Emmanuel Eboue, the Ivorian who joined Arsenal and made his name as a right-back. Much has transpired since the day he burst onto the scene and slotted into the right-back position vacated by Kolo Toure after switching to centre-back. The 2007-2008 season saw Arsene Wenger persist in playing Eboue on the right-wing, overlooking the precocious Theo Walcott in the process. Walcott earned his place in the team at the later stages of the season, grabbing the chance to prove his ability and potential.
Fast-forward to today, and Walcott has earned his place in the starting lineup, scoring a hattrick in his international game away at Croatia. Much has been said about this season being “The Theo Walcott” season, whereby he will show his worth to the team and fire Arsenal to domestic and European glory. But quietly in a corner, a forgotten man is starting to come through after seasons of average performances and derision from the fans.
Eboue has started almost every game for the Gunners this season, and to the much surprise of fans and media, Arsene has placed him in the centre of the midfield to fill the void left by the departure of Flamini and Gilberto. Many fans have voiced their disbelief and rightly so, after seeing Eboue put in average displays on the right-wing. However his performances this season has left many surprised, and some may even say shocked. Tireless work rate, vital interceptions to prevent opposition attacks, runs into the box creating opportunities and even his first league goal of his career for Arsenal have left many fans singing his praises. Has Eboue finally found his position to excel?
With Arsene not signing a central midfielder in the summer, many expected Denilson, Diaby and Song to fight for the coveted central midfield slot to partner Fabregas. But little did many expect it when Arsene decided to place his faith in Eboue and hand him the chance. Is Arsene’s faith misplaced? Or has Arsene once again done his magic and uncovered a gem in Eboue, much like wha the has done for Henry. This season will prove to be exciting for many reasons, and I for one, will watch with bated breathe if Eboue will become the Messiah that many have craved.