Emmanuel Adebayor evokes mixed views from Tottenham fans – many accuse him of being lethargic and lacking motivation while other point to a lack of service as being the main problem for the striker. After last season his form has dipped alarmingly and with Tottenham’s limited resources in strikers, what can be done?
Adebayor has always been an enigma – he can be an outstanding player bringing considerable influence to a team but he is also reported be a difficult player to understand and manage. He has shown both sides of his personality at Arsenal and Manchester City and now Andre Villas-Boas is striving to bring the best out of him. The manager admits that he has yet to see the best in Adebayor.
“He can still be the player we saw last season. We’re trying to unlock the best out of the player. Last year shows as an example for what we’re trying to get out of him.”
Eighteen months ago, having joined Tottenham on loan from Manchester City, Adebayor appeared to be a changed character – playing with an enthusiasm and with a smile. He played a significant part in Tottenham’s excellent performances in the opening months of the season but this year he has failed to reproduce that form. Adebayor’s stats for the two seasons, in all competitions, show the disparity in his contribution to Tottenham’s success.
2011 – 12
P 37 Goals 18 Assists 12
2012 – 13
P 20 Goals 3 Assists 0
This season has hardly got started for Adebayor. Throughout the summer he was involved in discussions over his impending transfer to Tottenham, then when he signed in late August he was lacking in match fitness. There was a general assumption among fans that Adebayor would return to the Spurs starting line-up after the early September international break but that didn’t happen as Jermain Defoe continued in excellent goalscoring form in the lone striker role. Adebayor was then hit by niggling injuries but returned for the two games against his former clubs. He was highly motivated for those games and scored an early goal against Arsenal but was then sent off for a rash challenge, leading to a Tottenham collapse and a three match suspension. Towards the end of the year he played along with Defoe but the two strikers have failed to develop any real understanding. Through December into January, there was uncertainty over his participation in the Africa Cup of Nations and while he was away Defoe sustained an ankle injury. Adebayor has played as the lone striker in recent matches but has failed to reproduce last season’s form or make a major contribution to the team.
Opinions on Adebayor are split among Tottenham supporters. Before and during the match with West Ham, Spurs fans tweeted contrasting views.
Not too bad considering we are playing with 10 men #adebayor
— Ryan Newport (@RYANNEWPORT) February 25, 2013
Adebayor is playing with plenty of desire, although some people on here claim he "doesn't try" he's doing the right things just no service.
— Aaron (@TottenhamKing69) February 25, 2013
I'm normally Adebayors biggest critic but some of you need to realise he has had NOTHING in service. #COYS
— Jon (@big_billy_bagel) February 25, 2013
The question that everyone is asking about Adebayor was also posed on Twitter,
Adebayor was once almost unplayable, makes you wonder why players just go off the boil.
— DodgeSpur (@dodge1963) February 25, 2013
With Tottenham’s lack of strikers Emmanuel Adebayor is a vital part of the team’s quest for a top-4 finish and securing Champions League football. If Tottenham are to stay the course then they require a fully motivated Adebayor reproducing the form and goals of last season. If he can do that, then he can have a future at White Hart Lane.
Where Do You Stand on Emmanuel Adebayor?
Adebayor frequently appears to lack the total commitment that supporters demand from every player in every match but there is also some merit in the defence that he has been poorly served from midfield this season, as has Defoe on many occasions. The strikers are feeding off scraps and it has probably become a greater problem with Gareth Bale, currently, in such outstanding form.