Arsenal news

Eboue aplogises over red card

February 8, 2009

Arsenal midfielder Emmanuel Eboue has apologised for his kicking out against Tottenham but insists referee Mike Dean was wrong to issue one of his two yellow cards - and to disallow his early strike at White Hart Lane.

Eboue had the ball in the net 13 minutes into the goalless draw but was penalised for a push on Jonathan Woodgate, a decision Gunners boss Arsene Wenger branded "not acceptable".

"It was a goal," the 25-year-old said. "I don't know why he did not give it. The referee said I touched Woodgate but I did not."

Dean then booked Eboue four minutes later for dissent after the Ivory Coast international fouled Luka Modric.

"For the first yellow card I did not say anything bad," Eboue told the club's website.

"I was in front of the ball and I was talking with Manuel Almunia. After that I said [to the referee] you have to whistle before and he said okay. I came back to take my place and then he called me and gave me a yellow card. I don't really understand why."

At that stage, TV pundit Jamie Redknapp was watching the coverage with Manchester United defender Gary Neville, and they described Eboue as a "banker" to get a red card.

Eboue's dismissal, the 76th Arsenal red card under Wenger, came eight minutes before the break when he kicked out at Modric.

"I am sorry," he said. "This game was very, very important for us. We must always win when we play against Tottenham and give our best for the fans.

"I am so disappointed to get the red card but I say thank you to my friends [team-mates] who gave everything. We drew and we are happy. It is a good point for us after playing so long with 11 v 10."

He added: "For the second booking, I touched him. I put my leg up because [Modric] had touched me before in front of the referee and he did not say anything. He kicked me when I tried to go forward and I put my leg up. The second card is normal, I accept it.

"But for me the referee was not good today."

Wenger will look at the footage again before deciding whether he needs to discuss it or punish Eboue for losing his cool.

Earlier in the season he had to be replaced after coming on as a substitute after continually losing the ball against Wigan.

"I know I have to control myself [on the pitch] but I did not want to let Tottenham win," Eboue added. "I just wanted to give my best."