Emmanuel Adebayor has never been too far from the headlines since arriving on these shores to sign for Arsenal, in January 2006 for £7m, from French side Monaco. He has never shone away from voicing his opinions on matters close to his heart. Last week, Emmanuel Adebayor appeared on a Sky Sports News interview special in their Weekend Warm-Up show, the Togolese striker, who recently returned to the Tottenham first team, spoke of personal experiences that led him to describe 2013, as his “worst year”. Undoubtedly, this is a man who has experienced horrific obscenities, from the gunmen who ambushed the Togolese National team in 2010, to losing his brother last year, it is no wonder he expresses such emotion in his persona.
In addition to the distressing loss of a brother, Adebayor, 29, also had concerning professional issues. Prior to the Christmas fixture list, Adebayor had only featured once this season under previous head coach Andre Villas-Boas. He was not even training with the first team squad for majority of this season, before reappearing under new boss Tim Sherwood at Southampton. He has been a huge part of a reinvigorated Spurs side that have climbed level on points with Liverpool in the fourth and final Champions League spot.
Upon his Premier League return for Spurs, Adebayor took no time in repaying the faith, scoring 2 crucial goals in a 3-2 victory at St Mary’s. Since that game in December, Tottenham are unbeaten in the league, winning their previous four. Adebayor has contributed with 5 goals, in six games. An obvious factor for the change in fortunes for Sherwood and his team’s results, has been the re-emergence of the more traditional style of play, accustomed to the English game. At times under the previous regime, Tottenham, and AVB in particular, were regularly criticised for playing slow unattractive ‘European’ football. Roberto Soldado would be deployed as a lone striker, resulting in Spurs record £26m signing scoring only 4 goals. This led to criticism of Spurs’ style, and it was felt that Soldado was the victim of a system placed upon him, as opposed to his own methodologies. Creating chances, and ultimately goals, was an obvious target of Daniel Levy’s when deciding who would be best to replace AVB. From the first game of the season, to the game on the 22nd December at Southampton, Tottenham had only scored 15 league goals. Since then, they have gone on to score 14 goals, just one goal shy of equaling a four month tally in a single month.
Decisive goals have been instrumental in this latest reestablishment of Emmanuel Adebayor’s career. Scoring in an historic victory at Old Trafford, along with another brace in South Wales, Emmanuel Adebayor is showing he has plenty of worth to the squad still. Hurt and humiliated from his banishment to the development squad, there was no chance of a subdued return from the African striker.
If Spurs are going to continue to strive towards that elusive top four finish, they will unquestionably rely upon the tantalising, even if frustrating, talents of Emmanuel Adebayor. He has scored goals wherever he has been, as seen above, for four top European teams, with Real Madrid among them. If Tim Sherwood and Emmanuel Adebayor can build a solid working relationship, the near future could be bright for Spurs. At 29, there is obviously a limited amount of time, however, as Manchester City found out a few seasons back, the Champions League is the key. Emmanuel Adebayor is a player who, when happy and on-form, can certainly lead a team into that competition. He has experience within it, and is proven, so Sherwood has been absolutely correct placing his trust in Adebayor, and reinstating him into the team. If Tottenham can sustain a position alongside Europe’s powerhouses in the Champions League over the coming seasons, they may be able to build a platform for the greater success they desire.