby. If we could get one of those guys to reach their potential no one could stop us, but when you have 3 guys on the pitch suffering from confidence issues it’s hard to keep the ball moving around in typical Arsenal fashion. Second guessing is our true rival this season. One touch football lads.

  3. Good point’s George, I agree completely – it is so frustrating to watch. Not sure about Bentdner though – brink of class or edge of an abyss?

    Whatever – the biggest confidence problem of the moment must be Adebayor – no?

  4. Refreshing to hear positive views on Eboue &I hope he gets the chance to redeem himself. alot of criticism has been over the top and just short of a witch hunt! Although it can be fun playing the role of the manager, we need to support him & the players

  5. Eboue’s issue are probably 80% mental and 20% physical. He never was the fastest player, but seems to be out of shape and a bit slower now. He might be hampered by nagging injuries that we don’t know about, but still does not seem himself physically. The mental part though is what is killing him. I can’t believe a professional (let alone a starter on a top 4 EPL team) has such an awful first touch that he has had of late. That is all mental (concentration and confidence) in my opinion. His poor decision making, lack of effort and urgency getting into position on offense or tracking back and overall lack of desire to work hard have been killing us.

  6. Hard for some to see but we need Eboue & his type. He has faults (who doesn’t) but he’s rarely injured puts himself about, strong physically & gives 100% -all traits that are not common in our team. We have many players who r lightweight &injury prone!

  7. We need to look @ team performance &results. With Eboue we have recently had a good run of results. Previously with Cesc, Theo & other prefered players wev’e had some poor results-so maybe without Eboue things might have been even worse than they are!

  8. lack of effort? eboue always gives 110% its just sometimes his performances dont reflect that, ive had enough with some “so called gooners” coming on forums running their mouths,eboue is this, denilson is that, bendtner will never make it bla bla bla, since the start of the season ive never heard so much pessisism so much lack of faith and belief and bulls*** from these fans, for the first month or more of the season eboue was our best player along with denilson, the prem title aint over by a long shot we are still in it, if we continue our run and win our games, bottom line whoever wins the prem is the team that is the most consistant, i know we can do it seems im in my small minority but just get behind the team and start making some noise for the boys, matter of fact they on 80k a week whatever but they need us as much as we need them, FACT!!!

  9. when injured players r back it will take heat off him. With many fixtures/injuries we need all the players we have &more- if he goes as many wish, he’s unlikely 2 be replaced as Arsenal don’t buy often! We need to add not subtract-maybe reposition him.

  10. Well said Pete.

    Reply 4 dc – i’m not blind or a potato but yes i am a supporter. It seems that you are a knocker (anti supporter)
    Eboue is the worst player you have ever seen? how long have you been watching & more importantly how closely?

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