Emmanuel Adebayor: A case of Me, Myself and I

The News of the World reported recently that Emmanuel Adebayor’s future at Manchester City is ‘already in doubt’ following ‘training ground rumblings’. The Sunday tabloid suggests that the former Arsenal striker may be interesting Chelsea once again this summer, with the West Londoners having failed to agree a fee with Arsenal for the Togolese last summer.

Whether he is getting himself banned for improper or violent conduct, or finding himself at the centre of transfer rumours, you cannot help but feel that intrigue stalks Adebayor. With the Manchester City striker doing little to dispel the idea that he is consumed with his own self importance in the past, perhaps it is time that Adebayor takes some responsibility. When one considers that Manchester City spent £25m on Adebayor, whilst also agreeing to meet his £170,000 a week wage demands, is it time Emmanuel finally started repaying the clubs faith?

Adebayor has had a difficult first season at City. First off, the events that unfolded in Angola understandably left Adebayor shaken, and no one would have any qualms with Adebayor taking his time before returning to work after such a horrific incident. However, to a certain extent, the fact that Adebayor has played just 18 matches is also of his own doing. In September, Adebayor tainted an excellent personal, and team performance, by getting himself banned for three matches for stamping on Robin Van Persie’s head. Further, his goal celebration that day also resulted in an improper conduct ban. In essence, Adebayor succeeded only in making the day all about him-the Emmanuel Adebayor show. His actions showed little respect for his teammates, current or former, and whether he was settling old scores on the pitch, or inciting the crowd off it, Adebayor was only ever thinking about himself with little regard for what effect his actions might have on his club.

With Adebayor having struggled for form due to his intermittent appearances, you’d have thought Adebayor would have been rested and focused after returning from compassionate leave. However, Adebayor wasted little time falling back into old habits, receiving a straight red card for his altercation with Ryan Shawcross. The Togolese was unlucky to receive a straight red, as although he threw an arm, it was hardly an intentional elbow to the face. For example, Steven Gerrard’s forearm to the head of Michael Brown, which is set to go unpunished, looked far worse. Nevertheless, Adebayor failed to keep his temper under control. Rather than maintaining composure and battling for the team, Adebayor lashed out, resulting in his receiving a four match ban for his troubles. What Adebayor must ask himself is, ‘are these the actions of a £170,000 a week striker?’ Until Adebayor puts his club before himself, he will never be worth the money, time or trouble it takes to employ him.

Whilst at Arsenal, Adebayor enraged Arsenal fans by publicly courting a move to AC Milan, telling the press of his telephone conversations with Adriano Galliani, and his quest to join a bigger club with a history of winning the Champions League. This was particularly infuriating for Arsenal supporters owing to the fact that it came just days before a Champions League semi-final with Manchester United. Whilst Adebayor’s comments on recent speculation suggest that he has learned his lesson, Adebayor needs to start doing his talking on the pitch rather than off it:

“I signed at City for five years. I am very happy here so far, but you never know. For me, I am a Manchester City player and I hope to be for a long time.”

Whether at Arsenal or Manchester City, there seems to be a trend regarding Emmanuel Adebayor’s behavior. Far too often, the Togo forward puts himself before the team, and these are not the actions of a top striker. Perhaps Adebayor has simply been unlucky this season, and his 9 goals in 18 games is certainly not to be scoffed at. However, until Adebayor brings down the final curtain on his one man show, he’ll never fulfill his potential, and aruguably, never be worth all the trouble he inevitably brings.

You can find me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/mark0turner


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