Bouquets and brickbats for Ade
It must seem something of a bittersweet week for Adebayor who has just been awarded African Player of the Year 2008 by the 54 African federation members. It is an achievement he can justly take pride in especially as still a couple of weeks short of his 25th birthday he is less than 18 months older than the player awarded African Young Player of the Year. Congratulations to him are deserved.
His form last season was impressive and led to a number of European clubs, notably Milan and Barcelona, contemplating bids above £20m to acquire his services. This season hasn`t gone quite so well though his goals and assists tallies are still respectable.
The injury suffered in the game on Sunday will keep him out of the side for a while. If he were feeling bad about that then post match comments from former Arsenal manager George Graham, were he aware of them, won`t have made him feel any better.
Graham said: 'Let's be honest - was Adebayor even on the pitch before he got injured? He has unbelievable potential but he is not getting the best out of himself.
'The team and the manager are not getting the best out of him. Ever since he signed a new contract he has gone backwards.
'Every time they knocked the ball up to him in the first half it was coming straight back."
Despite his form not matching last seasons levels he has been a regular pick for Wenger as, maybe only possible in an Arsenal team, while not yet 25 he is one of our more experienced players.
At times this season he appears to lack confidence, whether in himself or those around him, but much the same could be said of many in the team. The enforced rest won`t do him any harm and with a third of the season still to go there is time for him to make a greater mark.
In the meantime the award should remind him and others that he does have quality and this season will have let him know that it hasn`t to be taken for granted.
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