Ex clown back in class…
Former Arsenal utility player Emmanuel Eboue, 30, now of Galatasaray, may have been booed off Ashburton Grove during a calamitous Premier League game versus Wigan Athletic in 2008, but the affable Ivorian left England as a cult hero with Gunners fans who adored his barmy antics.
Whether he dressed up as a tiger for a Christmas party (it wasn't even fancy dress), stuck food up his nose in the Arsenal canteen or danced naked in the dressing room with Bacary Sagna, Eboue stories have become legend.
And the club's ex right back turned right winger will return to north London this weekend, when visiting Gala compete in the Emirates Cup.
'I still speak to several of the guys regularly - Bacary Sagna and Abou Diaby for example - and sometimes Arsene Wenger too,' Eboue said to the Official Matchday Programme, as reported by the club's official website. 'I always want to hear news from the club because I am a big supporter of them. I’m a Galatasaray player now, but I am still in love with Arsenal and I always watch their games.
'The club only did good things for me, and I never had any trouble from anybody. My only bad day was that game against Wigan, but that was something you must be ready for as football player. I will never, ever forget Arsenal or its supporters and I cannot wait to see them again.'
On what he will experience when he takes on his former employers at his old stomping ground, Eboue enthused: 'I am so excited! I was on holiday when I first found out - one of my friends called me and said: ‘Manu, you know you’re going to play in the Emirates Cup against Arsenal? I couldn’t believe it.
'I can’t wait to see my old team-mates, the staff and of course the fans. They all did so many good things for me, and it’s going to be a brilliant experience.'
image: © wonker