Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughSpurs see immediate resurgence from Adebayor - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Spurs see immediate resurgence from Adebayor - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Spurs see immediate resurgence from Adebayor

It’s been a start of contrasting fortunes for Spurs, denied the opportunity to kick off their campaign along with the rest of the Premier League due to the riots in the capital, they were given a baptism of fire at Old Trafford either side of an elementary Europa League play-off with Hearts. The inferior quality of the Scottish counterparts was exposed quite easily and the Edinburgh side were disposed of by an aggregate score of 5-0, yet Spurs suffered their own dismantling in Manchester on the Monday sandwiched between the two Thursday games, brushed aside by United’s new batch of exalting prosperity by three goals to nil. The following Sunday, they were forced into whimpering surrender to the other Manchester team, Roberto Mancini’s glittering array of attacking vigour biting into the North London flesh wound by tallying a 5-1 score-line at White Hart Line.

Things were beginning to look a little worrying for Spurs; they had been inactive in the transfer market against the wishes of regular transfer enthusiast Harry Redknapp, only managing to bring in 40 year old goalkeeper Brad Friedel and the promising 18 year old Ivorian striking talent Souleymane Coulibaly. Against the backdrop of various rumoured names and linked players, these were a little underwhelming for Redknapp who had made his intentions for squad improvement quite clear to Daniel Levy, who in turn told his manager he must sell to raise funds. With Redknapp reluctant to weaken, especially in the face of such a dogged pursuit from Chelsea for the services of his prized midfield asset of Luka Modric, this made for a barren summer. After experiencing their first taste of Champions League football and finishing just outside of re-qualifying in fifth, they had justifiable ambitions to return to the elite and Redknapp was wily enough to realise that selling his best players would be folly; in clear contradiction to the team he was aspiring to forge.

With a look at the fortunes of Redknapp’s side from last year, one may have argued that this was a team clearly in need of address regardless, that they possessed a team without spark, teetering on the edge of inevitable regression. Based on a rotating door of central defensive partnerships, they reached a total of 18 different combinations in a telling stat of weakness to injury; their forward line remained wholly unconvincing. The main attraction of the campaign, the eleventh hour arrival of Rafael Van Der Vaart, was a success as the Dutchman finished the clubs’ top scorer with 13 and top creator, with 8 assists. However, there were underlying concerns over the fitness of the midfielder; he was substituted 15 times and only managed to complete a full game on thirteen occasions, a niggling calf problem haunting him throughout. Gareth Bale could not replicate the devastating form he produced before Christmas on a regular basis and he succumbed to various injuries after the turn of the year, causing him to fade in the second half of the season. Aaron Lennon meanwhile, was infuriatingly inconsistent again, performances ranging from the sublime, launching a blistering counter attacking run to set up Peter Crouch for the winner in the San Siro, to the ridiculous, in pulling out of the game with Real Madrid barely minutes before kick-off.

It was with Modric that came the beacon of positivity, tough such an effervescent campaign bought its own danger, the diminutive Croatian schemer was seemingly on his way to Chelsea which would have cemented the perception that Tottenham were a mere facilitator to the big boys, a pretender to their more equipped rivals in the league. Redknapp saw holding onto him as a sign of resilient intent and hold on he did, yet an off season of stagnation in terms of arrivals was so clearly evidential in the opening weeks of the season as Spurs conceded eight in two games and the struggle to score goals continued , the exploiting of the woefully sub-standard Hearts not-withstanding, Younes Kaboul’s consolation against Manchester City was all they had to show for their wretched start and they went into the international break rock bottom of the Premier League. However, business came late for Redknapp as he pulled off two characteristically shrewd signings towards the end of the window, in came Emmanuel Adebayor on loan, in place of the out-going Peter Crouch, and Scott Parker, for a fee of £5 million from West Ham.

Adebayor remains an unknown quantity in terms of what he can provide, capable of the wondrously prolific 24 goals from 36 games he totalled for Arsenal in 207-2008, he can quite easily founder with the 10 from 27 he registered in the following year. Such polar contrasts in form can make for frustrating signings but the Togolese has seemingly rejuvenated Spurs single handed, starting in Spurs’ first game back from the break, he scored and assisted another for Jermaine Defoe in a two nil victory at Wolves. Formerly playing as a lone striker, the introduction of Adebayor has benefited Defoe immensely, he is no longer isolated and the pressure to lead the line is no longer solely pinned on his modest frame, allowing him freedom to drift into pockets of space, his goal at Molineux coming from a neat lay-off from his new partner. The pair then went on to demolish Liverpool at White Hart Lane, Adebayor hitting another two while a goal for Defoe puts him already within one goal of last season’s tally of four. They have also built up a promising understanding, Defoe finished Sunday’s game with 100% pass completion rate from 19 attempted, while Adebayor, present all over the North London pitch, misplaced eight of a mammoth 72 attempted passes, unexpected figures for a striker clearly indicating how much play is now channelled through the Togolese front-man.

It is difficult to get too carried away with the impact Adebayor has made, the striker is notorious for his ability to drop out of form without huge amounts of encouragement and it will be up to Redknapp, well equipped with skills of motivation, to install a consistency in his striker. Nonetheless, from their limp start, Spurs now look a different animal and it is from the impacting footprint both Adebayor and Parker have stamped into the side that has unfolded fresh optimism. Parker, in his typically unheralded way, excelled against Liverpool alongside Modric, the now re-settled magician who reminded everyone what he can do with a majestic 25 yard effort to open the scoring. Tottenham have recovered quickly and it could be that yet another of Redknapp’s famed desperate forays into the transfer market brings them another year of success.

Adam Gray @MonkeyLunch21

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