By Richard Clarke
Emmanuel Eboue is a changed man, according to Arsène Wenger.
The Arsenal midfielder had a terrible time against Wigan at Emirates Stadium on December 6 last season. He came on for Samir Nasri in the 32nd minute but never settled into the game. An error-strewn performance drew criticism from the crowd and he was hauled off himself just before the end.
Since then Eboue has knuckled down, improved and, in fact, become something of a cult hero among the Arsenal crowd. Ahead of the repeat fixture on Saturday, his manager paid tribute to the turnaround.
“I think he has learned from that [incident] and changed,” said Wenger.
“It is very difficult to describe how he was in the dressing room but, of course, he was highly disappointed. He is a sensitive boy so we tried to help him a little bit.
“Eboue is a guy who wants to do well. He is humble and decent to people. And when you have that in life you always have a chance to improve your behaviour. If you only think you are right you cannot improve.
“He analysed well what happened and changed. But he has always been a good guy, loved in the dressing room.
“Overall we knew he was a quality football player and now he has just become focused on that.”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 18 Sep 2009