This past week saw the two year mark of my good friend Dan Raywood’s contribution to my Strictly442/Match of The Doy blog. Having helped to make it what it is, this second blog in fact celebrates its second birthday.
This week saw the unfortunate announcement that Emmanuel Adebayor is to be heading to the African Cup of Nations in week to represent Togo.
Despite not really setting the world alight since his permanent move to Spurs, Adebayor is a talismanic striker with proven ability and strength – when he feels like it. So much like his predecessors Berbatov and Mido then.
There have been some calls for him to start as the lone striker ahead of Jermain Defoe – not something that I am especially fond of as I feel the extra man in midfield (often Dempsey or Sigurdsson) adds a lot of the balance and attack of the team. Plus neither Adebayor or Defoe are the type to track back.
But the impact of losing Adebayor on the team, despite his lack of goals and form, will be huge. Losing Pavlychenko, Keane and Crouch in the last 12 months and not replacing them has hit Spurs hard, and this month has seen us pick up a new left back (Fryers from Standard Liege) and midfielder (Holtby from Schalke) but a new striker is sorely needed.
In a way, the return of Adebayor to Togo is remarkable after the shooting on the bus at the last tournament left the team visibly traumatised. Perhaps it is selfish, but to lose one of your key players is really going to hit spurs where they are the shortest – up front.
The other concern is one of form. Spurs fans will recall Fredi Kanoute’s good form for Spurs after joining from West Ham, before he had an 11th hour decision to head to the tournament and play for Mali. Kanoute came back half the man he was and decidedly off form, so perhaps the off-form Adebayor will see the opposite effect, and rediscover the goal scoring form which saw him hit 17 for Spurs last season.
Of course the most legendary story for Spurs fans and the African Cup of Nations is around the call-up (and subsequent injury to) Benoit Assou-Ekotto which allowed Gareth Bale to start at left back in his place. The rest is history, which I also hope Adebayor’s poor form for Spurs will also be.