What Happens When Emmanuel Adebayor Stops Caring About Tottenham Hotspur?

Allan JiangTransfers CorrespondentJanuary 2, 2014

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 01:   Emmanuel Adebayor of Tottenham Hotspur scores the opening goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford on January 1, 2014 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Like hearing the same joke again and again, you already know how Emmanuel Adebayor's time with Tottenham Hotspur will end.

Once his honeymoon period with Spurs manager Tim Sherwood is over, Adebayor will revert back to the professional footballer content with doing as little as possible.

At his best, he is a complete centre forward: poaches goals, heads home crosses from his teammates, registers assists and holds the ball up.

"When he performs as he is at the moment, he's almost unstoppable," Sherwood said, as per BBC Sport. "He just runs all day long, he tries hard for the team."

Without the ball, Adebayor channels his inner Alaixys Romao and scampers around, chopping down opposing players in a fervent attempt to win back possession.

MIDDLESBROUGH, UNITED KINGDOM - AUGUST 16:  Dimitar Berbatov of Tottenham Hotspur looks on from the bench during the Barclays Premier League match bewteen Middlesbrough and Tottenham Hotspur at the Riverside Stadium on August 16, 2008 in Middlesbrough, En
Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

When Adebayor is at his petulant worst, "he's the sort of player who can get managers the sack," who "can throw his toys out of the pram", "a bad apple and you don't want that around your squad."

The aforementioned quotes were Sherwood's view of Dimitar Berbatov—a player with the same Jekyll and Hyde demeanour as Adebayor—in 2008, as per Tom Bryant at The Guardian.

A trait in a good manager is manipulating a player for the betterment of the team, even if the manager secretly harbours doubts over that player.

Sherwood has been smart enough to re-open the door knowing Adebayor desperately wants to put one up on former Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas.

Adebayor has become a necessity in Sherwood's 4-4-2: scoring in a 2-1 League Cup defeat to West Ham United, netting three Premier League goals, including the opener in a 2-1 win over Manchester United, creating a goal in a 3-0 win over Stoke City and putting in six tackles in four games.

If you have closely followed the career of Adebayor, you feel a sense of deja vu. 

"I have brought him [Adebayor] into my office 25 times to explain to him that football is a team sport," then Metz manager Jean Fernandez said in 2003, as per BBC Sport. "But this kid still does not understand. I've had enough."

Metz put Adebayor on the transfer market, and Southampton were in pole position for his signature until then Monaco manager Didier Deschamps intervened. 

"I was close to signing for Southampton," Adebayor said, as per Patrick Goss at Sky Sports. "I chose Monaco because Deschamps called me to say that he wanted me."

So, what happened next? 

"[Adebayor] has enjoyed an impressive start at Monaco, helping Deschamps' side reach the top of the table with a number of inspirational performances," as per Jon Fisher at UEFA.com.

EINDHOVEN, HOLLAND - FEBRUARY 22:  Emmanuel Adebayor of Monaco battles with Alex of PSV during the UEFA Champions League first knock-out round, first leg match between PSV Eindhoven and AS Monaco at the Phillips Stadium on February 22, 2005 in Eindhoven,
Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

A year later, Adebayor felt the club treated him like a "young player from the academy," as per BBC Sport.

Perhaps, this was an inference to being snubbed by Deschamps, as he opted to sub on Dado Prso and Shabani Nonda during the 3-0 UEFA Champions League final defeat to Porto while Adebayor watched on from the bench. 

When Deschamps was replaced by Francesco Guidolin, Adebayor didn't just burn his bridges, he bombed it.

"I felt I was not part of his [Guidolin's] plans," Adebayor said, as per Le Figaro (h/t Sky Sports). "Today, I feel you have to be Italian to be in the starting XI in that team."

Adebayor's blatant insubordination paved a way to Arsenal where he was afforded time to settle in.

Thierry Henry looked at then Togo national team manager Otto Pfister, who was sitting besides Adebayor in the Gunners' dressing room in 2006 and said, as per The Observer: "One day, it won't be me, but this guy [Adebayor]."

During the 2007-08 season, Adebayor vindicated Henry's bold statement to Pfister by scoring 30 goals, but even then, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was worried and foreshadowed Adebayor's decline. 

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 04: Emmanuel Adebayor talks to Arsene Wenger during Arsenal's training session prior to Tuesday's Champions League fixture against Manchester United at London Colney training ground on May 04, 2009 in London, England.  (Photo by Tom
Tom Dulat/Getty Images

"We have seen players before, when they start getting the recognition, they ease off," Wenger said, as per The Daily Mail. "If you lose that desire, you quickly become a nobody."

Wenger, being the shrewd operator he is, negotiated £25 million from Manchester City for Adebayor, who had followed up his 30-goal haul with 16 goals.

City would have saved themselves a lot of money if they had asked for Theo Walcott's opinion, as per his autobiography:

I thought Adebayor was a fantastic player, but I have to be honest and admit that very occasionally, his attitude let him down.

[He was] laughing and joking with a few people while the rest of us were trying to come to terms with the crushing disappointment of what had just happened [losing 4-1 on aggregate to Manchester United in the 2009 UEFA Champions League semi-finals].

But that was Addy.

When City won 4-2 against Arsenal, Adebayor stomped on Robin van Persie and celebrated a goal by running the length of the pitch to provoke the Arsenal away fans. 

Here is what motivated Adebayor, as per Emily Benammar at The Telegraph

If you were to abuse a man in the street for over an hour, he would react, and it would be a worse reaction than a goal celebration.

There were players from Arsenal who refused to shake my hand before the match.

I could not understand some of the Arsenal players being disrespectful towards me. These are people I have spent a lot of time with and people I thought were my friends.

This passion was temporary, and he did not have the same will to score against other teams in most of City's games. 

A season-and-a-half into his £170,000-a-week deal at City, management paid him to go away, sending him on loan to Real Madrid

He was then loaned to Spurs.

With his career in-limbo, doubts lingering over his future at top-flight level, Arsenal fans revelling over his career slump, Adebayor stepped up. 

Harry Redknapp enabled this to happen by treating Adebayor with kid gloves.

He scored 17 league goals, and his incisive passing was spectacular. 

He set-up four goals during a 5-0 win over Newcastle United and ended up with 11 league assists during the 2011-12 season.

His output in league play was more than Bayern Munich's Toni Kroos (nine), Barcelona's Cesc Fabregas (eight) and Roma's Francesco Totti (seven).

Spurs chairman Daniel Levy fired Redknapp, ushering in the Andre Villas-Boas era. 

Entering Villas-Boas' second campaign, he did not want unprofessional players, such as Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Adebayor.

Source: @AssouEkotto

Assou-Ekotto was needlessly loaned out to Queens Park Rangers (this came back to haunt Villas-Boas during the club's left-back injury crisis). 

While Villas-Boas treated Adebayor with contempt by excluding him in a team photo.

"When I come to train and see the team picture, which I'm not involved in, that shows me a lot of disrespect," Adebayor said, as per BBC Sport. "It was difficult."

Adebayor was banished from training with the first-team, which even prompted his teammate Jermain Defoe to speak out.

"I don't think it helps the team, to be honest," Defoe said, as per Sky Sports. "We will need his goals and what he brings to the team."

What prophetic words.

Villas-Boas evoked the Hyde out of Adebayor.

The current mindset of Adebayor, back to Jekyll, is fueled by proving Villas-Boas wrong. 

Once that emotion runs out, what is Sherwood going to do? 

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 18:  Tim Sherwood interim manager of Tottenham Hotspur looks on prior to the Capital One Cup Quarter-Final match between Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United at White Hart Lane on December 18, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo b
Paul Gilham/Getty Images

Maybe he is in the process of drafting a contingency plan.

"It's a complete lifestyle change. There are so many added pressures," Sherwood said, as per Adrian Kajumba at The Daily Star. "I don't sleep, and when you do, you wake up after two hours thinking about Adebayor. That can't be right. At least it's me and not my missus."




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