Archive for December 8th, 2008


Look who’s coming to Porto


Eboue is going to play against Porto. Which should settle all this debate, right? The boss is playing the player and unless there are extraordinary circumstances, I seriously doubt that the traveling Arsenal supporters will boo Eboue. In fact, he’ll certainly get a warm reception and with all the press brouhaha over the incident at the Emirates on Saturday he’ll probably even get a ton of leeway.

I just want to answer a couple of things that have come up here and in other forums so that we can put this to bed once and for all. 1. Where the fans a “disgrace?” 2. Is this a witch hunt? 3. Where do we go from here?

To the first, I say no. Look, I see this stuff here in the comments all the time. Fans, short for fanatics, are passionate about their club. Sometimes they are passionate beyond reason and so, I applaud the supporters who can sit through the performance that Eboue put in on Saturday and not get vocal: that takes a combination of compassion and self restraint.  I couldn’t do it, especially not in that game.

This was a very tense match, the fans and the players were desperate for Arsenal to get a win so as not to follow up a big game win with a “lesser” team draw, or worse. As the game progressed, the tackles got harder, and as the Arsenal pinged balls off the post and generally started letting Wigan get some belief in this match, our tension level rose. There we sat, on the knife’s edge between heartbreak and joy and when Eboue stole the ball from Toure and passed it to Wigan, I think a large number of us broke and saw heartbreak looming. Then when Wenger yanked him, they broke down and acted out their baser instincts.

People ask what would happen if Fabregas did that, or is this just irrational Eboue hatred? Well, I can’t see Cesc doing that, but if he did, I think he would get some stick: he hasn’t been playing up to his high standard this season and I’ve already heard some grumblings. But it’s still not the same: Fabregas has never been labeled by his own manager as a cheat.

Eboue has a long, long history of on-field histrionics which makes him excruciatingly frustrating. One game he’ll be incredible, the next game he’ll be lazy, diving, feigning injury, or stealing the ball off Toure and passing it to the opposition. It’s not a witch hunt, but there is a long history here of bizarre behavior by the player which makes it even easier for the fans to get on his back when he’s had another of his poor performances.

But so what now? It doesn’t do any good to boo him, as Yogi’s Warrior points out, and may even hurt team morale. Given that Wenger is going to play him and play him in whatever position he feels best, there really isn’t a choice: we support Eboue. We tone down the rhetoric a bit, back off him, let him play and get on with the season.

Arsenal still have a lot of work to do this year, next up is taking top marks in our group by securing at least an away draw against Porto. I’ll be there rooting for Eboue to bounce back and put in the type of performance that the club, the fans, and he all deserve.

Enough of this story, right?

News Roundup

The boss has said that Rosicky will be back in March “at the earliest.” So, now it’s March, don’t be surprised if you see April mentioned and then next month, “next season.”

Eduardo is going to play for the reserves on December 16th which is another step closer to first team action. I wonder if he’ll be our Christmas miracle in the Boxing Day away match to Villa?

I don’t know what to think of the fact that Simpson, Hoyte, and Gibbs all might go on loan. There’s not much cover at the full back spot so I’m kind of surprised that he’d loan out those players. Simpson is a no-brainer, with Eduardo coming back there’s no room for him and I’d hate to see him rot in the reserves — he’s got a lot of class and I think a bright future. Maybe Wenger has a defensive target in mind for January?

We’re being re-linked to Alonso, but I’d be shocked if Liverpool allowed that switch to take place. Their midfield is humming along very nicely right now and Xabi is a crucial part of that. That same article mentions that Arsenal are looking to buy Yaya and Kalou, so take it with a HUGE grain of salt.

Heh, I bet Arsene loans out all the youngsters and doesn’t buy anyone in January. Just to piss us all off.

I’ve got to go to work now and I’m going to try my hardest not to boo my coworkers when they screw up. I’ll report back on my success or failure tomorrow.

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