Emmanuel Adebayor is a complex character. There are many sides to the Tottenham striker – there’s the compassionate face of Adebayor who funds and supports projects for the disadvantaged in his homeland. There’s the grief stricken face of a young man caught up in the attack on the Togo team as they travelled to the Africa Cup of Nations in 2010 and the sorrow shown as anyone would, at the death of his older brother, Peter, and his desire to care for and support his family.
On scoring two goals in his first Premier League last December, he dedicated the goals to his deceased brother. The Daily Express reported Adebayor’s comments,
My brother passed away, it was emotionally difficult. He was my senior brother. For me, today is for him. He left a son behind. I want to take care of him and his family.
Those are the sides of Emmanuel Adebayor which aren’t seen when he comes out onto the football pitch in the white shirt of Tottenham.When he’s in the football spotlight, Adebayor can also show many sides. He’s had his difficulties at previous clubs and it’s been no different at White Hart Lane. He is a player who is often regarded by supporters as lethargic, lack-lustre and laid back in his approach to the game. And on many occasions that is the case as he showed for much of last season when he only displayed his true form in the final weeks of the season and scored an outstanding goal against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
Last season was so different in comparison with his first year at the club when under Harry Redknapp he had played with a smile so unlike the player who had such a troubled time in his final months at Manchester City. For most of that season we saw a player who was an integral member of the team rather than someone on the outside as he was at times last year and certainly was this season under Andre Villas-Boas.Fans accuse Adebayor of giving the impression of being disinterested in what is happening in a game and lack of involvement. Last weekend the striker could not be accused of lacking desire or drive or commitment or of a lack of involvement or interest.
Since being reintroduced into the team by Tim Sherwood, Adebayor has had a point to prove and has taken up the challenge. He has scored 6 goals since his return and in those 8 games has been an influential figure with 2 assists.
In Spurs’ win at Swansea, he scored Spurs’ opening goal and secured the victory when set free in the penalty area by a cross from Danny Rose. He coolly controlled the ball with only the goalkeeper to beat and put it into the net to give Spurs a three goal lead. After the match he expressed his delight on scoring and Tottenham winning the game. Speaking to @SpursOfficial, he said,
I’m happy to score, happy to win, very happy for the team and happy for everyone today.
Two minutes before Adebayor’s second goal we saw another side of the player. Out-raged and anger as he screamed at Mousa Dembele for not passing to him when they broke through on goal. Dembele had played a one-two with Kyle Walker who played him in behind the home defence. With Adebayor up in support, waiting for a simple pass to leave him with an open goal, the Belgian midfielder opted to shoot and with only the goalkeeper to beat he placed the ball outside the far post.Adebayor could not believe it as he screamed at a rather embarrassed and shame-faced Mousa. He was questioned about the incident after the game by the BBC’s Match of the Day reporter, and his remarks were reported by the AllAfrica.com website. Adebayor said,
I’m a team player. When a teammate is in a better position, I give him the ball. So when someone does not do the same thing, I have a problem. I talked to Dembele after the game and he told me he thought he would score. Finally, it is a closed case. The most important thing was to win the game.
Such was the Togolese’s striker’s annoyance about what had happened that he admitted that if Spurs had lost because of the missed scoring opportunity, he would probably have ended up in a fight with the midfield player. Thankfully, it didn’t come to that as Spurs went on to win the game and the two players have sat down and talked about it.
Fortunately, we won. If we had not won, I would probably brawl with Dembele. We talked in the locker room. Hopefully next time he will give a pass. Whether it is me or a teammate. No matter who scores. Eriksen, Soldado , Defoe . We all want to win. When someone scores, I’m happy for everyone.
A player with many faces, currently, we’re seeing a fully committed Adebayor and as the manager said last weekend, we’re all seeing the benefit. Speaking to the BBC Sport website, Tim Sherwood said,
Manu was always a fantastic player and everywhere he has been he has scored goals. He’s enjoying his football at the moment and we are all reaping the rewards from it.
Long may it continue.