Tottenham Hotspur were on the lookout for a striker all through the summer and finally got their man Emmanuel Adebayor for £5 Million. Daniel Levy kept the purse strings tight and was able to land the loan-star just on time when they appeared short in attacking front. Tottenham fans were sceptical when the former Gunner arrived at the Lane last summer, but now the same bunch were eagerly waiting for his arrival this time around. What is the reason behind this dramatic turnaround?
The Togolese front-man started his career at France with Metz and Monaco where he amassed 45 goals in 168 appearances before making his move to Spurs North London rivals Arsenal. He spent almost 4 seasons in Arsenal scoring 62 goals and it included tormenting Spurs time and again. Adebayor reached his peak form in 2007/08 season by notching up 30 goals in all competitions. Next season was also a productive one for Adebayor as he continued from where he left-off and this made the way for money-bag Manchester City to come up with a whopping offer to take him to Manchester.
There was no other way to prevent Adebayor from scoring as he continued scoring in Manchester too (19 goals in 45 appearances) before Mancini froze him out due to differences. This opened the way for a loan move to Spanish giants Real Madrid where he found his goal-scoring form. After his loan spell ended he returned to Manchester where he was surplus to requirements.
This paved the way for Tottenham to make a loan enquiry for their chief tormentor and he walked the bridge across North London to join Spurs. Adebayor joined Tottenham Hotspurs towards the end of summer transfer window and carried the team to a fourth placed finish from a precarious position to win the hearts of Tottenham fans before making his way back to Manchester. By that time Adebayor became a fan favourite at White Hart Lane and they were hoping for a permanent deal.
After a summer full of negotiations, Adebayor was happy to return to Tottenham Hotspur where he was involved in 43% of the goals amassed by Spurs in EPL last season. Take a look at the number of players reached double figures in-terms of goals and assists last season. We are sure that one would like to check the statistics of Aguerro, Rooney, Van Persie, Drogba, Silva, Ba, Torres, Suarez, Gerrard, Lampard etc. Unfortunately none of them reached the mark and there was only one Emmanuel Adebayor who stood tall in both the counts which determines his effectiveness. Adebayor was nothing short of a revelation after impressing the critics with 17 goals and 11 assists in his EPL stint with the North London side last season and won the hearts of millions of doubters.
Tottenham Hotspur started their journey in 2012/13 season with a loss at Newcastle which pointed many shortcomings in their side. The striker crisis was a major discussion topic throughout the summer and it stood out among the other problems at the Sports Direct Arena while the performance of the squad pointed towards reinforcements in more than one area. Key problem as recognized by many was the missing target man in the line-up, as a number of crosses went across the face of goal and there was no one to put the finishing touch it deserved. It reminded Tottenham Hotspur fans about their prolific striker last season – Emmanuel Adebayor.
Tottenham Hotspur dominated Newcastle for major chunks of the game that too away from home. The lack of fire-power upfront led to a defeat for Spurs. They lacked a tall striker and his hold-up play, a tireless runner was missing upfront who can put pressure on the opposition defenders which will lead them to make mistakes. The physical presence was missing as well. Time and again Tottenham faithful were reminded of a certain Togolese striker Emmanuel Adebayor who can be the vital cog in the Spurs armoury.
Emmanuel Adebayor adds a new dimension to the Strike force possessed by Villas Boas. Jermain Defoe is a clinical striker with his finishing and predatory instincts. Youngster Harry Kane is a clever shadow striker waiting eagerly for an opportunity to pounce upon. Emmanuel Adebayor brings the essence of a physical target man with good hold up play and excellent work rate to add a different dimension to the striking options at the disposal of Tottenham Hotspur.
Adebayor can be a real menace to the opposition in more than one way as we witnessed during last season. He contributes to the free-flowing attacking game at Spurs and his understanding with the team mates is a real plus point for Villas Boas. There is no need for further tweaking in Villas Boas preferred 4-2-3-1 system as Adebayor can fit in perfectly for the lone strikers role without much modification. Adebayor has the willingness to drop deep to get involved in the build play and his ability to appear in small pockets of space invites the opposition defenders along with him and it carves out an opening for other players to exploit. It’s a rare trait among strikers and Adebayor utilizes it to the maximum.
The Lanky figure upfront provides a target to the long ball specialists in Enlgish game and the tall figure was exploited very well by Spurs earlier also. Crouch and Adebayor were the focal points of long balls and high crosses, their flick-on’s were the main outlet for attacking players in the previous seasons which helped Tottenham to score goals regularly. With the return of Adebayor, Tottenham Hotspur will be keen to reuse the previously successful system to better fruition. Van Der Vaart is keenly waiting for the reunion as he will get the best service with Adebayor’s arrival along with summer signing Sigurdsson.
Emmanuel Adebayor is a hard worker and his off-the ball movements, especially his tireless running even in lost cases ups the ante of the team. He is someone who can lift the morale of the team with goals and assists. Adebayor can be the perfect solution for Spurs striker problems with his hold-up play, work rate, fluidity, goals and assists. His presence in the ranks is expected increase the competition for places and might lead to bring the best out of Defoe and Kane which will be an added bonus for Villas Boas and Tottenham Hotspur.
Adebayor is not a clinical finisher in the mould of Defoe and sometimes he will miss the simplest of chances as well. He went missing completely in some games and we have witnessed that last season as well. After a bright start in Manchester City he endured a barren spell in second season which prompted City fans and Arsenal fans to describe him as a one season wonder. Adebayor has performed at top-level for Spurs in first season and is going to enter his second stint as a Spurs player. Adebayor
What does Spurs fans can expect from Adebayor? Is he going to be a one season wonder for Spurs similar to Manchester? That means there is nothing more to come from him and it will be a heart-break for Spurs fans. Can he build on from his start similar to the way he did at Arsenal? What if Adebayor is still to reach his peak form? Then we can witness his magic at Spurs in the coming seasons. Only time will tell us about the impact of this move. In hindsight Adebayor’s move is expected to solve a lot of problems for Spurs and with the right players stepping in we can expect improvement from Tottenham Hotspur.