Tuesday, January 25, 2011


It has come to the attention of this correspondent that Emmanuel Adebayor has left the building. If, as he goes out, he stumbles, he'd be the first person ever to fall down and find himself at the top of the stairs. Just how he did that will be one of the unanswered questions of 2010 - 2011, along with why Charlie Adam couldn't manage to play for Rangers like he does for Blackpool, what Andy Gray and Richard Keys did to the sound man at Sky to deserve this very public panning and, of course, everyone's favourite question, Avram Grant. One can only begin to imagine the answers.

Adebayor's best and worst mcfc moment

Chaos in Cabinda
Apart from a brief bout of arm swinging with Kolo Touré, Emmanuel Adebayor will be most remembered in Manchester for his sudden disorientation after netting against Arsenal at Eastlands last season. Sunny drama-laden days that seem such a long time ago now. Unfortunately for him, the fall-out from that mazy run to be reunited with the Arsenal faithful not only landed him in trouble, but took the wind almost completely out of his sails. He had been on fire, or at least beginning to smoulder when the mists came down. By the time he returned, he was still moist and emitting smoke after being doused by the FA disciplinary panel's bucket of cold water. That was more or less it. The cartoon mayhem in Cabinda, as the Togo national team attempted to cross the border into Angola for the ANC must have had a deep effect on him too. Events were beginning to conspire against Adebayor and his chances of making it big at Eastlands.

And it all started so beautifully
This season he has mainly been chewing on daffodils and catching up on reading his favourite crime novels, bar a brief cameo hat trick against Salzburg in European competition when his inspector gadget legs carried him to an easy threesome in the snow. 

Mancini has plainly been disturbed by his work ethic True, the long thin frame and awkward pose when resting made him look disinterested and lazy, but, when in possession and on the run, he was a sight to behold, a giraffe going full pelt for the corner of the box. Long will we remember the incredible slaloming run through the right flank of the Arsenal rearguard that was only brought to a halt by Wright-Phillips' improbable inability to score from his cut-back from three feet out. Sadly there were to be only too few of these cranked up performances. The remainder were timid and gawky, the ball cannoning off his shins in all directions like it used to do for Mark Lillis and Gordon Davies. he seemed unable to trap the simplest ball. The usual smell of decay was setting in. But the big Togolese is better than most of what we have been treated to. Let us hope he finds his place in the sun at Madrid under a patient and understanding José Mourinho...

His start in Spain, coming on in the fire cauldron in Osasuna as Real sank to a timid and confidence-sapping loss doesn't exactly augur well. At least he has the sun on his back once more.

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