Arsenal 1-0 Wigan – The Aftermath
The good news from the weekend was that we have put a back to back victory together in the league for the first time since October. We were able to couple a a good win against Chelsea with a run of the mill win against Wigan.
The performance might not have been the best in the world, but when we win and do not play well the media has a go at us. If we had failed to win it would be Arsenal can’t win ugly! Arsenal were unfortunate not to have won by a greater margin, van Persie having tow great second half chances and Denilson’s shot coming off the post, any of those going in and it would have been more comfortable at the end.
The low point and the week-end’s talking point was the treatment of Eboue by the fans. The booing of Eboue is a throw back to the Highbury days when certain players could do no right in the eyes of the fans, the list was long, Quinn, Groves, Caesar even Parlour, but this phenomenon had not been seen during the Wenger era. The sense of frustration with Eboue is a culmination of several years of frustration with the Ivorian defender/ midfielder. Fans do not turn on players easily. Eboue has been very lazy in tracking back to fulfil his defensive duties, this would be forgiven if he was a class attacking player like Nasri, but he is not. Even on Saturday, he was the last player to track back. Too many careless passes on Saturday and the coup de grâce was the tackle of Toure and then giving the ball away.
Fans had viewed Eboue as a figure of fun in recent months, but Wenger’s insistence on playing him has tipped the fans over the edge. Wenger acknowledged this on Saturday and took him off, his fellow team-mates have rallied around, as one would expect, but secretly and deep down they must realise that he almost threw the game away on Saturday.
What happens next is down to Eboue. Does he have the character to come back and perform like a premier league player or will he withdraw into a shell and driven out of Arsenal by his failure to lift his game. This is the person who, when he took over from Lauren was fantastic, charging up the field and then getting back to sort out his defensive duties.
The next two away games will determine Eboue’s future at Arsenal.