Scourge of Tottenham
Emmanuel Adebayor has returned to Tottenham after extended compassionate leave following the death of his brother. Since signing om a permanent deal with Spurs in August last year, Adebayor has been very much at the periphery of things at White Hart Lane bar a few appearances towards the end of last season and an outstanding goal against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. What are Spurs to do with Adebayor?
Emmanuel Adebayor first came to the Premier League in January, 2006 when he joined Arsenal from Monaco for £7 million. He immediately became the ‘scourge’ of Spurs, habitually tormenting Tottenham as he scored eight goals in his time with Arsenal. He continued in the same vein scoring twice in Real Madrid’s 4 – 0 Champions League victory when on loan from Manchester City.
At His Best
On joining Tottenham in August, 2011 on a season long loan Adebayor became an instant hit with three goals in his first two appearances, including two against Liverpool in his home debut. Such was his form as Tottenham went on an extended unbeaten run from September to December that supporters overlooked his connection with Arsenal. The ‘Tottenham Adebayor’ was different from the one who was frequently described as being moody, disinterested, a disruptive influence, difficult to handle and controversial. Although Spurs suffered their usual slump through the spring of 2012, they finished 4th and Adebayor had contributed with both goals and assists – 18 goals and 12 assists.
Where Did It Go Wrong?
After protracted transfer negotiations Adebayor signed permanently for Tottenham in August, 2012. He had missed much of the pre-season preparations so his integration into Andre Villas-Boas’ team was delayed by fitness and injury problems. He started the two games against his former clubs but was sent off against Arsenal after 18 minutes for a rash challenge having scored the opening goal. Suspension followed and by December he had played little part in Spurs’ season. After much uncertainty, January eventually took him off to the Africa Cup of Nations.
On his return, injuries were severely stretching Tottenham’s squad and he was re-introduced into the team but had little impact although he did score the extra time goal against Inter Milan which saw Spurs progress to the quarter-finals of the Europa League. That was in mid-March and it was only his fourth goal of the season. As the end of the season approached Adebayor did make a greater contribution as Spurs made an unsuccessful attempt to secure a top-4 finish. He scored 4 goals in the last eight matches, including the goal against Chelsea.
Throughout the summer, Tottenham searched for a new striker, signing Roberto Soldado, and tried all means possibly to off-load Adebayor. If the media is to be believed Spurs tried to include him in deals with Chelsea and Real Madrid while Besiktas, QPR and Schalke were interested but no agreement could be reached. Adebayor insisted that he was staying at White Hart Lane.
I have never thought of leaving Spurs. I am here, my family feels great here and I do not see myself in another city.
Tottenham’s problem this season has been scoring goals in league games. Could an enthused and motivated Adebayor provide an alternative option for AVB? Roberto Soldado had linked play well but has suffered from a lack of service for goal scoring. Jermaine Defoe has scored with ease against the weaker opposition in the midweek games of Europa League and Cup but failed to deliver against West Ham. His early miss in the second half, if taken, could have changed the whole course of the game. Can Adebayor be re-integrated into the squad or is he to sit out this season until Spurs can find a club to take him on which is acceptable to the striker and can meet his salary expectations?
Emmanuel Adebayor has spoken of getting back into the Tottenham team and now training with the first team squad he is returning to fitness.
Explaining what has happened over the past couple of months, Adebayor was quoted in the Mirror last month saying,
We now have four in the attack. I do not know who ranks first, second or third but I know at the end I will be the first and it is the most important.
The Togalese striker is still a Tottenham player, at his best he can offer so much to the team so to deny him that opportunity seems foolish. It will require a re-think by AVB of his approach but it is also in the player’s hands. It is up to Adebayor to prove that he is a ‘team’ player and that he will be motivated to prove himself if selected for the Europa League for Cup games or as a substitute and will deliver on that stage first. He’s not going to step straight into the league team so he’ll need to show patience and a willingness to work hard and prove all the doubters wrong and that he is up for the challenge facing him at White Hart Lane.
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