Adebayor, "I'll score 30 goals for Henry", Arsene, "No Big Signings"

Ade has been speaking about his performances this season, his targets and his inspiration... let's take a look at what he's all about!

Togo International, Emmanuel Adebayor has been the man of the season. He has scored 23 goals so far this season. If I asked you this time last season whether Ade would have 23 to his name this season would you have bet against me? I would have. (Although when you bet against yourself you're always the winner!)

When Ade signed for us, many people doubted his abilities, I know I did... but this season Ade has lead the line admirably for us. The absences of Van Perise, Walcott and Eduardo throughout periods of this season has meant that he has had to shelter the burden by himself. He has been used in both a 442, on the shoulder of the last defender, and a 451. holding the ball up and bringing other players into the game...

Let's have a look at his scoring record this season...

Date Competition Game Goals
02-09-2007 Premier League Arsenal 3-1 Portsmouth 1
15-09-2007 Premier League Tottenham 1-3 Arsenal 2
22-09-2007 Premier League Arsenal 5-0 Derby 3
12-11-2007 Premier League Reading 1-3 Arsenal 1
01-12-2007 Premier League Aston Villa 1-2 Arsenal 1
05-12-2007 Premier League Newcastle 1-1 Arsenal 1
22-12-2007 Premier League Arsenal 2-1 Tottenham 1
29-12-2007 Premier League Everton 1-4 Arsenal 1
01-01-2008 Premier League Arsenal 2-0 West Ham 1
12-01-2008 Premier League Arsenal 1-1 Birmingham 1
19-01-2008 Premier League Fulham 0-3 Arsenal 2
22-01-2008 League Cup Tottenham 5-1 Arsenal 1
26-01-2008 FA Cup Arsenal 3-0 Newcastle 2
29-01-2008 Premier League Arsenal 3-0 Newcastle 1
02-02-2008 Premier League Man City 1-3 Arsenal 2
11-02-2008 Premier League Arsenal 2-0 Blackburn 1
04-03-2008 Champions League Milan 0-2 Arsenal 1

An interesting fact for you factoids out there, most than half (well 12 to be exact) of Ade’s goals have been away from home. When Thierry left, we lost a big player, but his presence has been a factor in Ade’s scoring run this season. He is an exclusive excerpt from Ade’s latest interview…

Before he left, before leaving Arsenal, I was in Togo on holiday and, I dont’ know where he was, but he called me and told me he was in the dressing room at Barcelona and he was going to sign a contract with them. I thought in my head, “why is he calling me?”. But it was a special feeling. He didn’t have to called, but he thought Adebayor, and wanted to talk. He told me that he was signing for Barcelona, but told me to keep doing what I am doing and you will see at the end of the season, you will score more than 30 goals. I said “Thierry, stop please, leave me to score my 15 / 20, because last season I had scored 12, but this season I will play more because your not here. I will more than happy with that.” He said “No, you don’t believe in yourself. With your quality, what I’ve seen in training with you this year, you can even beat the record.” I was like “Thierry, don’t tell me that.” He gave me his Spain number and he is always sending me texts, when I score, I know when I scored my 7th, he said, you can score more than 30. And when I scored by 22nd, he said “see only 8 more to go.” I feel I can do it now and thank him a lot for that. He is very important to me, sending me messages, before and after. We are like brothers, we are very close.”

The interview brought a smile to my face, memories of Thierry and a sense that he’s since around in some way.

Well, Theirry, thanks for the support and Ade, let’s see if you can reach 30 goals this season. If you do, we’ll be up there on the final day.

Arsene, “No Big Signings”

Arsene’s policy has always been to develop players rather than buy big names, he has been successful with the former (Vieira, Pires, Fabregas, Adebayor, Toure, Clichy…) but been rather unsuccessful with the latter (Reyes, Suker, Baptista, I can’t think of anymore, but I’m sure there are some).

Arsene is very talented in the art of coaching and development. It’s a strange thing to see and it’s not common in any of the other major sides. We all see Chelsea and Man United continually spending, combined spending of £500m in 3 years. And we all see Benitez complain about lack of funds after signing Fernando Torres for £24m.

Arsene has seen in and nurtured players from the youth team that we now see in our first team and brought in the cream of the European’s talents before anyone knew that they were or could be talents…! Arsene has a considerable war chest available for him to use if he wants to delve into the market, but he has trust in his players and with Carlos Vela and Pedro Boethlo joining next season in the first team, he is confident.

“I will keep faith because we have worked hard for what we have now. I have said many times, the real target of a manager is to find the balance with what comes in and what goes out and build a team with these restrictions. It is to do well with the funds available. We have money because we made money and we made money because we made the right decisions. I believe a football team is not about buying and selling. It is about building, patience, working together and going through a growing process. Also it is enjoyable now to see the team coming slowly up and see how well they can do.”

This is the way that football was meant to be done. Seeing talent develop before your eyes is some extra-ordinary. And to think that Arsene has signed them a few years ago – he saw something – and developed them along with Liam Brady and Pat Rice to be able to be in the first team is amazing.

News Round Up

Other news in the World of Arsenal sees Stuart Pearce rave about Theo Walcott and his development this year and reminds us that he’s only 18 and has played so many games for Arsenal and every under 21 game and quality whenever he has played… yes he’s only 18… talk about expectations… and talking about youngsters, Young Guns talks about Alex Song and he progression at Arsenaland under Arsene Wenger.

Well, it’s Friday tomorrow, and that means a match preview ahead of the home game against Middlesborough… ’til then.]]>