The partnership between Emmanuel Adebayor and Robin Van Persie has surprisingly totalled only 20 games and in that time the two have scored 19 goals.
The two have started together upfront 6 times this season (it would have been 7 but Van Persie started on the left against Kiev) and between the pair have scored 11 goals. True, the figures are slightly exaggerated by their exploits against Blackburn, Newcastle and Porto but so far it is an encouraging statistic.
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On paper the partnership looks lethal. One is tall, pacy, hard working and likes to play behind the defence; the other prefers to drop deeper, skilful and has a powerful shot. However they’ve been criticised in recent times. Van Persie said not to be doing enough in terms of link up and Adebayor is too selfish and keeps on wasting good chances.
Against Blackburn we saw a masterclass of movement from the two, both alternating dropping deep or staying higher up. The movement was not only limited to up and down, by moving left and right also the two opened up holes and dragged the defenders out of position. Arsenal fans can hope they will see more of this performance rather than the one against Hull City as they seem to compliment each other well.
The two can get better and work on their games individually and as a partnership. Adebayor said:
“We have a great partnership. In our heads we have the same ambition, which is to help this team win something. He’s here for that, I’m here for that, so I think we can do something great. We’re trying to create a relationship and I think [against Porto] we have shown quite well that we can do something together. Everyone is pleased.
“Of course, there is more to come. He’s just back [from injury] and we’ve only had five or six games together. Hopefully, as we go game to game, we will get to know each other better and learn how each other plays better. If Robin is fit for the whole season, we have a chance to do something special, that’s for sure.”
And what about off the pitch?
“Yes, we are quite good friends, he’s a good guy – not like my best friend ever, but sometimes we go to restaurants together. He has a contract with the same sponsor as me, so sometimes we do the publicity for them together. Three days ago we did an advert together, which was good fun.
“As players, we talk about how we are going to find a solution. You always have to discuss what you have done well and what you have done badly. Those are the things that we will start on to see how we can improve for Saturday’s game against Sunderland.”