Eboue stronger after boos
Emmanuel Eboue believes that the booing he endured from his own supporters has made him a stronger person.
By Richard Bailey
Last Updated: 07/01/09 10:53am
Arsenal defender Emmanuel Eboue believes that the booing he endured from his own supporters during the league clash with Wigan has made him a stronger person.
Eboue came off the bench against the Latics and after a number of misplaced passes was booed by parts of the Gunners faithful at Emirates Stadium.
The defender was mockingly cheered when he was then substituted by manager Arsene Wenger as Arsenal held out to record a narrow 1-0 win.
But after some impressive displays since, the Ivory Coast international has shown his courage and ability and feels better for the experience.
"Yes (I feel stronger) and I'd just like to say thank you to my friends in the team, and to the staff and the boss," he told the club's official website.
"They helped me a lot after that game, because I was very disappointed and angry, not with the fans but with the game itself.
"I'd tried to give my best but nothing came off for me, and I know these things can happen sometimes.
"But I have to thank the supporters, lots of people have said sorry to me and I've received a lot of cards and messages over the Christmas period, which has been nice.
"So I'm feeling much better now and am pleased to have the chance to play. Against Portsmouth I was a little bit tired but I tried to give my best to the fans."
The 25-year-old has perhaps been a victim of his own versatility. Signed as a right-back in 2005 Eboue has seen Bacary Sagna make the position his own following his arrival in August 2007.
The former Beveren player has had to adapt his game after manager Arsene Wenger switched him to right midfield and now the right-sider is comfortable in the position.
"I feel much better now in this position," he added.
"Previously, I didn't know whether I was staying in midfield or returning to right-back, I wasn't certain of what my long-term position would be.
"But having spoken to the manager I know that this is my position and I'm comfortable now.
"I'm fully focused on being a midfielder and know what to expect, but of course I can play at right-back if needed, and I'm very happy to do so for the team."
Meanwhile, 17-year-old midfielder Conor Henderson has signed professional forms with the club after being with the Gunners since he was eight years old.