What does the future hold for Emmanuel Adebayor?
Last season, there were two players in our squad that Spurs fans failed to tolerate last season and would not never succeed in meeting expectation. Last season, the same two players in our squad once played for Arsenal. William Gallas made notable errors in defence last season, and with the clock ticking on his successful career, he would surely not regain form as quick as our other centre backs. Emmanuel Adebayor scored a baron 8 goals in all competitions for Spurs last term, symbolising our never ending goals problem, our lack of dinner-finishing between the posts. Whilst Gallas is no longer at the club, Adebayor very much remains a Spurs player.
With the introduction of Roberto Soldado to the squad, where exactly does Ade fit into AVB’s plans? Will he feature at all this season? Will Ade have to pay the price for his lack of goals?
At the end of last season, a reporter posed a question to AVB: ‘How would you rate Emmanuel Adebayor’s season, bearing in mind his lack of goals?’ AVB calmly replied ‘very good’. Ask the average punter down Tottenham High Road the same question and they probably would reply with the much more negative ‘Sh*t, get the lazy tw*t out of Spurs, AVB is a mug to play him’. This appreciation from AVB made me conclude that he does believe the Togolese striker fits a role in his side, just not the role that satisfies fans, as clearly shown by the hashtag ‘#ThingsMoreUsefulThanAdebayor’ trending after our exit to Basel in the Europa League.
Adebayor’s role last season in his starting position was not of a direct number 9, probably a role which appeases fans a lot more (hence Jermain Defoe’s popularity), but rather of a striker that creates space by making distracting runs, drifting wide to keep possession of the ball and dropping into midfield to keep the flow of play going. Perhaps the most telling games of this style was Inter Milan away and Fulham at home (both played in the same week). Against Inter, we started both Ade and Defoe; whilst Ade was making runs, holding up play and trying to cope with the solid Inter back line, Defoe did… nothing. Defoe’s inaction was met with his substitution after half time, leaving ex-Arsenal striker to score the vital away goal that put us in the next round. Against Fulham, all the players noticeably lethargic, Adebayor made many good runs for Defoe, worked his arse off on the wings and made chances… Defoe missed a sitter in the final minutes that would have gave us the draw. After almost every match, Adebayor was criticised by fans and by pundits alike.
But what about this season? Roberto Soldado is our record signing and, even on a simple PR basis, AVB will have to select the Spaniard above Adebayor and Defoe (he is after all the superior player). This will confine Ade to the cup matches, probably shared out between him and Defoe, leaving the two to fight for their place in the team. Many people have called for one or the other to be sold this summer, disregarding what happened last season when we went in with only two recognised strikers, claiming we ought to replace the sold striker. This, to me, seems pathetic. Why sell a striker comfortable in the squad just so he can be replaced? Some people would have rather had the accused rapist Loic Remy than Adebayor. Let that sink in.
Defoe will always be the fan’s favourite, no matter how low a conversion rate he has (one of the lowest in the league at just over 10%) and how little of a supporting role he chooses to carry out. Adebayor will always be a gooner to some fans’ eyes. That’s how football fans are (until they score of course, then it’s irrelevant). But I don’t see Ade being forced out of the door in these last few weeks, not when searching for a replacement would result in a lot of unnecessary effort on the club’s part. Perhaps that’s because I don’t despise him like many of you do. Perhaps it’s because I remember what he did for us in the 2011/12 season. Perhaps it’s just a moment of optimism. However, should he stay, Emmanuel Adebayor will influence Tottenham’s season in some way, as he had done last season too. His appearances will continue to divide Spurs fans, but as the saying goes, the end justifies the means. Who knows? We might even be singing this number again.
“Adebayor, Adebayor… This is the best club you’ve ever played for.”
Visit Jonny Walczak’s original article on his personal blog: Rants from an Angry Yid