In my previous article I looked at how Adebayor offered more to the team than just goals. His movement, hold up play and creativity have all been excellent and a major factor in Tottenham’s rise to the top 3 of the Premier League. Against Newcastle on Saturday evening, Adebayor was once again back to his best. With a new strike partner to play alongside, Adebayor seemed to be keen to impress. He linked up wonderfully with Saha and it was as if they had played together for years.
Adebayor was involved in each of the 5 goals – setting up the first 4 and getting the final goal himself, which his exceptional performance thoroughly deserved.
Against Liverpool last Monday, Adebayor was largely left isolated up front, having to lead the line on his own and not having someone to play alongside. It was not his greatest game but it was a difficult game in which Tottenham had to battle hard in order to win a point at Anfield.
It was interesting to see how he performed with a new partner alongside him. When Louis Saha was signed on transfer deadline day, a few eyebrows were raised. A player who has had his injury problems and only managed 1 goal in 18 appearances (3 of these as a substitute) for Everton this season, was hardly seen as the prolific striker that Spurs fans have been craving. However, his performance against Newcastle alongside Adebayor has certainly whet the Spurs fans appetite and they will be hoping for more of the same in the coming weeks.
If we look at the shooting stats it is evident just how effective Saha was – scoring from both of his shots on target. He had a shot accuracy and chance conversion of 67% and averaged 34mins per shot on target. Adebayor wasn’t quite as clinical – he attempted twice as many shots as Saha but only had a shot accuracy of 33% with 4 of his 6 attempts not hitting the target.
Where Adebayor really shone was his creativity. As mentioned above, he had a hand in all five goals – assisting the four goals that that he didn’t score. Those 4 assists take him up to 10 assists for the season, 2nd to only David Silva (12) in the assists chart.
The table above shows that Adebayor created 6 chances in total – 4 of them resulted in assists. Saha created 2 chances, one of them where he reversed roles and turned provider for Adebayor to score the 5th goal.
The passing statistics below also emphasise how well both of the front 2 were able to link the play and keep hold of the ball in the final 3rd.
Both strikers had very impressive passing statistics. In their own half, Saha had a pass accuracy of 100% completing all 6 of his attempted passes. Adebayor was a very impressive 93% having completed 14/15 passes. In the opposition half they were equally impressive – Saha with an accuracy of 95% (20/21) and Adebayor at 96% (45/47). In the final 3rd they had 93% and 96% respectively – an exceptional display of passing ability and link play by each of the two strikers.
The passing dashboards below indicate the areas of the pitch where each of the players was picking up the ball and the areas they were playing their passes.
With the link up play and the performance of the front two – Harry Redknapp could well have pulled off another masterstroke. Here is hoping they can continue that level of performance to fire Spurs in their quest for a title push!