Tottenham Hotspur’s caretaker manager Tim Sherwood said he would give youth a chance, but it was the return of a 29-year-old that ensured three points for Spurs against Southampton.
Emmanuel Adebayor is an acquired taste, and it appeared Andre Villas-Boas was not an admirer when the Togo forward was regularly overlooked in favour of a misfiring Spaniard. But Sherwood paired the two together against the Saints, and it proved to be a masterstroke.
The first thing to note in Sherwood’s team selection was the name of Adebayor; it stood out like a beacon. But when you looked closer you saw the attacking intent…and the smattering of youth on the bench.
This was a different Tottenham to the one whose losses prompted the dismissal of the former Chelsea and Porto boss. And while there is still work to be done defensively, it appears they no longer have a problem scoring.
During the match Adebayor had five shots on target, three of which were on target. He scored twice, played two key passes to set up chances for teammates, and had a pass percentage of 74%. He also won 6 aerial duals against opponents – more than any other player on the pitch.
In short, he was very good indeed, and the question is now whether or not he will remain at White Hart Lane for the long term or whether this was merely a cameo prior to a January or summer departure.
Given his performance, whoever is appointed the next permanent manager, they would surely be foolish to do anything other than play him.
Following the match we took to Twitter to see what the fans thought of the striker’s performance. They were effusive in their praise, one even claiming – perhaps playfully, perhaps not – that he was more of a player than Suarez.
You can read a selection of the tweets below:
Big big win and a good team selection. Soldado and Adebayor partnership has huge potential. They will get going for sure. Ade was excellent.— ~Erks~ (@Erks32) December 22, 2013
Who needs a Soldado when Emmanuel Adebayor is getting the goals..just maybe the sacking of AVB has rejuvenated E. Adebayor the brace hero.— Aedarfeh (@charleydaf) December 22, 2013
Anyone else wondering why avb left adebayor and Defoe out while soldado couldn't find the net?#MOTD 2— George Handley (@handley664) December 22, 2013
Adebayor > Suarez— Jack (@Jack_mac99) December 22, 2013