After his excellent display against Chelsea in Tottenham Hotspur's 2-2 draw last night this writer has some humble pie to dig into.
Emmanuel Adebayor. What a mercurial character. This season the Togolese forward has received stinging criticism from all quarters; one such critic being yours truly.
At the start of the season I said he was to blame for sitting on the bench after his hefty contract demands and bullish negotiation techniques.
After he languidly loitered around the turf during the 3-1 win against Manchester City at White Hart Lane; in which him coming off was the catalyst for a Spurs revival I pretty much labelled him useless.
Then when the PFA Player of the Year Awards were announced I bestowed upon him the ultimate honour of my ‘Worst Player of the Season Award’. Being a striker in one of the top five teams and not being able to score more league goals than Per Mertesacker was all the evidence I needed.
But most of this criticism was born out of frustration. Last season he was fantastic for Spurs; running the show up top with a cocky yet vindictive strut he was a predator worth fearing. This season he looked tamed.
Until last night.
At Stamford Bridge he returned to his best with a swashbuckling display of forward thinking that left me desperately seeking a way to mask my identity from every column inch I had devoted to castigating his flailing talents.
He was direct, he looked quick and most importantly of all he was effective.
His goal was superb. A sublime curling effort from well outside the box that left leaves growing off the branched arms of the rooted Petr Cech in the Chelsea goal.
Then came his most important contribution to the game; his wonderful assist for Gylfi Sigurdsson’s leveller. After Benoit Assou-Ekotto dinked the ball into his path the giant striker delicately back heeled the ball into the path of the Icelander who duly did his duty; curling the ball into the far corner for a deserved draw.
Was he offside; yes. But moments later he was called off when on and through on goal; so swings and proverbial roundabouts springs to mind.
Do I take back my criticism? No; he has had a poor season and one game is not exactly going to change that but if he can string together another couple of similar performances well then the other 30-odd games will be forgotten if his return to form sees Spurs make the Champions League.
But for all my criticism I never once claimed he was not a good player. Although this comment might just come back to haunt me.
‘’For Adebayor he once again has done more talking than walking; and it seems the only walking left to do is out the White Hart Lane exit door.’’
OK; where is my humble pie?
image: © wonker