One mistake after another has left Tottenham teetering and in need of a confidence boost. The club are not in a terrible position, certainly not with a strong enough case to sack Andre Villas-Boas. But the decision to place faith in Emmanuel Adebayor will only compound the difficulty and unrest at the club.
For some, Villas-Boas had to go; his principles unwavering even against the harshest conditions. For others, it was a swing of a sword that came far too soon. One way or another, the club need to take a step back and address their own situation to put their season back on track – and again, it’s not to say Spurs are in a terrible position in the Premier League.
It will be important for the new manager to get Tottenham’s house in order, forget talk of title challenges and even that of finishing in the top four. It’s about building momentum and good feeling at the club again. Adebayor is simply not the player who the club should be looking to reply upon.
It’s for good reason that the Togolese striker was banished to the reserves, a smart move by Villas-Boas. It wasn’t the Portuguese’s fault that the club failed to shift him in the summer, nor was it his fault that Tottenham made his loan move from Manchester City permanent when it was clear, based on all the evidence, that he cannot be trusted long term.
And let’s be honest, Adebayor is only in the discussion because Roberto Soldado isn’t firing – a problem which doesn’t really speak of the Spaniard’s flaws on the pitch but rather the ineffective setup by the previous manager. If the former Valencia man was even a quarter of the way to justifying his transfer fee in the summer, Adebayor would be off in the January window with no one contemplating the idea of bringing him back into the fold. An extra body in some cases can reinforce a squad. In others, it will only disrupt a group who are looking to find a collective rhythm.
Ask how many times Adebayor himself has justified his position at a top Premier League club. He put in a good performance in the 2-2 draw against Chelsea last season, and that’s about it. Villas-Boas argued that the striker’s sending off in the North London Derby played a large part in Arsenal going on to win 5-2 last season. He should have been out the door as soon as the summer window opened.
Adebayor isn’t a long-term Tottenham player so there is little sense in bringing him back into the team at this time. Persist with Soldado, not only because most would like to see him do well, but also because Spurs spent almost £30 million on him. Tweak the XI and get the most out of all the players. Spurs are not in a situation where they need to be looking to players like Adebayor. The squad is strong enough, but none have been played to their strengths as of yet.