wenger praise for eboue
Published 13/03/2010 | 05:00
Arsene Wenger feels Arsenal are finally beginning to see the best of "extrovert" Emmanuel Eboue -- whom the Gunners boss firmly believes can become the "complete player".
The versatile Ivory Coast international (26) came off the bench to score in the midweek 5-0 thrashing of Porto as a rampant Arsenal booked their place in the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
Eboue has endured an often difficult relationship with some of the Emirates Stadium faithful -- most notably when he had to be substituted after coming on against Wigan in December 2008 and receiving a tough reception which left him visibly upset as he trudged off to sarcastic cheers.
That, though, is now very much water under the bridge for the jovial African, who has since found cult status among the Gunners fans after becoming one of the most consistent performers in the squad. Wenger believes Eboue's presence is a welcome addition, both on the pitch and at the training ground.
"He was criticised last year and came back with the right attitude -- put the right performances in and people will love you," said the Arsenal boss. "When you are a football player, you are not loved for what you say, but for what you produce on the football pitch.
"He is developing into a complete player -- he can play full-back, right-midfield, left-midfield. He is a great football player. He is an extrovert who has some talents not only on the football pitch, but he can be funny. He uses that in a very positive way for a good mood in the squad."
With Bacary Sagna struggling to be fit to face Hull today because of an ankle problem, Eboue could again be deployed at right-back.
"Emmanuel is a very creative player," said Wenger. "Full-back is a very important position in modern football -- getting out of pressure most of the time comes through the wings and starts with the full-backs."