Ebooooooooooooooue – Was It Justified?

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Is it acceptable to boo your own club’s players? On Saturday Emmanuel Eboue was booed off the pitch after being taken off for an error strewn performance in which he looked shot of confidence. He had come on after half an hour but was taken off just before the end (when was the last time an uninjured sub got subbed?) having given the ball away numerous times while Arsenal were holding on to a 1-0 lead against Wigan. The most notable  incident saw him essentially tackle Toure and pass straight to the opposition.

Unliked by fans

Unliked by the fans.

Now I’ll be the first to admit I’m not Eboue’s biggest fan – I think he’s a lazy, nonchalant player who frustrates, dives and contributes little from the right wing. He feigns injury more than he scores. He had zero goals and just two assists in the league last year and has scored just three times in his Arsenal career. That said he’s a pretty good right back (no Sagna though) and an alright right winger whilst also having the ability to fill in at several other positions.  His main strengths are his strength, pace and running. He seems popular amongst the players if not fans, always in the goal celebrations and apparently the team’s joker. Basically a good squad player who is worth keeping for his versatility until our younger players mature.

But liked by the players

But liked by the players.

Showing frustration is different – you can moan at a player all you want, say he’s f-ing useless this, piece of crap that. But booing is unproductive and frankly embarrassing. Is his performance likely to improve when booed? I don’t think so. Many players thrive on adversity but Eboue is not one of them. He looked distraught when taken off. Let’s put this in context too. Eboue hasn’t has a great Arsenal career thus far and has many bad games including on Saturday. But that’s all it was – a bad game. Every Arsenal player has had a bad game. What about players that have cost trophies? Was David Seaman booed after Nayim’s lob? Almunia after Paris? Bergkamp after the FA Cup penalty miss in 1999? (say what you like but that was the key to United’s treble). Even Gallas hasn’t received the same treatment despite everyone thinking he’s a prat. After Adebayor’s summer flirtation with Barca I didn’t boo him. I just didn’t cheer him on.

Too much of this

The unecessary.

Whilst I would not be sorry to see him leave I felt the booing Eboue received on Saturday was unfair. As far as I am aware you go to games to support you team, through the thick as well as the thin. There are players you like and players you think are a waste of space but to boo them is to become a fan of the opposition. The changing dynamic of football fans means there are many who have only started supporting Arsenal recently – the entertainment fitting in with it being trendy, all with a price to match. When you don’t get the entertainment you are disappointed and you vent your frustrations. The atmosphere at the Emirates is often dictated by how the team is playing and not vice versa. Only the big games against United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Spurs see constant singing. This goes back to the final years at Highbury too. There was a reason it was nicknamed the Library. You may feel that after paying £40 (or more, in many cases) you are entitled to do what you want but if you’re not there to support the team you shouldn’t be there at all. I for one hope it doesn’t happen again.

Needs a hug

In happier times...

 

T.

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5 Responses to “Ebooooooooooooooue – Was It Justified?”

  1. SJ Says:

    I agree with most of what was said above, however as someone who was at the game (didn’t cheer so much as let out a sigh of relief) Eboue was seconds away from costing us 3 vital points. Arsene Wenger could see that, and felt it would be better to take him off before he did more damage and was even more depressed (and no doubt even more hated by Arsenal fans)

    I think fans wanted to have their voice heard, they were glad he came off, and they were supporting the manager’s decision. Eboue gets paid a fortune, and I’m afraid I don’t feel one bit sorry for him – it comes with the job and I’m sure he can deal with it. As for the superficial fans – I was sitting amongst season ticket holders (surely as close to real fans as it gets in the stadium) and they all contributed to the cheering as much as the rest of the 59 odd thousand.

    I’d personally use it as motivation to come back and win the hearts of Arsenal fans – or I’d leave the club and realize I’m not wanted lol

  2. thesportboys Says:

    I totally agree that he should have been taken off. He was playing terribly and like you say was possibly going to cost us a win. It was the right decision but I don’t think Wenger expected that reaction to happen.

    If the fans wanted their voice to be heard, why not stop at the ironic cheering? That would have got the message across just as well. It is a fine line between wanting to make frustrations heard and being unproductive. Of course Eboue needs to know his performances aren’t up to scratch but I’m just not convinced that booing him was the answer. Your home ground is meant to be where you get support and thus win more games.

    On a side note, what’s the point of having Wilshere on the bench if Wenger won’t bring him on in such a situation. He’s already had a good game against Wigan this year and would cause less disruption to the shape of the team then Slivestre.

  3. SJ Says:

    What exactly is meant by ironic cheering? I keep hearing it in the press but don’t understand what they mean by it? I do think Wenger was slightly to blame as well playing him out of position and I have to say Silvestre was just as bad when he came on – I think he gave the ball away once or twice! lol. I agree about your home ground being a fortress of solitude but it’s not the first time fans have booed their own players. The stadium let out a cheer as they all felt Eboue should be taken off, that is their right and doesn’t make them any less of a fan – in fact I’d argue it shows how much the game and the points mean to them and shows they are even more of a fan…

  4. thesportboys Says:

    I think they mean cheering something that is in fact negative i.e. Eboue being taken off. I have no problem with him being cheered in that way. It was quite clear the fans were happy he was coming off and it was a good way of showing he wasn’t up to scratch. It was the booing afterwards which was a bit uncalled for. You’re right, teams get booed off the pitch all the time but you very rarely see one home player being picked on in such a way. It’s an interesting debate and the reaction he gets on Wednesday will be intriguing. I’d imagine he’ll get a good cheer again, but a positive one this time.

  5. SJ Says:

    Yes well I completely agree in that case and I feel proud to say I for one didn’t boo at the Emirates. I’m intrigued by the reaction he gets on Wednesday too.

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