The Week In Review: 24th – 30th January ’11 – Ade, Bye You’re Gone

Good news! Emmanuel Adebayor is no longer a Manchester City player. So, a good start to the week but it ended on a slightly dejected note with the one-all draw with Notts County on Sunday.

I imagine that the City management team and some of the players breathed a collective sigh of relief when Adebayor packed his bags for Real Madrid. Albeit, a loan move until the end of the season, with an option for the move to be made permanent should Madrid wish to buy.

It has been an action packed City career for Adebayor. After his £25 million move from Arsenal in 2009 he had a dream start with goals in each of the first four games of the season. This culminated in the now infamous Arsenal game in which he taunted the Arsenal fans and scrapped his boot across Robin van Persie’s face. All good work you may think, until the retrospective red card and three match ban which followed. Which in turn lead to one of the many Manchester City witch hunts in which Adebayor was hung out to dry by much of media. They had a point, for sure: it is not right to stamp on people’s faces but the extent to which the situation was blown out of proportion was absurd. Nevertheless, Adebayor’s form never fully recovered.

When you consider the atrocious terrorist attack on the Togo national team as they traveled to African Cup of Nations in Angola in January 2010 it is hardly surprising Adebayor’s form took a dent. Adebayor witnessed a team mate die in his arms as a result of the attack. One cannot begin to imagine how this affected him and it would be unfair to speculate. City duly gave Adebayor as much compassionate leave as he required.

Adebayor, later on in the season, received a second red card of season which resulted in a four match ban. In total Adebayor was banned for seven games and missed roughly a month on compassionate grounds. This surely would not have helped his form.

For me, it is good news that he has left the club for two reasons. Firstly, his apparent lack of effort. Secondly, his attitude.

At the beginning of the season he kicked up a fuss about not being in the starting eleven every week. In my opinion, his football does not justify a starting eleven place and this kind of moaning attitude does no one any good.

A lot of the time when I have watched Adebayor play he walks around the pitch giving the impression that he is putting in 40% effort. What is frustrating is that I sometimes feel that if he put in just 80% effort he could be a world beater, yet he doesn’t. If you take into consideration the other strikers at City it is hardly surprising he did not get selected much this season. Take Mario Balotelli. He gives the impression, on occasion, that he is putting 40% effort but is twice the player Adebayor is and Carlos Tevez is simply a goal machine. The fact that Jo gets picked ahead of Adebayor speaks volumes about Adebayor’s effort and commitment in training and on the pitch.

It seems as if Adebayor has forgotten how good City have been to him during his time at the club. City allowed him as much compassionate leave as necessary, and he got himself banned for seven games as a thank you. Let’s just hope the “special one”, Jose Mourinho is stupid enough to cough up the reported £17 million for him in the summer.

Anyway, onto the fourth round FA Cup tie away to Notts County on Sunday. City made several changes to the team allowing Jo, Jerome Boateng, James Milner, Patrick Vieira and Micah Richards a chance to impress. The game started slowly and perhaps the best chance of the first half fell to Yaya Toure after a fine piece of attacking wing play by Richards who powered a low cross towards Toure who could not get enough power or direction of his sliding shot from six yards.

Notts County more then held their own in the game and early in the second half capitalised on some poor defending from a corner allowing Neal Bishop to head into the top of the net. County were in dreamland and the game picked up to a more frantic pace.

The introduction of David Silva, in place of Jo, seemed to turn the game in City’s favour. The Spaniard provided a more attacking edge to City’s play and as a result City were able to hold up the ball more easily in the final third. City were saved the embarrassment of losing to County after Dzeko powered in a low Richards cross ten minutes from time. Richards had a fantastic game, after returning from injury, and it was a shame to see him limp off the pitch at the end of the game. After a good, competitive cup tie City will host Notts County in the fourth round replay in Manchester on Saturday 19th February.

In other news this week, it has been revealed Adam Johnson will be out for three months after injuring his angle ligaments during training. This is a big blow for Roberto Mancini and he has suggested that Shaun Wright-Phillips will be staying put, for now, to act as cover.

Next week: City return to Premier League action with an away trip to Birmingham on Wednesday followed by a home tie against West Brom on Saturday.

Words by Rob Toole

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