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.