Despite reporting to pre season training this morning, Emmanuel Adebayor is still very likely to leave Arsenal and head to either AC Milan or Barcelona.
Only a few weeks ago the noises had been emanating from the corridors of San Siro for the lanky Togolese; after his tireless running and exceptional performance at the same ground in the Champions League clash against AC Milan, the club hot on his heels.
So too is Barcelona, with the ongoing chase for Hleb by the Catalan giants made worse for Arsenal by the admission that the new Barca boss Pep Guardiola is in search of a "number 9," and apparently Adebayor fits the bill.
I have a dislike for hypocrites. When one says one thing only to perform a dramatic U-turn and go back on one’s word.
No, I am not talking about the fact that Adebayor did say he wants to stay at Arsenal and "win trophies." Or to be more precise, the fact he wanted to "reassure" Arsenal fans that he will not be leaving and the very same fans need not "worry."
All of which turns out to be a bunch of crap. Naturally.
I am not angry with Emmanuel Adebayor for his new-found desire to leave and join either Henry and presumably Hleb at Camp Nou or Flamini at Milan. Players want to leave, players want to stay. That’s normal, that’s football.
What riles me up the wall is the fact that Adebayor, throughout his two and a half seasons with Arsenal, has consistently talked about his roots; about how he was just a boy from Togo playing on the streets in Africa.
About how he never owned a pair of football boots. About how he would gladly play for Arsenal for free. About how his friends had turned to drugs and crime while he stayed on the narrow path of football.
At the time, I thought here we have a man with morals, principles and more importantly, perspective of life.
Adebayor often talked about his impoverished background and new-found wealth. “I pinch myself every day when I wake up,” he said.
Clearly not anymore.
While engineering for his move to go ahead, Adebayor said at an Adidas promo in Vienna a few weeks ago:
“If you told me seven years ago when I was playing in Togo without football boots that I would have a choice of playing in Spain or Italy it would seem crazy."
That’s because it is crazy.
Wenger picked up this so-called troubled kid with an abysmal strike record from AS Monaco and despite a very average two years, he exploded last season revelling in his new-found role as the heir to Henry’s throne. That is not to say he is Henry’s heir.
It is understandable that Adebayor feels justified for a raise, but demanding to quadruple his pay into Henry’s bracket is just too much. One wondrous season and swiftly his perspective has changed; perhaps self-glory went to his head.
This has a touch of the Ashley Cole scandal with it being about money. In a world where footballers tend to have the bigger say and ultimately get what they want, it is hugely disappointing to see the humble guy from the streets of Togo with no football boots act with ingratitude.
One can understand a player’s desire to join a glamorous club steeped in history, especially if these clubs come knocking on their door. But if that is genuinely the reason then he should state so.
Instead Adebayor has made it perfectly clear that it is about money. The player who once pinched himself everyday grateful for where he is in life, would never make such demands.
In any case Arsenal were going to double his weekly wage, along with the likes of Clichy and Sagna who were undoubtedly some of the players of the season. Clichy and Sagna earned their pay raises, so too did Adebayor. Yet, he only scoffed at the raise.
And I thought of this African lad as a genuine guy; someone who is as he says he is.
How wrong was I.
It is because of his earlier humility that I fell in love with the personality of the footballer that is Emmanuel Adebayor.
And it is because of his sudden egoistical behaviour that my affections for him have diminished instantly.
I must learn that this too, is football.