Emmanuel Eboue believes he has emerged from his difficult December as a stronger person.
Some sections of the Emirates Stadium crowd turned on the Ivorian in the closing stages of last month's narrow win over Wigan Athletic. Eboue was visibly affected by the incident but he has bounced back well, most notably when he set up a goal for Abou Diaby at Aston Villa on Boxing Day.
The 25-year-old just missed out on his second goal of the campaign as Arsenal beat Plymouth in the FA Cup on Saturday. Nonetheless, Eboue is smiling again after coming through the bleakest period of his Arsenal career.
"Yes [I feel stronger now] and I’d just like to say thank you to my friends in the team, and to the staff and the boss," he said.
"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 really 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 for the fans."
Eboue has arguably been a victim of his own versatility - he was one of Europe's most exciting young full-backs in 2006 but has since been 'reinvented' as a midfielder. Now, despite filling in on the left flank or in the centre, Eboue feels at home in his right-sided role.
"Yes, I feel much better now in this position," he said.
"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."
This interview first appeared in the Official Matchday Programme. You can subscribe to the Matchday Programme by calling 08700 20 20 20.Copyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 6 Jan 2009