Emmanuel Adebayor’s Arsenal spell plagued by misunderstanding

Emmanuel Adebayor’s imminent move to Manchester City will do the striker’s reputation no favours among Arsenal fans. However accusations of a lack of effort could not be more superficial.

Emmanuel Adebayor is set to become the latest high profile forward to join the Manchester City steam train after Robinho, Roque Santa Cruz and Carlos Tevez. Interestingly enough, all bar Santa Cruz have left in what would be considered unsatisfactory terms with either or both club and fans.

Signing for City will undoubtedly raise the issue of it being ‘all about money’ and for a small part it is. But for Adebayor part of it is escaping the cold relationship which he has with the fans.

He worked very hard in the first two seasons to get on the right side of the Arsenal faithful but seem to undo the 30-goal good work all in one summer of 2008. In back to back interviews, he reaffirmed his loyalty to Arsenal before throwing that in doubt by not actually saying he wants to leave, but saying anything can happen. Kissing his badge after a goal in pre-season only got a muted applause while all season he spoke of being positive in interviews when Arsenal’s season was not going well. The interview with BBC Football Focus seemed to signal that his love for the Gunners was becoming more difficult to maintain because of the negative vibes among some fans. Accusations of a lack of effort seem rather superficial and ironically rather lazy. After all it is all opinion and no one actually knows what Adebayor is thinking.

Nevertheless Arsenal will be looking into the future as the deal looks ever more likely. The biggest issue reportedly to come out of the Adebayor and City meeting was that for Arsenal to develop further they needed the cash. Marouane Chamakh is on Wenger’s wish list and the Moroccan seems a good fit for Arsenal. Similar to Fernando Torres minus, at the moment the finishing, Chamakh likes to play on the shoulder of the defender and works the channels very well.

In 2004, Arsene Wenger signed Jose Antonio Reyes with the thinking that the Spaniard will eventually be the benefactor of Arsenal’s creativity because of his darting runs. Unfortunately that didn’t work out but with the signing of Adebayor two years later, the Gunners sought to get the best of two worlds; Adebayor likes to spring the offside trap but as teams defended deeper and his own understanding never really got better, never fully took best advantage. He could also double up as a target man allowing for greater fluidity. Modern strikers must be all-round players hence the decreasing number of traditional goalpoachers.

What Adebayor really craves is creativity and flexibility. Critics point to his goalscoring record last season of 10 compared to season 2007/08 where he scored 24 league goals. However in that side he had the services of Hleb, Rosicky and Fabregas for much of the season while the campaign after, the Gunners were more disjointed. The creative wide men owe much to Arsenal’s pass and move style and with them missing, decreased both the creativity and fluidity. Like Henry, Adebayor likes to drift wide and in the instance he does, the effectiveness of the move would increase if there was someone who could take up his vacated position. That would be the biggest criticism of Adebayor; he lacks the tactical understanding on the pitch as he would be far better off sticking to the centre more where most of the play is, rather than looking to make something happen away from the goal. Leaving Arsenal without finishing his football education under Wenger, just as Reyes did is not the smartest of moves.

But some fans misconstrue the lack of impact as a lack of effort. In the Champions League semi final first leg at United, Adebayor was involved in a good move but as the chance came to him, hurriedly rushed a shot over in an attempt to desperately get a goal back. Emmanuel Adebayor is a player who gives it his all but is misunderstood by not only fans but himself also.

Emmanuel Adebayor Premier League Stats

Season 2008/09 2007/08 2006/07 2005/06
Appearances 26 36 29 13
Starts 21 32 21 12
Minutes 1879 2932 2987 1007
Goals 10 24 8 4
Minutes per Goal 188 122 373 252
Shots 55 104 58 23
Accuracy 45% 51% 52% 48%
Conversion Rate 18% 23% 14% 17%
Assists 4 4 3 4

30 thoughts on “Emmanuel Adebayor’s Arsenal spell plagued by misunderstanding

  1. Very well said. He will be missed, and I simply can’t understand how people can say they wouldn’t leave their company for a better paying job if it came along. That’s essentially what is at the base of all the Ade hatred, in my opinion. It’s kind of sad, really.

    1. Honestly how can you compare a Football club to a “company”? where not talking about working for any old office company & getting a measly pay rise. This is football, were talking about a dream job here, where all pro footballers get paid big money (10-200 grand per week)to play the game we love. A lot more than your average don’t you think? Anyway thankfully some footballers still have a bit of decency eg. Glen Johnson, who preferred to join a top 4 club in Liverpool for “footballing reasons” rather than city for you know what!

      Its actually really sad that some people think like you!

      Anyway as for the fans dislike of Ade I’m pretty sure it kicked in a long….. long time before the recent news of this transfer to city. I’m not even going to bother listing the reasons (far too many). I’ll just refer you to the comments including marcus’s below all the facts & details you need can be found there.

  2. All the excuses in the world cannot escape from the truth of last season, namely, his inability to understand the offside rule and the totally infuriating and increasing habit of pealing off a defender in the face of an arriving high ball….in the vain hope that a mistake will emerge. A player of his size and weight should be prepared to challenge for every ball.

  3. People tended to misinterpret tactical discipline with a lack of work ethic.

    Playing predominantly up-top on his own, it would have been foolish for him to chase back and harry the opposition in the same way he did the seasons prior.

    Having said that, I am still glad to have got £25million from him; although I would have rathered a less flexible Van Persie were to have left.

      1. I think Robin Van Persie is an exceptional talent, but I don’t think he works well with the rest of our side.

        He doesn’t have the strength to hold up the ball in tight situations, and as such, cannot be used to lead the line.
        In addition, he doesn’t have the dynamism to get in behind a defence, push teams back, and ultimately provide sufficient movement to complement someone of Bendtner’s ilk.

        If Eduardo has the ability to hold the line, then a partnership him may work, but personally, I’m not entirely convinced about Eduardo’s strength either.

  4. You may hate the attitude, you may hate the stories, you cannot doubt his goals, he only had 1 less than Van Persie last season. I am not happy with this transaction on many points, £25m is too low when other strikers are going for more cash (Gomez-Lisandro-Benzema).

    Similarly, Arsenal fans are running a tight rope, they booed Eboue off, they gave Adebayor harsh treatment when you analyse he has not underperformed as some may think, which stars would want to play for a club where fans get on your backs in front of a global audience?

    The player never helped himself as well with bad PR, and he has gone contrary to an interview he gave that i sat in on, where he professed to wanting to become ‘one of the greatest African strikers like Weah-Ikepba-Kanu-Eto’o’, i don’t think he’ll achieve this at Man City.

  5. Dastu I’m with you regarding van persie his a good player but he has more flaws than adebayor. What bothers me most is when I arsenal fans whine about Huntalaar. That is a goal poacher and completely lack attributes to hack it against teams that defend deep or pace or techanical ability to survive epl. What do anyone think?

    1. I totally agree mate.

      As good as Huntelaar is in and around the box, I think he is somewhat one-dimensional, whilst his lack of pace could be a hindrance in this league.

  6. You’re out of depth. Adebayor was, and always will be a mediocre player. His first touch is pathetic. His passing is extremely poor. He can’t hold the ball. He can’t remain on-side to save his life. The only saving grace in his game was that he worked hard earlier, but ever since he got his fat salary contract, he felt to special even to do that.

    His 29 goals in a season were purely because of the prolific midfield which created dozens after dozens of chances playing him as a target man. Even then, he missed many sitters and lost the team vital points in crucial games.

    Wenger made a big mistake by not selling him last season, but thankfully he learned his lesson. I am delighted to see his back.

  7. Is quite a pity, that a club as big as Arsenal cannot spend it big in the market, rather goes on to instigate the sale of a big player as Ade. what the guy needs is our support and love but the reverse was tthe case. we the fans did not assist Ade in arsenal, we can only praise him when he scores, but when he does not, he becomes a stranger. the arsenal fans should learn to support their players in thin and fat times. so that they can quickly respond. same thing happend to Ebue he became fraustrated, but Wenger had faith in him and used him until he came to form again.
    gunners,please lets support this guys unconditionally to get the best from them, i will miss Ade and his area balls. gunners think about it!

  8. I don’t how can we be such proud and selfish fans. Ade is great when he is given a chance. An when we as arsenal fans start hating the player, then what do we expect good to come from him. The only thing I regret for him leaving Arsenal is his new destination which Lowery rated than Arsenal. Arsene needs to learn how to keep a player and get him loved.ADEBAYOR IS JUST GOOD. I PERSONALLY WISH HIM ALL THE BEST. WHERE IS CHRISTIANO RONALDO NOW? WHERE’S TEVEZ? AND WHERE’s ADEBAYOR. BECARFUL ARSENAL FANS before the CLUB GET ON SALE.

  9. citeh disrespect the arsenal I dont care if ade was shit which he was not could of done better citeh should of pay us 40m for ade look chelsea refuse 40m for terry and they will pay 100m for jt if chelsea wants to sell him they want him the same with ade we could of got more hughes yesterday about the jt deal used the word respect about three times none about ade or arsenal

  10. What a load of rubbish!Adebayor is totally by us and himself。He is a greedy selfish egocentric opportunist who is trying to make sure he completes filling his retirement nestegg as quickly and easily as possible。The “footballing” is just a means to an end。We certainly don’t want such whorish attitudes in our line up。Piss off and good riddance!

    1. You are an idiot, personal vendetta & brainwashing has clouded your judgement. Which scapegoat from our squad will some of our idiotic fans like you use now that Ade is probably going, oh let me think RVP & Cesc are always saint, 10 out 10 every match, dont make damning statement about wanting leave. People like you make my blood boil

  11. I can’t blame Ade for having a shit atitude… if i was being booed by my own fans I would also struggle to get myself motivated.

    He stepped up when he needed to in 07/08, commited his future to the club and was never appreciated by the fans. We should have put the flirting with Milan behind us and been happy that we had a top quality striker wanting to play for us, but we didnt and that contributed to his downfall.

    I’m in two minds about Ade departing. We will be getting a lot of money in, but it remains to be seen weather Wenger will buy a replacement of sufficient standard. Chamackh doesn’t cut it for me.

    Next season at City he will be loved and adored by the fans. He will no doubt pick himself up and perform for city, which is no doubt a negative for Arsenal.

    I can’t help but thinking that we would be better off WITH Ade and WITHOUT the money

  12. I’m sorry but this defense of Ade is complete bullsh!t.


    In fact, he has repeatedly shown himself to say different things to different press outlets — he was quoted in the Italian and Spanish press saying very different things about being “committed” to Arsenal. Quite the opposite in fact. This article does an excellent summary of his contradictory statements to the UK and foreign press about his “commitment” to Arsenal: http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/2009/05/07/why-emmanuel-adebayor-115875-21339865/

    I’m sick and tired of the arguments from Ade’s defenders. They constantly gloss over his actions and make FAKE and WEAK comparisons between him and other players. The fact is that Ade mentally left Arsenal months ago and stopped caring enuf to make any serious effort on the pitch.

    The accusation that he doesn’t care anymore is ABSOLUTELY ACCURATE and only a blinkered fan couldn’t see his body language, his laziness, the huge difference between his effort on the pitch in the 06-07 & 07-08 seasons v. last season.

    Ade started making noises to the press about interest in him from other clubs starting in the first half of the 2007-08 season. (Actually, I seem to recall an interview with him in the previous season bigging himself up as a target from other big clubs). At the time, I don’t recall other Arsenal players talking to the press repeatedly about how much other clubs wanted him. He even claimed to be “flattered” that Man Utd wanted him. Sure they did, Ade.

    In the league cup semi at WHL, we were losing badly, humiliated by the scum on their home ground. AW puts Ade on as a sub. What is his first act? Does he try to rouse his teammates to get their act together and FIGHT against our traditional N. London rivals? No. Incredibly full of himself, he walks over to a fellow teammate and says “I’m on because you’re shit.” Do you know of ANY OTHER PLAYER who’s done anything like that in that type of situation???

    Later, the club felt it necessary to make Ade issue an official apology to Bendtner and published it on the official site. Note that the club did NOT make Bendtner make any kind of apology, nor did he ever apologize for anything. It was clear who was at fault for that incident.

    There were other egotistical, arrogant public comments from Ade that season — like how much the fans loved him and how he was one of the best strikers in the world.

    Then in the summer, the club offered to double the salaries of Clichy, Sagna and Ade. The first two accepted. Ade did not. He wanted to be paid Henry-like wages and openly flirted with Milan and Barca.

    On skysports he was shown contradicting his own statements about his commitment to the club in a press conference at the Euros. During the press exchange, he said he was an Arsenal player and he had a contract with Arsenal. He did NOT say he was “committed” to Arsenal or that he “wanted” to stay at Arsenal. After the official interviews, he was shown talking one-on-one with a journalist saying openly that there were other clubs wanting him and that he would have to sit down with Arsenal and talk about it. He was very noncommittal in his words about staying at the club.

    Then, when it became obvious that neither Milan nor Barca would pay Arsene’s pricetag, he came out with a pathetic, ridiculous excuse about not having the phone turned on all summer long, that he’d been completely away from the TV, phone and the internet all summer long, that he hadn’t heard anything about any transfer speculation to Milan/Barca. This showed him to be a f—–g LIAR! It also showed that he thinks of fans as complete idiots, that we would believe such an obvious lie.

    He was also quoted defending his desire for Henry-like wages (saying he was just as good as Henry) by saying he had to worry about his retirement!

    The day before the 1st leg of the Roma semi, Ade was quoted in the Italian press saying that he often talks to Galliani and his wife at Milan, that Milan was just as sexy as Beyonce, and that he welcomed Milan’s interest. I don’t recall any other Arsenal player publicly admitting he’s been in talks just before a critical game in the middle of a CL campaign. Even Hleb didn’t publicly admit he’d met with Inter before the Milan game.

    In the CL semis with MUtd, Ade played like he didn’t give a damn. The excuse of being a lone striker up front didn’t wash since he’d done that for many games against tough teams in the previous season and worked damned hard. Ibrahimovic also had to face Vidic and Ferdinand alone up front at OT and struggled — but he worked and worked and worked for over 90s mins. Utd’s defenders had to work hard to keep him at bay. While they had no trouble at all containing Ade.

    He could be the world’s best striker, it doesn’t matter, his attitude showed last season that mentally he’d already left the club. He wasn’t driven out by fans — as if AW would allow fans to make his transfer decisions for him! What a complete load of crap! He left because he didn’t care anymore to make any serious effort on the pitch.

    And AW had clearly decided he had to go. He benched him for the last few games of the season. He was also quoted in L’Equipe saying that the Ade saga last summer damaged his efforts to keep the team together and his transfer plans. He referred to the “will he go, won’t he” saga as a negative factor last summer that spilled into the season.


    1. Firstly I cannot defend the spat he had with Bendtner. I watched it live and was very disappointed. However I think the quotes with foreign media publications should always be taken with a pinch of salt. The Mirror article writer seems like he has no inside track and is merely stating old articles. Tuttosport have never been the most trustworthy of publications and am sure there is a twisting of words somewhere or another.

      Regarding the Adidas interview, he said he wanted to stay in the first one then threw it open in the second. But Wenger did say at the end of the season most of the things said about Adebayor are not reflective of Adebayor. I wouldn’t say Adebayor has been an angel but a lot is exaggerated.

      But the accusations of him being lazy is just opinion. He didn’t look like he wasn’t up for it but lacking the understanding in a situation where Arsenal are not playing well. You always want your players playing in the right mental shape and when things go bad, this changes and it may look like he is not trying as hard.
      I would admit mentally he is not as strong; slightly volatile even but much of the points seem not thorough enough. Many Ade bashers do not simply know enough of what’s happening yet what they see on the pitch they interpret whichever way they want.

  13. Furthermore, this is the THIRD team in which Ade has had attitude problems, causing disciplinary action or forcing the club to let him go.

    At Monaco, he was benched repeatedly due to personality conflicts with teammates and the manager. In the Togo national team, he’s been notorious with his conflicts with successive managers and teammates. At one time he was dropped completely, even tho there were two important qualifying games coming up. There was also the famous incident where the Togo manager had to be physically restrained from assaulting Ade on the team bus.

    1. This allegation that he has ‘run ins’ with trainers and the TFA is true, and something he will proudly admit to doing. He is the highest profile player in Togo, he wields a lot of power, more than the other players in the squad. He is thus the ‘unofficial’ spokesman of the team, and he thus speaks against any wrongdoing by the association because he is the only voice they will listen to.

      By doing this, he has been able to get the players to have their bonuses paid, their expenses paid, that the TFA officials do not take away the Fifa money that is for the team etc.

      As for the incident with Keshi in 2006 pre-World Cup 2006, Keshi is known to have a temper of his own as well, and the truth of that run in will probably never be fully known, but on Adebayor’s last trip to Nigeria, he was seen laughing and joking with Keshi.

  14. i don’t see how playing with such a lack of passion after getting his big contract and being completely lazy and most of the time seemingly disinterested is a misunderstanding. ACTIONS SPEAK MUCH LOUDER THAN WORDS.

  15. I preferred ade when he played behind van persie.
    In the 07/08 season he started off as the 2nd striker behind vp, so he wasnt responsible for scoring the goals, he just concentrated on working the defence and linking play. And while his 1st touch isnt always perfect, to call it crap is absurd. Yes he does mess up some easy ones at times, but he can control very difficult passes as well.
    VP benefited from him playing behind him and got a lot of goals before his inevitable injury.
    when ade went up front on his own, he obviously did very well and got 24 goals for the season, which was great. However when rvp came back this year, with their roles reversed, they never looked quite as good. Ade playing as the main striker is less effective imo overall, as he is poor at playing the offside trap, and rvp is *less effective as the 2nd striker, as he doesnt work the defences so well. One of his main strengths is finding spaces and that is better utilised up up front.
    I think being made main striker also affected ade psychologically, I think it did make him more lazy, as he felt like the “henry” of the side. Like he could just cruise the game and finish the chances, and be the hero. I think he managed this once last year in the ECL match where he scored that amazing goal, but his work-rate really was his best quality.

  16. I think the 2006-7 stats are wrong. How can he get 2987 minutes from 29 appearances? That is more than 100 minutes per game.

  17. Completely agree with your observation that lack of impact is seen as a lack of effort by most Arsenal fans.

    In the CL semi 1st leg at OT it is true that Ade had little impact. However he worked his socks off against a 4 man defence with a midfield supplying him with next to nothing. The only decent supply he did get he chested it past Ferdinand and shot just over the bar. A terrific display of skill only lacking in a difficult finish.

    Ade is a great player, unfortunately there are too many fickle Arsenal supporters out there.

  18. Well, i think the main problem with Ade is actually his attitude. Sometimes in certain games we can see that he works his socks off, chasing every ball and giving his 100 perecent, but sometimes he is just loitering around, giving up chances to challenge for the ball, especially in games that we are losing. Been a profesional that is not good enough. He should give 100 percent in each and every game.. Also, i think that the reason that he occasionally makes silly schoolboy mistakes, like misscontrol a simple ball, is due to his lack of concentration, which again is down to bad attitude.

    Ade has all it takes to be a wonderfull striker. His height, his agility, and his pace. Perhaps with a better attitude, he could have, or should have been a better player than he is now.

  19. Whatever be said. Arsenal will not be the same without Adebayor. If he does leave, then will Bendtner directly fit-in in his place? Or will it be Chamakh.
    Bendtner is not in the same mould as Adebayor and by what you have said I dont think Chamakh is either. What are the chances we land Huntelaar?

    Maybe it could be the time to finally see the Van Persie- Eduardo combination that I have been dying to watch.

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