If Early Doors was unsure how Emmanuel Adebayor should
approach his first game against his former club Arsenal, the Manchester City
striker had no such doubts.
Bombarded with taunts from the away fans every time he
touched the ball, Adebayor embarked on the sort of vengeful rampage that would
have made John Rambo proud.
He raked his boot down the face of Robin van Persie, scored
the clinching goal in a 4-2 win at Eastlands, and then ran the length of the
pitch to celebrate in front of the travelling supporters.
Cue absolute bedlam as missiles rained down on the pitch
including a bun, a coke bottle, a plastic stool and several coins.
If Arsenal fans had been as willing to throw money at
Adebayor last season, he might have put in a bit more effort.
The question of effort - or Adebayor's
lack of it while at Arsenal - is the key to much of this aggro.
Having to watch Adebayor sprint 100 yards after scoring was
incitement enough for most Gooners, as it was further than the ran in 180
minutes during last season's
Champions League semi-final against Manchester United.
Having gone through the motions last season and publicly
courted a move, he has gone to City and scored in each of his four Premier League
games for his new club - unsurprisingly, this sticks in the craw of most
But look at it from Adebayor's
point of view for a minute.
There is no proof that he wasn't
trying last season. He might not have repeated his 30-goal haul from the
2007/08 season, but where some supporters might get behind a struggling
striker, Arsenal fans merely got on his back.
As we have seen with Emmanuel Eboue, Gooners are not slow to
turn on players that are not doing the business.
And rather than offering Adebayor the kind of backing Andriy
Shevchenko got at Chelsea, the fans simply wanted rid of him.
Of course Adebayor's
public courting of AC Milan and Barcelona did
not help, but let's face it: every
player wants more money and a move to Barcelona,
Adebayor was just more open about it that most.
Having endured poisonous and vitriolic abuse for 79 minutes,
surely he could be forgiven for getting a bit worked up after scoring?
He is being blamed for inciting a near-riot as though his
admittedly silly antics gave the away fans carte blanche to start knocking
Just because Adebayor lost his self-control, it doesn't excuse the Arsenal fans that did the same thing.
As for the stamp - well, that's
a little harder to defend. But the speed with which Van Persie issued his
extraordinary statement on Arsenal's
website suggests the pair were hardly best friends.
Van Persie executed a fairly comprehensive character
assassination, dusting his rant with the following phrases: "Mindless and malicious", "he
set out to hurt me", "disrespectful", "real lack of class" and "bad for
That Arsenal allowed him to put the statement on the club's official mouthpiece was arguably as irresponsible
and provocative as the incident itself.
Arsenal are fast becoming the Premier League's elite drama queens. Lately, it seems they cannot
complete 90 minutes of football without getting involved in some kind of brouhaha.
Their last three matches have stirred up, in order,
Fletcher-gate, Eduardo-gate and now Adebayor-gate.
ED looks forward to seeing what sort of controversy they can
get embroiled in when they visit Standard Liege this Wednesday.
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QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: Sir Alex Ferguson defends the
indefensible: "It was a ridiculous decision. He's
been sent off because his name is Paul Scholes. That is why he was sent
off." Well, that and because he slid in on Tom Huddlestone about a second
and a half after the ball had gone...
FOREIGN VIEW: Francisco Ramirez has quit Guadalajara following a 4-0 defeat at San Luis, making him
the third coach this year to leave Mexico's
most popular club.
"Francisco Ramirez presented
his resignation as coach of the Chivas and we have accepted, I think it would
be unacceptable for him to stay on with the team after this result," club
director Pedro Saez said.
Guadalajara, who field only Mexican players,
have taken a measly five points from seven games in the Apertura championship,
the first of two separate tournaments in the season.
Ramirez took over in April,
replacing Omar Arellano who was fired after only three games in charge.
Arellano's predecessor Efrain Flores
had been sacked in March.
Ramirez is the 10th coach to lose
his job since flamboyant businessman Jorge Vergara bought the club in 2002.
Vergara, seen as a boastful upstart
by the Mexican business establishment who deplore his habit of not wearing
socks, said he would transform Guadalajara
into the world's biggest club when
he bought them.