Arsenal’s African Players Number 7 – Emmanuel Eboue

It’s sad to analyse the next individual given that it covers a happier time in his life. Eboue became a cult hero at the Emirates for coming across as someone who loved every minute at the club. I remember on match days where commonly he’d be the last to leave the pitch, having done a lap of honour. Arsenal pride themselves on being a family club and have helped one of their own far beyond football. If nothing else, they supported their ex-employee as he spread the word of his own mental health.

Emmanuel Eboue – 214 games 10 goals
Was the highlight of our working relationship with Beveren, the only player we would sign permanently from our feeder club. In his first year he only featured in cup ties but had the trademarks of a full back Arsene Wenger loved, someone who bombs forward while aggressive in the tackle. The turning point came when Lauren suffered a serious knee injury. Eboue filled in well enough for his manager not to sign a replacement while informing Lauren he could leave if he wanted too. Originally Eboue was part of an injury hit back 4 who went on to set a record for how long they went without conceding a goal on our route to the Champions League Final.

The right back would become known for his blistering pace, followed by a lack of final ball to the point it became affectionate. There was a moment in 2008 when a section of our fans let themselves down, taking out their frustrations with the team on Eboue, forcing our manager to sub the sub against Wigan.

He was very much a confidence player who needed an arm round the shoulder. While his delivery could be erratic and he would have lapses of concentration you could never accuse him of not giving 100 percent effort.

He was told by Arsene Wenger to take the move to Galatasaray where he would win the first silverware of his career. It was also where his personal problems arose. As recently as 2017 he spoke about being homeless due to bad investments and a costly divorce. Both of his ex-employers have financially and mentally supported Eboue without seeking any PR gain. Eboue has recently spoken about his mental illness. If that brings awareness to even one person, that’s his biggest achievement.

He recently remarried and I hope he finds happier times as I will always miss his smile lighting up the stadium.

Dan Smith

8 Comments

  1. Ingleby says:

    That’s a very nice tribute to a man who will hopefully turn his life around.

  2. G.O.C says:

    Very sad with all that happened to him lately..Hope he finds true happiness once more…

    Had a rollercoaster ride with Arsenal..Filled with highs and lows…Always wore his heart on his sleeve each time he put on that shirt..even when the end product was missing or when his performances took a nosedive.. The one thing that never wavered was his commitment and work rate.. The guy had immense energy..

    Imagine if some of our current players possess half that enthusiasm and work rate..

  3. Sooo sad!!! This Eboue story really moved me. When you marry the wrong person, they can turn your life upside down. Eboue earned millions for years but now his conniving wife got everything he ever worked for. Divorced and blocked him. He is strong though and fortunately managed to move on with his life.

    1. Tissiam says:

      That b*tch cleaned him up properly,she made him signed documents he didn’t understand due to his lack of education,how she got away with it amazes me,he earned all the money and she ended up with everything and him homeless,not right at all!

  4. ken1945 says:

    He was a character who, like players in our squad today, seemed to divide the fans.

    One thing that was never missing was his absolute love of playing the game.

    I don’t know enough about his personal life to pass judgement, but hope he has now found the happiness he deserves.

    slightly of topic, but doesn’t the way our club has looked after him show that we are more than just kronkies new baby?
    Tradition and “The Arsenal Way” can never be bought and that is why our club will always be admired and respected.

  5. Welbeck says:

    Can’t remember the opponents but I do remember King Eboue coming on as a substitute and getting subbed off again. The anger of the fans booing him off, the shame of being hauled off and now we know he had some mental health issues. I respect him for speaking out but more players like him and Aaron Lennon should come out and talk about their life problems, so the rest of us mere common folk can understand the underbelly of fame.

  6. Sue says:

    I do feel for Eboue… mental health issues are so hard to deal with… I really do hope he comes out the other side a stronger person & has no more dark days.. at least he has his kids (& new wife) to help with that!

  7. Le Coq Monster says:

    Loved the guy, his personality was infectcious……..The Eboue Virus!
    If there was ever a player who i would be like personality wise it would him, although i`m much loonier, a shin pad short of a full kit ! 😆

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