No malice in Eboue tackle
Emmanuel Eboue has defended his challenge on Liam Ridgewell by saying he did not 'want to kill' the full-back.
Last Updated: 18/10/10 5:23pm
Emmanuel Eboue has defended his challenge on Liam Ridgewell by saying he did not 'want to kill' the Birmingham full-back.
The Arsenal player clattered into the back of Ridgewell with both feet in Saturday's 2-1 victory but escaped with a yellow card and a stern warning from referee Martin Atkinson.
Eboue recognises that he must take more care in future and maintains he would never intend to hurt an opponent.
"When I tackled him I didn't want to kill him," said the Ivory Coast international.
"When I did that tackle I didn't go through the back. I just wanted to touch the ball.
"The referee spoke to me after the game and said, 'Emmanuel I know you touched the ball but the tackle was very dangerous'.
"I just said, 'Okay, no problem'. Next time I will be more careful."
Jack Wilshere was sent off against Birmingham for a foul on Nikola Zigic, leaving Arsenal third from bottom of the Premier League disciplinary table.
Arsene Wenger has insisted the Gunners do play fairly and remains committed to ridding the game of bad challenges.
Eboue agrees with his manager, saying: "We are not a dirty team.
"Everyone knows we like to play football and make everyone happy when we play and we like to score.
"What happened on Saturday is finished. Now when we play we just have to play football and be careful on the pitch."
A thigh injury to Bacary Sagna means Eboue is likely to start at right-back in the UEFA Champions League Group H match against Shakhtar Donetsk on Tuesday.
The match will see Croatia striker Eduardo return to the club where he spent three years before leaving for Ukraine in a £6million deal this summer.
Eboue will be happy to welcome back his former team-mate, who spent much of his stay in north London recovering from a horrific broken leg which he suffered against Birmingham in 2008.
Eboue said: "Eduardo is still our brother. We love him a lot because when he was here he was so great to everyone so everyone respects him a lot.
"We are so happy to have him back to play against us."