Arsenal’s average touch positions for each individual player against Everton displays some interesting points.
Most notable is the gap between Van Persie (11) and Adebayor (25). Adebayor is usually the striker that plays furthest forward, sometimes on the last defender while Van Persie prefers to drop deeper. Against Everton the Dutchman played very close to the midfielders while Adebayor was very much isolated. The Togolese man did put some hard work in at times but as a whole he wasn’t as effective enough either in his link up or getting into goal scoring opportunities. In fact he looked a bit desperate to get a goal. Let’s not get too negative about Adebayor’s performance as the last month he played well and is unlucky to have only scored 3 league goals this season.
If you compare this to Chelsea and Manchester United you see a difference in their play. The midfielders are closer to the main striker, as they look to bring players in by their hold up and link up play. (Berbatov 9 and Anelka 39, are the central strikers in this case) Adebayor does the same (as mentioned in in this article) but higher up. This means it would be harder for the midfielders to get closer to him when he has the ball as they are further behind.
Maybe Adebayor should drop deeper more frequently to get nearer to the midfielders and allow them to advance past him more. The Manchester United touch map shows Rooney who is the second striker (similar to Van Persie) touching the ball more higher up the pitch as a result of Berbatov’s link up play. Of course as mentioned in a previous article, ‘The Invincibles’ used to do this quite frequently playing with similar players currently at Arsenal (Adebayor higher up like Henry, Van Persie deeper like Bergkamp).
I don’t want to just focus on Adebayor; Van Persie could provide this link up at a deeper part of the pitch while the others could advance and play the ball the Adebayor.
Do you agree? or is there nothing wrong Adebayor’s play? Let me know…