“Adebayor, Adebayor. This is the best team, he’s ever played for,” was a chant that regularly reverberated around White Hart Lane last season. When it was announced that Tottenham Hotspur had acquired the signing of the Togolese front-man, fans were understandably excited.
When comparing attributes with numerous strikers around the world, you can understand why he is perceived to be one of the best. This is a front-man that can hold the ball up, head, dribble and score; the required strengths than any perceived target man should possess.
His loan spell with Spurs last season saw Adebayor notch up 18 goals and 12 assists in all competitions, while the 28-year-old was the only player to have reached double figures for both columns in the Premiership.
After a successful stint, it wasn’t a shock to have seen him linked with a permanent return to Spurs throughout the summer and while it was a long drawn out affair; seeing the striker arrive at White Hart Lane once again was a welcome sight.
the 28-year-old was the only player to have reached double figures for both columns in the Premiership
While there are those that believe Adebayor’s performances won’t mirror those of last season, with the Togo international regularly ‘going off the boil’ when he hasn’t a point to prove, he is still the ideal striker to lead the front-line in Andre Villas-Boas’ 4-2-3-1.
That, of course, would be the case if he played. Since his £5m signing in August, Adebayor has made just four substitute appearances due to the form of teammate Jermain Defoe and a series of thigh, hamstring and back injuries.
However, with Villas-Boas confirming that the striker is fit to face Wigan Athletic at the weekend, now is surely as good a time as any for him to register his first start. Regardless of the exploits of Defoe, who has improved considerably since the defeat to Newcastle United, he still isn’t the front-man to lead the line.
His lack of height renders him ineffective against the burliest of defenders and despite his natural goal-getting instincts, having netted five times in 13 games, it’s his physical attributes that render him ineffectual.
Adebayor has made just four substitute appearances due to the form of teammate Jermain Defoe and a series of thigh, hamstring and back injuries
The England international has certainly repaid the faith shown in him by Villas-Boas, as evident in his aforementioned stats, but if you were to tell me he’s ideal to lead the Spurs front-line, I’d feel compelled give you a slap around the face and call you a liar. Well, probably not, but you get the idea.
Playing as the lone striker isn’t Defoe’s forte and is a position better suited for, you guessed it, Adebayor. Granted, his injuries have hindered his impact, seeing him muster just 104 minutes of first-team football.
Yet, having returned to fitness ahead of the visit of the Latics, he couldn’t have returned at a better time. Wigan may’ve netted 10 times this season, seven less than weekend opponents Spurs, but have also shipped an impressive 16 goals; the fifth worst in the Premier League.
While Spurs’ record isn’t abhorrently better, conceding three less than Roberto Martinez’s side, the fact of the matter is Wigan are there for the taking. The Latics have picked up just three points away from the DW Stadium this season; a 2-0 win over 26-goal-conceding-Southampton back in August.
Playing as the lone striker isn’t Defoe’s forte and is a position better suited for, you guessed it, Adebayor
It, to date, remains the only points Wigan have picked up on the road this season, having conceded seven goals in the further three defeats to Manchester United, Sunderland and Swansea City, respectively.
On top of that, while Adebayor has returned to fitness, his match practise is likely to be lower than that of his teammates. Judging from the upcoming fixtures in November, trips to Manchester City and Arsenal followed by home encounters with West Ham United and Liverpool, the strength of the squad is likely to be stretched by the next five Premier League fixtures.
The weekend Wigan game is a great opportunity for the squad to pick themselves up following the midweek Capital One Cup exit to Norwich City and it is vital Adebayor is leading the line from the beginning of the testing month.
His attributes far outweigh that of Defoe, regardless of his goalscoring exploits. While many are keen for the England international to retain his place in the starting XI, such is the form he has shown this season, bringing Adebayor back into the first-team fold will be vital is Spurs are serious about securing a top four finish for the second successive season, starting with Saturday’s game against the Latics.
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