After a ninety yard sprint, fuelled by hatred and loathing, Adebayor slid on his knees all the way into a double charge of violent conduct and improper conduct soon to be arbitrated at the mercy of the Football Association.
An epic encounter of two contrasting football values was swept aside as legal wrangling; blame shifting and cathartic apologising soiled the headlines where football should have glowed.
But was Adebayor wrong?
Now, I’m not privileged enough to have the detailed story of what exactly went on in that Arsenal dressing room behind the charade of rumour and gossip. But something of some almighty significance must have occurred last season for Arsenal to so willingly consent to the departures of Touré and Adebayor. Both were, and continue to be, astonishingly good Premiership players with world class credentials. To allow such talent to leave given the rather fragile Achilles of an already crippled Arsenal team suspects of a provocative fiasco.
The story is an intriguing one. Tentative reports suggest that Adebayor took explicit and evident displeasure to the rather impudent and frankly disrespectful conduct of some of the more privileged yet still juvenile contingent of an emerging Arsenal. Despite being anything but established in the first team, the likes of Nicklas Bendtner, who seems to be the main antagonist in this marred narrative, allegedly displayed consistent insolence towards the ubiquitous club rules and flaunted a wider discourtesy above their advantaged standing. Rules and regulations are an adhesive of society and for the welfare to be continued none are beyond reproach…regardless of salary, importance or conceit.
Teenage petulance buoyed by inflated opinion lead to a constant flirting with the boundary and an unnecessary antagonism of those who appreciate a more mature comprehension of the club policy. It sounds almost irrelevant, but no training shoes were to be permitted in specific areas of the Arsenal dressing room and non-compliance to the mandate was deemed subordinate and submissive. The relentless disobedience inspired Adebayor to respond against Bendtner with a verbal condemnation leading to physical appraisal.
Despite Adebayor’s motivation seemingly carrying great integrity the dressing room popularity votes sided on the wrong side. Adebayor’s affirmative action appeared to alienate himself from his team mates and distance himself from the core of the side. It seems that no one at the club was prepared to support Adebayor in his crusade against the misbehaviour and his detachment from that core just widened. Disillusioned and isolated it was inevitable that Adebayor’s on field contributions were to diminish beyond the point of replacement.
However, parallel to this debacle the expectation of the Emirates crowd remained unfulfilled and Adebayor became the stooge blamed for an entire club’s inability to win enough games or to win enough games in the correct manner. As a non Arsenal supporter looking in on affairs from the outside, I could not quite fathom just why the terraces were so committed to the estrangement of Adebayor from their ranks. The guy is absolute class with all the good attributes of Didier Drogba complimented by a wizardry not whiteness since Kanu. Defenders can usually accommodate one facet of an accomplished striker, but to deal with an entire armoury of potential weapons, such as those at the command of Adebayor, frequently proves illusive. To allow that ability to walk away was negligent. To allow that ability to walk away and into the first team of their most immediate adversary of Premiership qualification into the Champions League was just plain stupid.
Having said that, the Arsenal harmony does seem to have taken a significant and important turn for the better this season. And so while the goals will surely be missed the benefit to the Arsenal team must take the highest precedent. Perhaps the factions of vile Arsenal support who continue to deride Adebayor will be content with his departure irrespective of his scoring potential against them.
I don’t quite understand how such a futile disagreement could conclude in such an obnoxious and destructive way. The legacy of this debate is massive and the repercussions I feel are far from assumed.
It was more than inevitable that Adebayor would score in the early season encounter; I would be surprised if they were even taking bets on such a predictable scenario. It was less predictable however, that Manchester City might actually run out winners. It was possible, but far from predictable. What was also predictable was that when Adebayor did score the inevitable goal his eruption of human emotion would be forthcoming, how could it not be?
Any scorned or betrayed passion must feel justified when a decisive and compelling retort can fatally deliver a termination to the conversation. To abolish any previous argument or to render any subsequent question as redundant is a persuasive vantage and this supremacy can skew integrity to beyond the point of acceptance. The volatility amplifies when you punctuate or flavour the potion with the inflammatory perception that Adebayor continues to feel he was correct and justified to hold his standpoint so stoically and he feels deceived and misrepresented by an indignant Arsenal family. It goes some way to understanding, if never quite condoning, the behaviour that manifested in a marathon sprint designed only to antagonise the lost confidence now proved flawed.
What Adebayor did was wrong. To goad opposition fans to beyond the point of riotous behaviour was unacceptable, and the fact that innocent stewards and stadium staff were compromised and injured adds weight to the disciplinary contention. But having said that, I totally recognised where Adebayor found the necessity to conduct himself in such a manner. Given the parameters and injustice of his story I feel that I too would have felt it necessary, if not acceptable, to behave with such emotion. I too would have swallowed whatever consequence or repercussions were required in order to voice my opinion or to express my side of the debate.
It was an unadulterated expression of justice and a very natural human response. Very few recognise exactly what values that moment represents.
I’ve heard many condemn the behaviour of Adebayor and yet I’ve heard very few rational, accurate appraisals. Most seem to contradict their own argument. Some referencing that …they’re all just dumb footballers dirtied by money and beyond the honour of common society, who have little recognition of their worth or influence. Behaviour like this is now expected if still not acceptable. The same arguments carry on contradicting that …given their inflated earning and heightened status football celebrities should be educated against these acts of attrition. Bizarre. Too rich to know better. And yet so rich they should know better.
The clichéd response from the infuriated football community is that the crowd pay their season ticket moneys and so they’re liberated and justified to voice their opinion, no matter how abusive, no matter how unfounded or no matter how wrong. Why does this same sentiment not equally and conversely uphold for Adebayor. The behaviour of the Arsenal support towards Adebayor, lingered over many months, deserves no compassion at all. The conduct of the Arsenal support immediately after Adebayor’s inflammatory celebration was obnoxious, no matter whether they were incited or not. I’m not sure how status, wages, or numbers should be treated any different.
Adebayor has no forum with which to represent his opinion. He can score winning goals against Arsenal, but they carry only revenge, they don’t carry the truth. There is no genuine method to represent his grieving. Other than what he did.
From The Writings Of Jonny Carter