Adebayor – Final Thoughts

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With the Adebayor story officially old news now (except on Arsenal.com where it took them this afternoon to confirm it), I’ll just expand on what I wrote the other day about being glad to see him go.

The good old days

The good old days

His Arsenal career can be summed up thus:

  • Joins Arsenal as relative unknown with previous disciplinary problems in January of 05/06 and for the next season and a half integrates himself into the team alongside Thierry Henry. His inconsistency in front of goal is made up by constant harrying and hard work.
  • Henry leaves  in the summer of 2007 and Adebayor procedes to become the main man at Arsenal scoring 30 goals in 2007/08, finally finding the finishing skills to go with his pace and power.
  • His goalscoring exploits draw attention from the likes of Milan. Plenty of flirting goes on but no transfer is agreed. He does however get a payrise to £80k a week.
  • Starts last season pretending there were no talks with other clubs and in a completely non-ironic manner kisses the badge after scoring in a pre-season friendly.
  • A smattering of boos, indifferent performances and then this interview mid-season in which he blamed the fans for his new found laziness and poor form.
  • Still manages 16 goals including this beauty, but in the two biggest games of the season against Man Utd in the Champions League is completely anonymous and puts in zero effort.

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In those points lie the crux of the matter. As soon as he started to believe his own hype the end was nigh. The messy transfer attempt last summer could have been forgotten if he continued in the same vein on the pitch in 08/09. But he didn’t and injuries aside, was a shadow of the player who terrorised defences in 07/08. Once that Football Focus interview came out, his Arsenal career was effectively over as soon as a buyer could be found.

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In many ways, Man City are the perfect match. They have the money to double his wages again (for half the number of goals – work that one out) and he should form an interesting partnership with Robinho and/or Tevez (Santa Cruz being the backup when Ade doesn’t play). He should be motivated enough to start playing well again (probably), even though his attempts to deny the move was about money are somewhat laughable. Ultimately no one else wanted him (there were reports of him being hawked around even after the Man City fee was agreed) due to his lackadaisical performances last year. It looks like Milan and Beyoncé will have to wait, and even if they do come in again the grass isn’t always greener on the other side (as Alex Hleb has come to realise).

A shape of things to come

A shape of things to come

Arsenal will miss his physical presence up front somewhat, though Bendtner showed he is capable of holding up play and scoring regularly if given playing time (he does have Ade’s propensity for missing lots of chances too though). The biggest loss will be Adebayor’s pace which as Gunnerblog points out, is something none of the other current Arsenal strikers really possess (Vela and Walcott not being ready yet). Fabregas is a big fan of playing the early ball, so someone quick and strong would be the brief in terms of replacement.

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Oh and that someone should be able to score as regularly against Spurs too…

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T.

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