Eboue still loving Arsenal

Ivory Coast utility man enjoying life at Emirates

Eboue: Arsenal character

Arsenal utility man Emmanuel Eboue says he is still delighted to be playing for the Gunners, after being at the club since 2005.

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"People say I am crazy because I am always laughing and trying to make everyone happy, but it is how I am"

Emmanuel Eboue

Quotes of the week

The 27-year-old Ivory Coast international is due for a run in the first team following a thigh injury sustained by Bacary Sagna on international duty, a change from his usual role as an impact player from the bench.

Eboue is regarded as something of a cult figure at the Emirates, having come full circle after being taken off at home against Wigan in December 2008, despite being brought on in that game.

He was the subject of jeers from the home fans on that occasion, but is now thoroughly enjoying life in North London and his new role as a senior player in the Arsenal squad.

"I am still so happy to be playing here, with these guys and for this manager," he said.

"It was my dream before and to make seven years will be incredible.

"I am one of the senior players now - I feel comfortable within the squad and always do what I can to help the young boys."

Eboue is expected to play in the UEFA Champions League clash with Shakhtar Donetsk on Tuesday night, and the African product reveals that he enjoys working hard for the team.

"I never think about myself - for me, it is always about the team," he added.

"Even if I am not brought on, I am just privileged to be among the 18 players.

"When I play, I try to do my best, but I also love to see my friends score goals and play well, it makes me happy and proud.

"I have a responsibility to the squad whatever the situation.

Team player

"When Theo (Walcott) scored his hat-trick against Blackpool, I ran straight up to him. My heart is clean and I don't think negative things about people.

"God tells us to respect everyone so that is how I behave towards players, managers, staff, everybody I meet.

"People say I am crazy because I am always laughing and trying to make everyone happy, but it is how I am - it is not only at Arsenal, it is for the Ivory Coast also and at home with my wife and kids too."

Arsene Wenger is full of praise for Eboue, and highlighted the importance of having two able right-backs at his disposal.

"Emmanuel has a good club mentality and he has a sense of collective belonging," Wenger remarked.

"He wants to be part of the club and is a great player. Usually I will rotate him and Sagna, and Sagna has had more games because Eboue can play in midfield.

"But you need two right-backs and we have two quality right-backs.

"No matter who plays - Sagna or Eboue - we always feel we have a strong right-back."