By Adam Clark
When Paul Jewell signed Pascal Chimbonda from French side Bastia in the summer of 2005, few knew much about him. By the end of his maiden season in the English game he was in the Premiership Team of the Year and the France World Cup squad.
Unfortunately for Jewell, his remarkable right back had ambitions to further his career sooner rather than later and when Tottenham came knocking last summer Chimbonda was on his way.
But Jewell wasn't the only manager to unearth a gem at right back in 2005. The year also saw the emergence of Emmanuel Eboue at Arsenal. The Ivorian, signed from Belgian side Beveren, quickly established himself as a first-team regular and has been earning plaudits for his energetic displays ever since.
Chimbonda and Eboue will likely be two of the first names on the teamsheets for Saturday's North London derby so we took a look at the statistics to compare their form.
When it comes to distribution they have performed with remarkably similar efficiency. Eboue has been successful with 63.6 per cent of his attempts to find a team-mate, equating to one accurate pass every 18 minutes. Chimbonda has a 63.2 per cent success rate and has completed a successful pass every 17 minutes.
There's also not much to separate them when it comes to attacking contributions. The Ivorian is yet to register a Premiership goal but has five assists to his name. Chimbonda has one goal but one fewer assist.
In terms of taking on opponents Eboue has relished the challenge. The 23-year-old has attempted 17 dribbles this term and produced an end product on 13 occasions. Chimbonda on the other hand has made almost twice as many attempts, 32, but has relinquished possession 13 times. Also it is worth considering that Eboue's troubles with niggling injuries has restricted him to 762 fewer minutes of Premiership action than his counterpart. Therefore you'd expect him to be playing catch up.
Crossing is yet another area where the two can barely be separated. Eboue has darted forward to provide 31 crosses; Chimbonda is just one ahead on 32.
The statistics do show Chimbonda's defensive contributions to be more valuable however. Interceptions? He leads 21:9. Blocks? Seven to five. And clearances? The Spurs man leads 49:26. But in fairness this could be a result of Arsenal's tighter defensive unit. The Gunners have conceded just 31 goals this campaign, 17 fewer than Spurs.
View Emmanuel Eboue's player profile
Head to Head Statistics Emmanuel Eboue Pascal Chimbonda Premiership Appearances 20 28 Minutes on pitch 1702 2464 Attacking Goals 0 1 Shots on target 4 6 Shots off target 8 6 Shots blocked 1 1 Offside 0 2 Supporting Assists 5 4 Passes made 151 231 Passes complete 96 146 Passes incomplete 55 85 Crosses successful 3 5 Crosses unsuccessful 28 27 Total dribbles 17 32 Dribbles successful 13 19 Dribbles unsuccessful 4 13 Defending Tackles made 29 62 Tackles won 16 42 Tackles lost 13 20 Interceptions 9 21 Blocked Shots 5 7 Clearances 26 49 Penalties Conceded 0 1 Own Goals 0 0 Discipline Fouls 16 18 Yellow Cards 1 5
NB: Statistics as at Friday, April 20, 2007.
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