Emmanuel Adebayor is not the first controversial signing Harry Redknapp has introduced to the Tottenham faithful but he is certainly the most unpopular to date. Nonetheless Redknapp stays true to his belief that if the frontman plays well, all will at least be temporarily forgotten even if it is never entirely forgiven.
It took Adebayor just 67 minutes to open his goalscoring account for Spurs and if he can keep on scoring it may prompt a remarkably quick turnaround from villain to hero.
His status as a villain in the eyes of Tottenham fans does not only stem from his playing days at Arsenal. It is hard for a genuine dislike of an individual to hinge solely on his choice of previous employers, in Adebayor’s case it is his personality that makes him stand out as dislikeable. The striker is seen as a greedy, mercurial and self-serving player on top of representing Arsenal and scoring numerous times against Spurs. As a result of his challenging ego and his pursuit of the largest paycheques in football he has outpriced himself and found himself unwanted by the only clubs that can meet his wages. The reality check of being on loan and out of the Champions League might serve him well, at the moment loyalty and commitment seem like alien concepts to him.
None of this may matter at Tottenham however. He arrives at the club with little to lose and should he hit the ground running will find himself embraced remarkably quickly due to the overwhelming sense of relief his arrival has prompted. For the entire summer the need to add a striker has loomed large over Spurs and anyone who looked capable of scoring more than 12 in a season was likely to be welcomed with open arms. He is certainly capable of getting goals.
Over the last year Harry Redknapp has introduced a spine to Spurs that features the ex-Chelsea and former Arsenal captain William Gallas at centre back, the ex-Chelsea and former West Ham captain Scott Parker in central midfield and the ex-Arsenal and Manchester City striker Adebayor. Redknapp is evidently not concerned in the slightest where a player previously plied their trade, neither is he concerned with the fans who see this as a problem. Thus far his decisions have paid off and whilst fans may not revel in delight for Adebayor when he scores, they will always enjoy the success of the team. Redknapp knows that the fans love for the club as a whole is far greater than their dislike of its individual parts will ever be. He is right to bring these players in because in the end success keeps people happy no matter who provides it.
If Adebayor delivers the goals that Spurs were lacking last season, he’ll get the fans on board in no time. After all, you don’t have to like the man himself or where he’s been, just what he brings to the team.
Do you think he’ll prove a success? And if so d’you think it matters where he’s been?
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