Home » ARTICLES » ‘Adebayor, Adebayoooooor, Jermain scores the odd goal, but can’t do much more’

‘Adebayor, Adebayoooooor, Jermain scores the odd goal, but can’t do much more’

Help the blog by Following us on Twitter and Google News

It’s a conundrum that has Tottenham Hotspur head coach Andre Villas-Boas thinking, but he needs to know that the modern lone centre-forward can offer the team a whole much more than just goals. He needs to be able to consistently offer himself as an outlet higher up the pitch, hold up play and know when to unselfishly distribute the ball. He needs to have the nous to know when it’s appropriate to shoot and when it isn’t.

He needs to be able to dribble, win high balls and outsmart defenders. He has to be able to judge when it’s right to track back and defend, and help clear opposition set-plays. He needs to be able to put in a man of the match performance without even having scored a goal. Emmanuel Adebayor has proved time and time again that he is capable of being that forward. Jermain Defoe hasn’t. 

Due to an injury to Adebayor, Defoe has enjoyed a run in the Spurs side that seen him slowly evolve his game. He’s tried to adopt his play to involve some intelligence, but in vital moments in games too close for comfort, his knack of choosing the neanderthal approach to football has taken over.

When he finds himself on the edge of the box, a pass can open up that Ray Charles would be screaming for him to play, but he opts to shoot instead. Bafflingly though, his shoot on sight policy often see’s him praised, after all, every good striker has to have ‘a selfish side’ to his play. 

However, for the first time in his career away at Old Trafford, Defoe played the lone forward role with some aplomb. His movement during Gareth Bale’s goal was textbook; a darting diagonal run that split the centre-backs created the space for Bale to charge in to. For our third, his close control and pace saw him skip past Rio Ferdinand, and he showed he possessed sophisticated vision as he played an inch perfect reverse pass through to Bale, before Dempsey tapped in.

A week later though against a distinctly average Aston Villa side, he was back up to his old deeply frustrating tricks, ruining clear cut chances rather than creating them. How can we rely on a centre-forward whose performances are about as consistent as the most violent bouts of diarrhoea? 

The way I see it, Defoe is the Scrappy-Doo to Adebayor’s Scooby. Every time I see Jermain turn and snatch a shot wide I can imagine the little cartoon mutt putting his dukes up, screaming “let me at ‘em, let me at ‘em” and so on. In the same way that Villas-Boas has brought in Lloris and benched Friedel for the good of the side, it’s time to do the same with Adebayor, especially with Chelsea’s Premier League game fast approaching. They have a quick, athletic and physically tall side, especially in defense.

The combination of David Luiz and Gary Cahill will make easy work of brushing Defoe to one-side, and unlike Manchester United away; this isn’t a game we can win down the centre of the field. We’ll need Adebayor to lead the front line, bringing Bale and Aaron Lennon in to play as often as possible, testing their full-backs, and trying to dominate possession. 

What Adebayor offers to the side isn’t just prevalent when we play the better sides in the league either. When we play teams who tend to perk the proverbial bus against us, we won’t win by trying to get in to an arm-wrestle of a game against them, we need to be able to adopt a more pragmatic approach. For example, while playing with Defoe as the lone striker, the attacking midfielder behind him is losing effectiveness going forward.

Both Gylfi Sigurdsson and Clint Dempsey have the ability to go beyond the last man, join in with intelligent interplay in and around the box and create chances for themselves if given the ball, something Rafael van der Vaart, during his time at Spurs, fed from playing with Adebayor to some effect. However, when Jermain’s much lauded selfishness takes over and he hits 20 yard after 20 yard drive, any potential for a multiple man attack get’s dashed. 

Slowly but surely, I’m more than confident we’ll see Villas-Boas reintroduce Adebayor in to the starting XI. He’s proven that he’s more than capable of choosing a winning side and making difficult decisions.  From the start of the season, we’ve needed to improve upon Brad Friedel, Jake Livermore, William Gallas and Defoe, and one-by-one he’s doing so.

By the time Younes Kaboul regains full fitness, the obvious decision will be to relegate Gallas to the bench, Kaboul taking back his place in defense, and the armband too. We’ve already shown that we’re going to commit strong teams to every competition this season, and with the distinct possibility of having to compete on four separate fronts after Christmas, every player is still likely to get his chance. 

Click here to follow Raj Bains on Twitter

Click here to follow To the Lane and Back on Twitter

13 thoughts on “‘Adebayor, Adebayoooooor, Jermain scores the odd goal, but can’t do much more’”

  1. Totally agree with your reading of Ade over Defoe, if we start with Defoe we will be chasing the game by half time, with Ade they will be on the back foot. Don't discount Billy G so quickly, MOTM against Utd and joint MOTM with Vert against Villa and he's teaching young Caulker a lot in CD as is Vertonghen. Kaboul is consistently good but must fight for his place. Worrying aspect is Walker, with Vert in such excellent form at LB only the right side fails us, Chelsea will target this weakness and I can't see a tactical solution within our squad. January buys must include quality RB and Llorente.
    This time last year Walker was so consistent he was the first name for defence on the team sheet, what has happened?

  2. Can't agree more re. Defoe. It really annoys me the way he is lauded by the majority of Spurs fan. While he does score the a reasonable number of goals his presence overall is to the detriment of the team and inhibits us from moving to the next level.

  3. What is the point in this? The team are not playing that brilliantly apart from the Reading game we have not won any games easily. Three of our wins have been by a whisker and two of those have been against teams at the bottom. Norwich totally outplayed us on our own pitch. If Adebayor starts against chelsea as the lone striker we will lose or he will be injured / knackered and off at half time/60 minutes. Then we will be chasing the game and asking Defoe to do that chasing for us. Ade is no where near full match fitness yet. He did OK on Sunday but for all his wonderful play we didn't actully score any more goals. Where does all this confidence in “can't hit a barn door” come from. Absense makes the heart grow fonder and dulls the memory. I believe Ade was the lone striker for most of the games where we blew 3rd spot at the end of last season, so I am at a miss as to how his reintroduction is going to transform us into a steely team? I'd prefer to have both Ade and Defoe on the park at the same time, especiallyn against the so called weaker teams as those two should be able to put them to the sword at the start of the match not hang on in there until the second half.

  4. Maybe walker is being exposed by the new formation. Lennon has been very good this year but he is not known for his great defense. I think Walker will be fine. The call up should give him a mental boost this week. His toe injury may have messed with his psyche, especially as he watched the lads play through the summer. Young kid who has the capacity to learn a great deal more. COYS

    Give Defoe credit for the adaptations he has made to his game. Might we see a 4-4-2 against Chelsea?
    Dempsey(Defoe-sub) Ade
    Bale Dembele Sandro Lennon
    Vert Caulker Gallas Walker

  5. I do think Adebayor brings a lot more to the table than Defoe – the stats on his touches of the ball and Defoe's compared to how long they were each on the pitch in the Villa game don't lie. However, we mustn't think Adebayor is the 'Hallelujah!' answer and that with him on the pitch all is suddenly rosy. I would say we need to invest in a top class goalscoring striker in January and then play Adebayor up with him with Defoe in the 'supersub' role. Also, as already pointed out, apart from the Man Utd game we haven't really been tested yet this season.

  6. The formation will remain 4-2-3-1, stop dreaming abt a 4-4-2. I applaud Defoe for the adaptations he's done but Adebayor is a clear-cut better fit, as soon as he's fit enough he should relegate Defoe to the bench. Walker has been a worry defensively; I hope he can sort it out. Willy G doing a great job thus far, ofcourse he shall tire as the season goes on.

    We're creating chances, a lot of them, and so its easier to make our own luck as long as we keep the chance creation up

  7. Whilst i agree with the Defoe comments, lauded over by the vast majority of Spurs fans is not true we support him to get the best out of him, my concern is that Ade is no better, yes he is strong on the ball but his finishing is shocking,its like he is wearing Ronald Mc Donald boots, if we took the best parts from both their games we might have a half decent striker
    We desperately need a top quality striker or two if we are truely going to win things..

  8. My dear Spurs Friend

    As much as I agree with you re. Defoe over AB I can't see Spur team competing successfully against . We simply don't have a world-class striker unlike City, Man U and Chelsea. And there comes the point about Mr Levy's contribution during the summer. I'm afraid, Spur , look forward to the next season in August 2013. Our 2012-13 season is over for us? Am I too pessimistic? Don't think so, I'm just realistic – given the quality of we've compared to the best Big Four! Best wishes for all Sour fans anyway.

  9. Agree on the Adebayor>Defoe issue, I was so frustrated simply because (we all know) Defoe's ain't the man who can hold the ball, and there was no dimension of how Spurs can retain the ball in the final third to screw up the opposition's defence. However, Adebayor ain't the lethal finisher as Defoe and I do feel Defoe has done his job very well so far.
    To me it's the man behind the striker role which hasn't really ticked. Sigurdsson and Dempsey played there and we couldn't really see them involved in many of the plays. I'd prefer Spurs to play 2 strikers up front, with Adebayor and Defoe, it almost solves any imperfection Spurs game has at the moment.
    Anyway, I have turned to be the believer of the AVB way and I know he wants Spurs to play his 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 in the future which is solely based on the lone-striker role. And for that reason I am actually fine with his decisions and understand that he is still experimenting the team, seeing it as a long-term approach. (Although I would really appreciate if Adebayor is picked ahead of Defoe for the Chelsea game:P)

  10. Defoe knows where the goal is which is the main job of the forward – in that regard he is far superior to Adebayor who is out on the wing confusing matters most of the time. Adebayors control is non existent and he never heads anything. I like the Ronald Macdonald boots comment somebody made earlier it is spot on.

  11. It is all very well blaming people and running them down, but it’s the manager who setups the field of play.

    The best time I ever seen Spurs play and see them as a deadly team is when Defoe and Adebayor playing together as them two together are very dangerous and compliment each other.

    Harry won most of the games against Chelsea and if AVB is cleaver, he will go for the throat and play both forwards and keep them busy, as if not, Chelsea will control the game for sure.

    Nothing wrong changing tactics for different games, and if AVB wants to win, he needs to not be so stubborn and play the team and not a system which Chelsea will know what’s in his mind, and will be more than just ready for this game.

    We as supporters want our team to win, so play both strikers and put the fear of god into Chelsea!

  12. Your all idiots defoe has been brilliant for us this season, I go to every game home and away to support my team and our players, get behind em and stop slagging em off!!! bunch of twunts!!!

  13. Defoe is the much better finisher of the pair right now. Ade is brilliant at assists but so is half the team. I too would like to see the paired together. Defoe this season has done far morre than just score goals. Where have you been?

Leave a Comment

Subscribe and bring the lane to your mail!

* indicates required

Intuit Mailchimp