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Ade the Daddy

Before I begin with the match report, I just wanted to create a separate thread to say congratulations to Emmanuel Adebayor. Ade's second half hat trick meant Ade became the first ever Arsenal player to score hat tricks against the same opposition in both league fixtures. But even more of a milestone than that, Manu reached thirty season goals. That's a quite remarkable feat for a player who, in truth, is not meant to be a goalhanging supremo like Torres or Owen. Having played the majority of the season up on his own with his partners van Persie and Eduardo stricken.

I felt a bouquet was in order as this guy receives far too many brickbats! I doubt a thirty goal striker has ever received as much ire as Ade, both from his own supporters and neutral observers. I've spoken of this phenomenon before amongst Arsenalfans and I have tosay it comes from a deep seated arrogance. Adebayor was routinely written off after about two games in an Arsenal shirt and so when he proves people wrong, they just wait for his next error sothey can feel as though they are correct. Witness Alexandre Song, who was disgracefully booed in his first ever Premiership start. Now he has come into the side and looks assured and a viableoption in central defence. Yet those so keen to criticise have been silent about his current form, their pride hurt as once again quickfire assumptions are proved wrong. Wait until he makes a mistake and these people will soon crawl back out of the woodwork and use his error as a mast for their ego.

Anyways, back to Ade, people forget that he has scored at Anfield, Old Trafford and the San Siro this year whilst also continuing to score against more pedestrian clubs like Tottenham. Meanwhile, Fernando Torres is rightly lauded as a terrific striker, Ade does not attract the same plaudits. I criticised Henry during the last two years of his Arsenal career for his contribution in away matches, his scoring statistics North of London became comparable to most centre backs. But of Ade's thirty goals, seventeen have come away from home. This speaks volumes of Ade's character and the difference he can make to us. I hope that if he does not score 30 again next yearthat he won't be roundly lambasted, but we'll worry about that another time. I saw an interview with Ade a couple of months back when he revealed that, upon his transfer to Barcelona, Henry told Ade 'you will score thirty goals this season' and how that had been a huge boost to Adebayor. I'm not entirely sure Thierry actually believed that, I certainly wouldn't have. So thank you Manny. But please, Ade, pal, stop stealing my dance moves capisce!?LD




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The Journalist

Writer: Tim Stillman Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday April 29 2008

Time: 11:24AM

Your Comments

Agree completely. I can't understand how he gets the criticism he does. He might not be as easy on the eye as Torres, and as gooners we have never had this kind of striker before. We have been spoiled with very talented strikers who are very pretty to watch such as Henry, Bergkamp, Anelka, Wright, Van Persie, Kanu. All these players had/have a good first touch & great technique. Sometimes Ade can have a poor first touch or miss a clear cut chance, but how many times has he taken the game by the scruff of the neck and got us the win. Defenders hate to play against him, he is strong, quick, gets us headed goals and puts his all in to games. He has tired towards the end of the season due to having to play so many games. He has scored 30 in 38 starts, the same as Torres, and like LD said he has scored 17 away from home compared to Torres 7.
paul_ownz
I CAN actually see why he gets criticism sometimes, but most of it is well over the top. I don't think Ade is a world class striker (YET) but if he keeps this up, he will be in no time. He is still young and has lots of time on his side. I think the fact that he is not the finished article just goes to show how amazing he has been this season, and if he can carry on making improvements as he has in the last 12 months, then he can be a 40 goal a season man in all competitions. Awesome stuff Ade, my player of the year!!!
Rocky7
Ade is incredibly frustrating to watch but the criticisms come from ignorant fans and pundits. The guy has scored more than 95% of all other strikers in the country, often upfront on his own, where's the problem.
LondonGooner
I can understand why Ade attracts some criticism. He does look ungainly, his touch can be poor and he isn't the best at bringing others into play. But against that he can confound us all by producing a clever bit of skill and great touch and finish. Playing up front on your own is a thankless task. There isn't a forward in the world that likes it. All forwards are more effective with someone alongside them. Ade creates his own space - runs tirelessly - keeps two players occupied which reduces the attacking potential of the opposing side - and scores goals - lots of them. What he does well he does very well and that is recognised by his fellow professionals ranking him 3rd in the PFA player of the year and into the team of the year. He may never look the prettiest player (though he is young enough to improve his fluency) but look beyond that and what you have is a very effective player indeed.
Amos.
Well said - the guy is a lion, and is fast becoming comparable to players such as Eto'o and Drogba in the way he holds the ball up. I think that even if he is not quite as clinical as these two, his passing game exceeds them. I know some fans had it in for Ade, but most shocking has been the player assassination carried out by a few blogs. Even until a few weeks ago, the wretched Myles Palmer was calling Ade a clown. I hope all the non-believers were choking last night as Ade's well-deserved chant was ringing round Pride Park. Big up the Togonator!!
Andy-bayor
I have been trying to defend Ade from arrogant fans throughout the whole year. What is more painful is there are more Ade-bashers amongst Gooners than fans of other clubs together. Crazy stuff if u ask me. Anyway, I second your thoughts Rocky7, he get's my vote for AFC's POY.
G4L
Torres created most of his goals himself. He converted half chances into goals. So at away games he was marked tighter because there's not many goal scorer on Liverpool squad this season.
Cretivo
Well said, Ade has been great for us this season and wish all Arsenal players had a heart as big as he does. He terrorises defences, is great in the air, has pace & power. He does not always (i admit frustratingly) putting away the simple stuff but sometimes scores the seemingly impossible - not unlike a certain mr Henry who could miss a tap-in with the best (& worst) of them. All strikers miss and as soon as glory hunting, championship manager addicted spoilt brats realise this the better. Rooney misses, Torres misses, Drogba misses, even David Villa & Benzema miss (shock, horror!). Its about time people showed some respect to Adebayour or go and support Chelsea instead because they need the fans, especially ones who boo & chant "you dont know what your doing"
gooner303
I believe that the point made is that Adebayor is a good striker, with a world class midfield behind him. People just want to see a world class striker playing in front of that world class midfield. Fair enough, Ade could continue to get 30+ goals for the next 3 seasons with players like Cesc and Theo giving him sitters, but imagine how many goals he would have if he'd put away all of the sitters that he's missed this season. When fans look at him, they spend half the time thinking; "Henry would have buried that..." "Torres doesn't miss those..." "Ronaldo could have scored that blind-folded..." I think that people just want a world class striker like Thierry, rather than a very good one who tries his best.
Arsenal_Grouch
And a big ''thank you'' to the Derby fans continuing with their racist rendition of ''Andebayooooorrr....'' without them, would he have knocked 3 past them... great reaction as well Ade, well in son.
AFC85Lew
Whereas I appreciate that Ade sometimes messes up, surely that's all part of being human and, mainly, young? His slight lack in skill, for me, is made up ten fold by his power and determination. Clichy was excellent again last night as was Cesc. Tho I'm not too sure about Fabianski. In the few times I've seen him he's seemed far too small and indecisive. Massive respect has to go out to our travelling fans last night, they were as loud and as funny as I've ever heard them on Setanta
scooch
Its not Ade's fault that he's not the world class striker that some arsenal fans want. There should be some criticism of Ade, coz his 1st touch is poor sometimes, and his finishing isnt the best. However, the positives far outweigh the negatives and that perspective is sometimes lost. 30 goals is a superb achievement, when he himself didnt have that self-belief (Henry did!). I'm pleased for Ade and I hope he keeps this up next season.
prits
He certainly has much to improve, but what I like is that he ahd made a huge improvement each season. I honestly don't think he misses anymore than any other striker, when I think of missed sitters from him this year, there was a misuced finish at OT (he scored later) and a missed sitter at Anfield (he scored later)and a missed sitter at WHL (he scored twice later). He used to be profligate, but now I feel that view is antiquated. The thing is, he's not a poacher like Torres or Owen,he's a support player, judge him next to Carew, Yakubu, Tevez, Keane and you'll see how impressive he really is.
Little Dutch
compared to ian wright, anelka, bergkamp, van P pre-injury and when you have 7 years of Henry, all doing everything adebayor cant do, perfect control, perfect passing, pin point percision shooting (wrighty just poaching of course)- its easy to fall into the habit of nit picking at adebayor, but if you look at him compared to other premiership, la liga or serie A strikers, the guy is a menace
bootoo
Not world class yet, but he's still DAMN good. You could tell last night what he brings to the side. We just look like a different team when Ade is in there working his ass off.
gunnerkid107
Congrats to Him and long may he continue.
TeamSpirit
Arsenal_Grouch. "I think that people just want a world class striker like Thierry, rather than a very good one who tries his best". 1. There are not many world class strikers available. 2. A world class striker costs 25m Plus. 3. Adebayor was never meant to be the main striker but the supporting striker. Adebayor is the physical presence, the winner of balls, holding up play. Van persie or Eduardo were meant to be world class strikers. In that sense Adebayor has over achieved. He can not help injuries to a team, and if anything has dragged us through.
paul_ownz
When you get those difficult away games against physical opponents or against big defenders you need someone like Ade to make a nuisance of himself. Is Drogba much different from Adebayor? Alot of what he does is not pretty either. Ferdinand(arguably the best CB in the EPL) said Adebayor is the most difficult striker to play against. And lastly, most strikers dont peak until they are 27-29, he is only 24 and scored 30 in his first full season up front.
paul_ownz
@ paul_ownz:
Points 1 and 2 are true, but Arsenal are the kind of team that ARE able to attract such players, ie. David Villa. The point is that whether you're just a fan, or you're the manager, you should never be content with just settiling for what you have and saying that you'll just have to make do. Adebayor is an 8 out of 10 player, possibly a 9 on his best days, but I don't see what's wrong with wanting him to be replaced with a 10 if he doesn't improve.
Arsenal_Grouch
My main point is he adds that other dimension to our game play. We have always been accused of only have Plan A. I think we need a world class striker(villa?) to go with Adebayor and rotate between Ade, villa and Van Persie. I have memories of 2005-2007 when we lost alot of away games to teams like Wigan, Everton, Blackburn, Bolton, Sheffield United etc and how much better we have performed with Adebayor(& Flamini).
paul_ownz
"whilst also continuing to score against more pedestrian clubs like Tottenham" -- LOL!! Liked that, LD. :-) For a very long time I was unconvinced by Ade's abilities as a striker--I saw what he did bring to the team (tremendous work rate, holds the ball up well, makes defenders work very hard; both Terry and Ferdinand said he's a nightmare to defend against) but I just didn't believe he'd ever become a good goal-scoring striker, never mind a great one. His first touch and decision-making has often made me want to scream obscenities. He can be very frustrating. By the time Christmas came around, however, I couldn't deny the reality that he'd definitely improved and was doing so as a lone striker, a very tough thing to do, esp. for a young inexperienced forward. Around January and February I was incredibly angry with him for becoming a ball hog. His ego was getting the better of him and it was hurting the team's results. Failure to pass to Eduardo and Bendtner was just inexcusable to me. Also, I've never liked how so many gooners paint him as a hero and Bendtner as a villain because I think both of them are equally guilty of arrogance and egomania. All that said, I cannot understand how so many gooners refuse to see the simple reality of what Ade HAS achieved for us this season. It would be good for an Arsenal blogger (maybe someone here) to put together a clear organized fashion comparison of goal-scoring and assist stats this season comparing Ronaldo, Ade, Rooney, Cesc, Drogba, Tevez, Torres, and other PL players like Benjani, Santa Cruz, etc. This wouldn't be a comparison of forwards/strikers, just frequent goal-scorers and assist-makers. The other thing that Ade's bashers should think about is what was Drogba like at Ade's age. He certainly wasn't scoring 30 goals at the age of 23-24.
jaelle
"Also, I've never liked how so many gooners paint him as a hero and Bendtner as a villain because I think both of them are equally guilty of arrogance and egomania". The telling signs are that no one in the team seems to like Bendtner where as they love Ade. Id imagine that Bendtner is arrogant all the time on and off the pitch, Ade comes accross as a likeable player.
paul_ownz
Ade is, put simply, THE MAN. I was wrong in several of my assumptions this season but darn right in believing that Ade would do as well as he has done so far. In fact, he has surpassed my expectations. Granted, he is often frustrating, especially in must-win games when we are all nervous wrecks, but the guy is awesome. Congratulations to the Togonator. More grease to his elbow. I'm very glad that his PFL mates have recognized him as well for his untiring effort and ability. Very many clubs will be happy to have Ade in their team. Let us Gooners appreciate what we have and stop pining for the grass on the other side of the river. It is not always that green. I insist that bad luck and dodgy decisions were our bane this season. The Gunners did quite well.
Warri Gooner
I don't think that's entirely fair, paul. Theo and Eduardo get along just fine with Bendtner, they always celebrate goals together. Neither Theo nor Eduardo have big egos. And Ade certainly infuriated Rosicky at Newcastle, openly arguing with him on the pitch. I know Bendtner's a bit of a loner, it just strikes me that he's failed to break into the cliquish nature of the squad because he's more reserved whereas Ade is very brash and gregarious, and knows how to charm people easily.
jaelle
Possibly Jaelle. But 2 things come in to my mind when i think of Bendtner. 1. It was reported that HE claimed he was a better player than Adebayor, and while you may think that you should not say that about a team mate. 2. When he scored against Liverpool, only Theo went up to hom. Theo & Clichy are reserved too, but other players congratulate them when they score or assist.
paul_ownz
Maybe i am reading too much in to it, but if you have no friends in your job where you are required to be a team, how can you do your job properly?
paul_ownz
Very well done Ade!! I must say, since his goal and league win at OT last season, I've been thinking he can improve and become a very good player. That OT game was the first time he worked up front as the only striker in a big game and he delivered. Ever since I've been defending him, sometimes even I didn't know why I still thought he'd come good when he's so frustrating to watch. What you guys said above are all valid points so I won't repeat. I'd just like to add that, while we've been spoiled by the Henry-Bergkamp partnership and others in the collective Gooners psyche, (1) they were much more talented strikers and (2) that kind of partnership took a long time to become the pretty stuff we saw. This year Ade has worked with RvP, Eduardo, Bendtner, Hleb and Theo, in 4-4-2 or 4-4-1-1/4-5-1 formations. But still he's scored 30 goals in 38 games. Arsene also admitted that he expected Ade would score "because all strikers in the Arsenal team should score," pointing to the numerous chances we create as a highly attack-minded team. But even the great man himself expected about 15 from Ade this season. Of course he would have expected more from RvP or even the midfield through Rosicky. But obviously Ade has made up for their absences and that's no mean feat at all. On Paul's point, maybe there's an ego thing, but I was very happy to see RvP "break the ice" or be the first one (cos he gave the assist) to celebrate Bendtner's goal, then everyone else followed. So the key is just to include the boy, not stay away from him, and the team's mature enough to do that now. Sorry for the long post, can't help it. And for Ade doubters or humble-pie eaters: Ade will continue to improve! :)
Lou the Gunneress
Yes Bendtner did say that but it was ade who called Bendtner "*****" at the CC semifinal. I know it was only Theo who went up to him at the pool game--rightly so since the other Arsenal players were intent on continuing with the game whereas Bendtner's ego got the best of him, wanting time for that celebration. He's definitely got ego problems but my point is that so does Ade. And I don't think it's fair to paint one as a villain and excuse Ade's own arrogance just because he's likeable and part of the inner clique. It strikes me that Bendtner's failings are judged by one standard whereas Ade always gets a pass.
jaelle
Oh, and I managed to dig up G4L's good analysis on Ade's goals/shots ratio. Yes sometimes he inexplicably misses easy chances. But a bit of perspective on his "disappointing misses": http://www.arsenal.vitalfootball.co.uk/forum/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=8345&start=1
Lou the Gunneress
I take your point, and none of us really know what happens behind closed doors. Maybe i have made an unfair judgement of bendtner in my head and its hard to shift. He is still young, and has shown glimpses of his talent. Hopefully next year he can show his potential and be a player we can rely on.
paul_ownz
Ade has had a great season but needs to produce season after season to be a great striker. I think praise went to his head earlier in the season. I also think that he spends far too much time in midfield or on the wings instead of posing a threat upfront. I believe Torres would have scored more playing for us. As an aside, look at Thierry, on the bench again... His ego won't like it one bit
Gael-Force
He's getting there, guys! And what's more, when we really needed him, he produced for us. If he only capitalises on 50% of his chances, but creates 3 times more chances than other strikers, where is the problem? What we need to balance him is a cool finisher, who rarely misses. When Eduardo's fit again, that's who we will have. Roll on next season!
darinb007
Well done Ade. I know that Ade always gets a lot of chances but you just have to give him credit for that. He is so mobile with his big frame that he always positions himself well that is why he is always in with a scoring chance. If he works on his concentration in front of goals he would be much better. Give the lad credit where credit is due.
phreddy
Check Ade's goals to shots ratio, he really isn't that wasteful. I listed three easy chances I remember him missing above, (he scored later in all three games), can anyone add to that list? I seriously cannot remember any more, maybe my memory is just suspect?
Little Dutch
 

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