The Answer could be Tottenham’s forgotten man
Amongst all the arrivals at Tottenham this year, one player has been largely forgotten. Training somewhere with the youth team - or perhaps still on a leave of absence - is a £25 million international striker.
October 10th, 2013
Emmanuel Adebayor has become for some the poster-boy mercenary, a player who plays only for a contract. For me though he remains an individual that can convert Spurs from a possession-dominating side, into a team capable of truly challenging and scoring.
Late last month at White Hart Lane, Spurs fans witnessed first-hand how a diverse and skilled substitute bench can change a game. After faltering badly in the first half, Jose Mourinho switched approach and, until Fernando Torres was sent off, Chelsea seemed the more likely victors. They had a variety on their bench that Spurs couldn’t match. As we chased control, our substitutions were like-for-like; not one player offered something different to what had already been failing.
This Tottenham squad is without a doubt the strongest I have witnessed in my lifetime, and apart from at left-back we have two players per position. However, herein lies our problem – there is no player to change it, to break the mould; when Plan A fails, there should be a switch to Plan B. This season we have seen Spurs dominate possession in many games; however, against teams that have either scored first or been able to change their tactics we have faltered.
Of course the team is still evolving and getting to know each other, but throughout the season there will always come a time when we need an alternative. Adebayor is that something different, as he demonstrated in his 2011/12 loan year, and at times during the last campaign. Where Jermain Defoe and Roberto Soldado are very similar, Adebayor is the unknown and his ability to unsettle defences as the season progresses will be priceless.
The return of Adebayor will no doubt also have a reaction on Soldado, The Spanish international is an undoubted class act; however he has yet to register in the Premier League from open play. There have also been times where, deprived of service, he has drifted through games. Given his position as the confirmed number 9, perhaps a bit of competition will drive him on.
Soldado has spent a career attempting to prove himself worthy – first to Real Madrid after they cast him off to Osasuna then Getafe. When he arrived at Valencia, he spent his time attempting to prove himself the best Spanish number 9. Now at Spurs, Soldado for the first time in his career is in a position of comfort as the clear first-choice striker for both club and country. Adebayor can be the spark to ignite the Spaniard back to his most clinical form.
With Andre Villas-Boas attempting to challenge on four fronts, diversity and the ability to change tactics at a moment’s notice will be important. Having a fit and functioning Adebayor will be key in Tottenham’s success.
– Anthony Lombardi