Defending Emmanuel Eboué
I said in my wrap-up of the game that “Emmanuel Eboué dug deep into our bag of tricks and found yet another creative way to prevent us from winning”. I now wish to alter that statement.
Yes, we found another creative way to prevent us from winning the match. But it was not Eboué’s fault.
On first viewing — perhaps even third or fourth viewing — the penalty looked nailed on. But after watching the video more and more often (call me a sadist) I am now utterly convinced that Eboué did little wrong.
In complete contrast, it is Lucas who cuts across Eboué, who is running towards the ball. Lucas does not run towards the ball but runs straight at Eboué and draws the contact. Eboué has eyes on the ball the whole time and even if words like clumsy, careless or just plain silly are those that are normally associated with the Ivorian, there was little he could do to avoid contact here.
I think, as much as he frustrates me he deserves to be cut some slack on this occasion.
Defending Arsené Wenger
Much has been made of Wenger’s post-match complaints and the poor sportsmanship he showed at the final whistle. But let’s give the situation some perspective.
His team have just conceded in the 102nd minute to a penalty that he believes is not a penalty (for the same reasons I outlined above), essentially dashing his title hopes in a hurry. Love him or hate him, Wenger works bloody hard for this club and to expect him to act like a gentleman in this sort of situation is utterly ridiculous.
Most of the big managers are bad losers. Get over it. That will to win, something that many supporters have complained our team lacks this season, is what makes them big managers.
In a perfect world Wenger may have acted more graciously at the final whistle. But this is not a perfect world and just like any fan, emotions were running feverishly high.
Let me know what you think about Eboué and Wenger by leaving a comment.