Tottenham 0 Arsenal 0
Apologies for the lateness of the report – having been unable to watch the game at the weekend, I wanted to see exactly what had happened for myself before commenting on it. Part of me was certainly hoping that what I saw would be forgivable, and not lead me to the same condemnation of Eboue as I’ve seen elsewhere.
Unfortunately, what I saw backed up so much of what has been said over the past couple of days. Both of his bookings were in equal measure predictable and stupid. The first, after a couple of warnings to stop backchatting, would’ve raised a cheer from me had it been an opponent, and the second, for kicking out at Modric, was baffling.
Except it wasn’t. It would be baffling if it were any other player, but Eboue is at that point where nothing surprises you anymore. The quickly assembled apology on the official site didn’t even really acknowledge fault on his part, and gives you no confidence that this won’t be repeated.
I don’t want to lay into him too badly, as I’m a believer in the notion that players can mature and get over their early misdemeanors, but he’s had plenty of opportunity to do that now and is more senior than many of his colleagues. As we stand, he isn’t likely to gain the affection or even respect of the fans anytime soon, which can’t help his form or team spirit, and for the sake of his own career, if nothing else, he needs to be moved on.
He is no longer first choice right back, the position I still believe to be his primary one, and with a fully fit squad, he is at best third in line for right midfield, or at least should be. The summer would be a good time to call it a day, as much as anything so that he doesn’t waste his career at a club where he doesn’t appear to be learning. Perhaps another manager can shake him from his reverie.
Adebayor also went off with a hamstring injury, but shouldn’t miss too many games as we have such a quiet month before the business end of the season really starts. He was again fairly ineffectual on Sunday, but with Eduardo returning he will at least have competition for his place when he returns. That said, we shouldn’t expect too much of either Eduardo or Arshavin, who both have a long build up to match fitness ahead of them.
At the end of the day, a point wasn’t too bad, especially with Almunia pulling off a fine late save to deny them hurting us at the death again. But with most of our rivals winning again, we’re now a long way from the top four and in need of a decent run. The fixture list suggests we can do it, so its over to the players.