Thursday, May 15, 2008


Wenger backs Eboue

Taken from

Wenger - Why Eboue's critics are wide of the mark
By Chris Harris
Arsène Wenger has leapt to the defence of
Emmanuel Eboue amid criticism of the Ivorian's performances this season.
The 24-year-old has operated in a new position this term, moving forward from right back to right wing since the arrival of Bacary Sagna. Eboue's failure to find the net has prompted unfavourable comparisons with Cristiano Ronaldo, who eclipsed the 40-goal mark for Manchester United from a midfield role.
However, Wenger believes that Eboue's critics are wide of the mark. Speaking at a Q&A with shareholders last week the Frenchman insisted that, although Eboue's qualities are less eye-catching, they are no less important to his Arsenal side.
"If you look at the number of goals we scored you will see we are near the top of the League," said Wenger. "A team is first of all a balance, that's why I am not a fan of going into any individual case.
"You don't always play a player because he scores goals, you play him because he gives you a balance to the team. We play in a very attacking style and Eboue gives us defensive balance."
The Arsenal manager did make a comparison of his own - between Eboue and one of his illustrious predecessors on the right side of midfield.
"Ray Parlour did not score many goals on the right side of midfield," pointed out Wenger. "You look at the numbers and you will be surprised but for me he was a great player for Arsenal Football Club.
"You can not only go on the goals and assists, you must look at the efficiency of the whole team. That's why Ray Parlour was a great player for us and why Eboue helps us too.
"What counts is how many goals a team scores as a unit and how many chances we create. On that front we can compete with everybody in the League."

With the greatest respect Mr Wenger is missing the point. Certainly I have not questioned Eboue's goal scoring contribution. Rather:

- his passing
- his tackling
- his ball control
- his diving
- his attempts to con

Comparing Eboue with Parlour is like comparing a Lada with an Escort. Laughable.

To score a goal Eboue needs to get into a goal scoring positio. He then needs to try and control the ball if or when it comes near him. This he has failed to do on the rest of the pitch, no one expects him to get it right ever.

Wenger says he gives us defensive balance. The dummies among us might well wonder why then Sagna isn't pushed forward and Eboue drops back? (To the car park would be nice)

The Eboue situation I liken to Eddie McGoldrick years back under George Graham. A player who seems to all and sundry to be out of his depth and offering nothing to the team. If Rosicky is fit can we assume Eboue will keep his place to ensure 'balance'?

Wenger does come out with some old nonsense at times. After having Henry as captain for a few years he would glibly say the team has 11 captains. But then when we cashed in on him he announced Gallas would be captain 'cos he was French, sorry, 'cos he was a defender and defenders make the best captains!

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