Emmanuel 2? What to expect from Eboue’s second coming

Comedy gold in store as the former Gunner heads to Sunderland.

Emmanuel Eboue last played for Galatasaray.
Eboue is back The ex-Arsenal man could sign with Sunderland. Image EuroFootball/Getty Images

Sam Allardyce’s predilection for over-the-hill footballers has seen the Sunderland manager take desperate measures to avoid relegation.

With the Black Cats in need of clean sheets and fast, Big Sam has set his sights on bringing in ex-Arsenal defender Emmanuel Eboue.

Most recently with Galatasaray in Turkey, the Ivorian has been without a club since the summer.

But the 32-year-old impressed for Sunderland during a 45-minute appearance in an Under-21s clash against Bristol City.

The potential return of Eboue to the Premier League may not sound exciting at first. But there are plenty of reasons to be excited about the former Gunner’s comeback…


Innovative Warm-Ups

While Arsene Wenger brought innovations like player nutrition to the Premier League, one of Eboue’s legacies was undoubtedly his warm-up: part-professional footballer, part dance student preparing for Flashdance.

The Innovator Eboue has an interesting warm-up style.


Dancing…lots of dancing

Speaking of which, if there is one thing Sunderland fans can expect, it’s for Eboue to get involved in any and all goal celebrations with his moves. Jermain Defoe could find it wearing thin pretty quickly. Fabio Borini need not worry too much.

The moves Eboue loved a dance during his time at Arsenal.


Impressive language skills

With Big Sam’s attitude towards foreign players stuck firmly in the 1960s, it could be up to Eboue to ensure Sunderland remains cosmopolitan. It’s a good job he’s multi-lingual, or pretending he is.

Eboue understands The Ivorian pretends he can speak North Korean.


Plenty of #bantz

It’s reassuring to know that Eboue will be bringing immature, distracting, tomfoolery that helps focus a club battling relegation. Here he is throwing a plastic bottle at a teammate – what a joker!

Naughty Eboue The defender loves a good mess around.


Impact substitute appearances

Manchester United fans may think that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was the ultimate impact substitute. Wrong.

Playing for Arsenal against Wigan, the impact he made after being brought on was so keenly felt inside the Emirates, Wenger had little choice but to sub him off again.

On and off Eboue being subbed on and off in the same game.


First class media management

Like Gary Lineker in his 80s playing days, Eboue has always taken a keen interest in media work and you couldn’t rule out a stint on Soccer Saturday, given that Paul Merson is gainfully employed there. Here he is conducting an interview with a TV host.

Meet Eboue The Ivorian turns interviewer.



With Big Sam cast in the role of strict dad to Sunderland’s large crop of very naughty boys, Eboue could bring a bit affection to proceedings. Lee Cattermole, for one, could probably benefit from a hug or five.

Here’s Eboue enjoying a very public bromance with former Galatasaray teammate Felipe Melo.

Galatasaray brothers Eboue bonded with teammate Felipe Melo.


Plenty of general confusion

Whether it’s confusion over his best position on the pitch – full-back, winger, defensive midfielder? – or just general confusion over how he’s able to get a Premier League contract despite having been without a club for three-quarters of a season, Eboue will spread chaos among opposition teams and maybe even his own.

He’s good at getting confused over who the man of the match is too.

Did he just do that? Eboue attempting to steal the Man of the Match award.


Some sensational goals

It’s also important to remember there was a time Eboue was considered one of the best full-backs in the Premier League. 

While his defensive attributes may have waned, he’s still more than capable of scoring a screamer every now and then – as this strike against Real Madrid attests.

A Real collector's item Eboue scores a screamer against Real Madrid.

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