By Giuseppe Muro

Emmanuel Eboue insists his defensive instincts took over and his only intention was to win the ball when he committed a careless tackle on Birmingham's Liam Ridgewell on Saturday.

The Ivorian received a yellow card for the foul from referee Martin Atkinson and, given the current debate around tackling in the Premier League, the incident has been highlighted in the media.

Eboue insists his intentions were good and he never thought of injuring his opponent.

“When I did that tackle I didn’t go to do anything bad,” said the 27-year-old.  “I just wanted to get the ball. I’m a defender so when I did that tackle I didn’t want to kill him. I just wanted to get the ball.

"The referee spoke to me after the game. He told me: ‘I know you touched the ball but your tackle was very, very dangerous.’ I said ‘OK, no problem’, so next time I will be more careful.

“We are not a dirty team. We like to play football and make everybody happy when we play.

"He [Arsène Wenger] has never told us about bad tackles or about anything. He just told us to play our football.”

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18 Oct 2010