Emmanuel Adebayor looks set to join ex Arsenal teammate at William Gallas at Tottenham Hotspur on a one-year loan deal. With Lassana Diarra closing in on a deal is it right to sign the old enemy?
‘How do you feel about Adebayor coming to Spurs?’ said my flatmate with a mischievous grin. Like a kid faced with Brussels sprouts I wrinkled my nose, shook my head, made an ‘eurrggh’ face and muttered, ‘nah’.
Knowing he’d got me, the wind up merchant pressed on questioning why I wouldn’t gleefully accept him at Spurs reciting his good points. He has all the tools needed play as a lone striker. Manu can hold the ball up, run in behind, is useful in the air, has a shed load of Premier League experience and at 27 should be entering his prime.
Again I wasn’t having it.
The only things my pal could put to me about Adebayor that softened my stance have no place in the assessment of someone’s football skills. First, Ade hates Arsenal, I hate Arsenal, and on the basis that the enemy of my enemy is my friend it could work. Secondly Daniel Levy is a canny man and probably suggested getting Adebayor so he won’t score any more goals against us. So far the Togoan has 10 in 14 appearances against Spurs including an incredible 8 in 9 games in north London derbies. If he keeps that strike rate up I suppose he’d fit in.
Bemused by my parochialism my flatmate left me to it and I’ve been able to think of little else since.
What is my problem with ex Arsenal players turning out for Spurs?
Basically it’s because I hate the Arsenal. Not the real world hate that would drive a man to war but the pantomime stuff. I don’t wish anyone who has been involved with Arsenal past or present any harm but I am prepared to (and do) say very nasty things about them. It’s the reason I’m not keen on Adebayor, have misgivings about Lass Diarra and am quick to criticise, but slow to praise, William Gallas. Unless we steal Arsenal’s current best player I don’t want former hated foes at my club.
I’ll be Spurs until my last breath even if we lose every game we ever play; if Harry has four bad games in a row it’ll be time to pick up his P45.
History shows Harry Redknapp doesn’t care about all of that. Redknapp’s grasp of what club loyalty means to fans is the only thing Pompey and Southampton fans agree on and they’re not very complimentary. Not that we cared, I found Harry’s shuttle runs between St Mary’s Stadium and Fratton Park quite funny, as football fans often do as long as turmoil takes place at another club. When he arrived at Spurs Harry the PR genius got the fans onboard by bringing in ‘Tottenham people’ - Tony Parks, Tim Sherwood and Sir Les Ferdinand - into the back room staff. Then to secure his position as an honorary lilywhite he went out and bought Tottenham old boys Keane, Defoe and Crouch. It was as if we had the same vision of how to take Spurs forward ‘the Tottenham way’. But it turned out to just be a coincidence.
Redknapp’s not a fan of Tottenham Hotspur he’s a fan of winning and will bring anyone he thinks can help him to that end. You get the impression he’d sign Sol Campbell tomorrow if he thought the big fella could do a job and act surprised at what all the fuss was about. The pursuit of victory is his only priority and at the end of the day it’s his job on the line. I’ll be Spurs until my last breath even if we lose every game we ever play and drop out of the league; if Harry has four bad games in a row it’ll be time to pick up his P45.
My head can see the folly of the heart but when it comes to football my heart is in charge. I want us to win, but only if we do it playing well, without any ex gooners, unless it’s their best player. From a fan of a team that has had limited shots at glory in the Premier League era that’s ridiculously unrealistic but that’s what I demand because in the irrational mindset of the football fan I’m allowed to hold several contradictory views at once.
Hmmm. I think it’s time to grow up.
Actually b*****ks to that. Why should I?
Being a supporter is all about the child like wonder of watching 11 millionaires kick a synthetic pig bladder from one end of a field to another. To throw tantrums at perceived injustice and moan that life is unfair. I reserve the option to hold a child like grudge and shake my rattle at Spurs players who used to work for the enemy. Being a baby about it is my right. Thankfully people with an adult outlook on the beautiful game run the club. They can do the footballing equivalent of making me eat my greens and do my homework, things I sulked through at the time but if I hadn’t done them would have held me back. There’s a chance that one day I’ll look back at the decisions Harry made on my behalf and thank him in the same way I realise my parents insistence I brushed my teeth wasn’t just to p**s me off.
But in football terms I’m still a brat, so I doubt it.
Click here for more Spurs stories
Click here for more Arsenal stories
Click here for more Football and Sport stories
Click here to follow Sabotage Times on Twitter
Click here to follow Sabotage Times on Facebook