By Chris Harris
Arsène Wenger insists that Emmanuel Eboue has learned valuable lessons from his red card at Tottenham.
The Ivorian started this month’s north London derby in sparkling form and was unfortunate to have a ‘goal’ chalked off. However, his day soon turned sour when he was booked for dissent and then sent off after kicking out at Luca Modric.
Arsenal’s 10 men held on for a 0-0 draw but Eboue was roundly criticised after the game. Some have questioned his future at Emirates Stadium but the 25-year-old will return to Arsenal’s squad for Saturday’s game against Sunderland.
At his pre-match press conference, Wenger explained why he was sticking by Eboue.
"I have spoken to Eboue,” said Wenger. “He was sorry and he feels he was unfortunate with the first yellow card.
"On the first yellow card, he was not aggressive, he was clumsy. On the second yellow, he was guilty. He knows he has been treated like somebody who is guilty and he's apologised for that.
"It was certainly naive on the first yellow card, on the second he was guilty. That doesn't mean he has no future at the club because there's competition for places.
“It has been a bit of a hate and love season for him but I don’t believe [he is hated now]. He had quite a good start at Tottenham and he wanted to do so well that maybe he got over frustrated.
“He is not the first player to do that. He has been punished, he has learnt from that, he is still a young player and he is a talented player.”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 20 Feb 2009