Andre Villas-Boas' refusal to utilise Emmanuel Adebayor during his last six months at the helm of Tottenham was something that confused many at White Hart Lane, but the reason behind the striker's exile has now been revealed.
According to the Daily Mail Online's Rik Sharma, it was a beanie hat that split the pair, initiating what would become one of the more obscure divides between a player and his manager in recent memory.
An excerpt from Sharma's report reads:
At the beginning of the season, the Spurs striker walked into a team meeting wearing a hat and Villas-Boas asked him to remove it; a request Adebayor declined.
Sportsmail understands the pair exchanged heated words and during the argument Villas-Boas vowed not to play the striker.
Since coming back into the fold under interim manager Tim Sherwood, Adebayor has looked rejuvenated, giving Spurs the reliable presence in front of goal they've been seeking all term.
The Togo international has scored four goals and made one assist in his last five games across all competitions, per Transfermarkt.co.uk, equal to a direct influence of one goal per game.
|Player||Premier League Games||Goals||Assists||Avg. Goals Per Game|
Adebayor's latest impact came during the 2-1 win at Old Trafford on New Year's Day, the first time in Premier League history that Spurs have managed back-to-back victories at the Theatre of Dreams.
As the Premier League's official Twitter account showed, the 29-year-old has a particularly good record playing against the Red Devils in their own territory:
Sky Sports' Peter Hall recently complimented the forward for his Old Trafford performance, too:
Tottenham were good, but didn't have to do a great deal. Adebayor's movement was excellent. Evra couldn't handle Lennon.— Peter Hall (@Pistolpeteh86) January 1, 2014
Villas-Boas' time at Tottenham came to something of a sour end, the Portuguese boss perhaps feeling inundated by the wealth of options that came as a result of Gareth Bale's departure over the summer.
However, it's now one of the club's longer-term staples, not the likes of former club transfer record holder Roberto Soldado, who is leading the line with utmost confidence.
Villas-Boas' stint in north London wasn't the first time that keeping an entire squad happy posed an issue for the manager. His time at Chelsea was also afflicted by tense relationships with some of those within the squad.
Beanie hat or not, Sherwood is likely to allow Adebayor to don any variety of headwear as long as he keeps Tottenham's hopes of Champions League football on an upward trajectory.
With the forward's revitalised form behind them, Spurs are now sixth in the English top flight and have gone their last four unbeaten.
In fact, it may be time that Adebayor shares his fashion secrets with some of the other out-of-shape stars at White Hart Lane.