Emmanuel Adebayor: The Evidence

I had planned to write today about the defensive lapses that caused us to concede four goals yesterday – the final three of which all came down Gael Clichy’s left-hand side.  That debate will have to wait until tomorrow, with the news that the FA are to investigate two incidents involving Emmanuel Adebayor – believed to be the celebration and the alleged stamp on Robin van Persie.

They’d be advised to consider this tackle on Cesc Fabregas too:

Adebayor's high tackle on Cesc Fabregas

It came early in the game and thus was met with leniency by the ref, though it could easily have resulted in a broken ankle for our skipper.

When the incident with Van Persie first occurred the fuzziness of my stream and the lack of a clear replay made it impossible to discern if it was a deliberate stamp or not.  However, tv highlights and clips such as the one below have left me in little doubt.

Adebayor stamp on Van Persie

I now believe Adebayor, probably in part angered by an over-zealous Van Persie tackle, deliberately set out to put his foot through Robin van Persie’s face.  At the very least, he sought to put his studs through Robin’s hand and his face just happened to get in the way.  Either action is reprehensible and, having been missed by the referee, will surely result in a minimum three-game ban.

Van Persie after the stamp

Robin van Persie’s statement on the event is elegant, eloquent, and dripping in the class Adebayor so patently lacks.

Adebayor compounded the stupidity of his actions with an already infamous goal celebration, charging the length of the pitch to celebrate in front of Arsenal fans, in turn sparking disturbances in which a steward was injured.

Arsenal fans react to Adebayor's celebration

I’m not going to say that Arsenal fans are justified in their response, just as I would gladly label any ‘fan’ who sang the Adebayor “elephant” song an idiotic hypocrite.  With that said, Adebayor’s actions are astoundingly stupid.  He is a professional footballer, paid an absurd amount of money a week to perform in the public eye.  Of course the crowd will occasionally give him stick – it is his duty not to rise to it.

I think what’s most disappointing for me is that I so often defended Adebayor against his critics, and yet his celebration yesterday was a raised finger to every Arsenal fan.  His insecurity and paranoia is such that he has forgotten three years of support and made us all his enemy.  Yesterday he turned on the away fans, who gave him far more support than the home crowd did in recent years.

With four goals in four games, City fans must think they’ve landed a real gem.  But let me tell you: it will be you one day.

Thanks to Archie, rdg and Phil for the gifs. I think they need a wider audience. RVP’s statement and the media reaction to Adebayor’s stupidity is what has forced the FA to examine the case. I’d like to think they’d have done so anyway, but one never knows.

More tomorrow.

Gunnerblog is the brainchild of childbrained football writer James McNicholas. Aside from Gunnerblog, James currently contributes to Bleacher Report, The Mirror and ESPN.