Writer: Tim Stillman
Date:Thursday July 24 2008
I've long suspected, since the outset of this sorry little saga I've never thought Adebayor would leave. I still don't. I don't think his will has ever been to move, simply to squeeze a larger wage packet out of the club. He has undoubtedly been very stupid, had he had a quiet word with Le Boss and asked for improved terms, he probably would have got them. Now he has destroyed all good will he had earned with supporters and taken himself out of the reckoning for a pay rise. The advice he received was stultifyingly poor. Wenger has merely been able to place an astronomical transfer fee on his head, if someone pays it, we win. If, as looks likely, they don't, Wenger can turn to Adebayor and say, 'no other club agrees with your estimation of your worth, why should we?'
I hope Adebayor does stay, we have haemorraghed too much of our playing staff already, and Adebayor is instrumental to the way we play. The extra dimension he gives us is not easily replaceable, there aren't many strikers of his ilk exist on the current market. The big question we are met with should he stay at Arsenal, is how should we, the supporters react to him? The better part of me thinks we should not boo himunder any circumstances, it's not worth it and would be detrimental to the team. Adebayor does not appear to have fallen out with any players, I cannot imagine his presence compromising team spirit. But as supporters we can create disharmony by radiating negative vibes. After all, if Adebayor bags himself another thirty goals and shoots us to the title next year, will his current indiscretion not be forgiven?The difficulty Adebayor has made for himself is that if he misses a chance (and it doesn't happen as often as most pruport), he has made an chuffing great rod for his back. Players that demand six figure weekly salaries find their mistakes tend to be magnified and not forgiven quite so easily. Rightly so too.
But then dear reader, there's this other part of me. The mephistopholes on my shoulder appealing to my vagabond tendencies. He makes my blood rise and nurtures the hooligan element of rogue neurons in my brain, like little kittens that become fat, domesticated cats with a catflap, free to wander in and out of my conscience as soon as it's feeding time. Villa fans booed Gareth Barry this week in a friendly with Walsall. A United supporting friend tells me United fans have been singing anti-Ronaldo songs in their pre season tour of South Africa. At Barnet last week, anti Adebayor songs permeated the soft Hertfordshire air and turned it blue. This summer has been peculiar in that fans who usually delight in one another's misery have found a kind of kinship. I've not heard any Arsenal fans celebrate the potential departure of United's star turn, nor have I heard United fans will our top scorer to flee to pastures new. There is a groundswell of collusive disillusion. Maybe it is time that we supporters stood up, even if to the detriment of our own teams, stood up and let these self obsessed fuckwits know that we won't bend over and plead, 'please sir, can I have some more?' Maybe it's time we showed this shower of self important tossers that it is the shirt we worship and not the corporate graffiti that adorns it either. It's the badge and not these bling encrusted wank stains. Maybe it's time we let them feel the full force of our vitriol?
There would be some who would contend that we should simply stop attending matches, buying merchandise and lining these peoples pockets. But I respectfully retort 'bollocks!' I was an Arsenal fan before Adebayor arrived and I'll be an Arsenal fan long after he's begun to enjoy that retirement fund he's so hellbent on swelling. This is my house, I was in it long before every single member of our squad was and I'll be chowing down on satan's portion with Grandma's false teeth before I let them oust me from it. As long as we continue to let van Persie question our wage structure from the comfort of his treatment table, Fabregas take a flight to Madrid every time he wants better wages and Adebayor mouth off like a pissed up tramp without retort we just vindicate them don't we? Maybe revolt is what is needed. I'm not one of these supporters that habitually rips into my own players, far from it, I consider it a neglible practise. I'd rather vent my week's pent up frustrations at a bewildered little man in black or any opposition player with the temerity to venture into the Arsenal half. But good only ever comes from social disquiet. Has football reached the stage where we should simply rise up against the egos?
I'm conflicted. In reality, silence is the most perfect expression of scorn. I probably cannot bring myself to jeer Adebayor, but I don't think I'll be affording him the privilege of singing his name. He obviously cannot handle that sort of acclaim, using it to lubricate his inflated ego. So like a sullen headmaster, I'll confiscate it until he knows how to use it properly. Besides which, I can hardly envisage a big clamour to stretch our vocal chords in his honour. Like I said at the outset, if he bangs in 30+ and we win the league, his malaise will quickly be forgotten. But he certainly won't ever enjoy the sort of popularity he earned himself last season. Ever.LD
Date:Thursday July 24 2008
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