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For Arsenal’s sake – Leave Adebayor alone
By Ian Trevett
I can clearly remember the first time I really gave it to an ex-player.
The League Cup semi-final first leg against Manchester United – back in February 1983. Frank Stapleton had turned his back on Arsenal about 18 months before and we hadn’t forgiven him.
The North Bank, as one, chanted “You’re just a Greedy ****, Stapleton.” Yes, I joined in, but I was 16 at the time and you think that sort of thing is clever when you are 16.
Travelling back to Manchester after the game, poor Stapleton must have really regretted upsetting the Arsenal fans, and probably wished he had never left the club.
Or then again, he might have been grinning his head off, re-living his brilliant performance in the 4-2 thrashing the Mancs had just handed out. I think he may have scored a couple that night as well, but luckily my memory has erased the uncomfortable memories.
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Teddy Sheringham never played for Arsenal, but we hated him and he hated us. The hate for Sheringham even intensified after he left Spurs for United. “You went to Man Utd and you won **** all,” we’d sing. But then they won the treble and Sheringham held three fingers aloft next time we met, as usual that ugly smirk was etched on his gloating face. “You might have won the treble but you’re still a ****!” we pointed out accurately.
He was smug and arrogant and though it might have felt good giving him some stick, it never worked. He lapped it up and played better. Can you recall a game where he played badly against us?
I think you can see where I’m gong with this. How well did Tevez play agianst United? Look how Bridge inspired his team against Chelsea. When a player comes back to his club with a point to prove, he is a dangerous opponent. Smother them with love and their desire for revenge is muted and the edge is taken off their game. Thierry was mixed up with emotion when he came back with Barcelona. Vieira hardly had his greatest game of his career when he played for Juventus at Highbury.
And so we come to Adebayor. Although he was lucky to stay to the pitch at Eastlands, he played like a man possessed. If he had played with the same passion for us, his name would still be echoing around the Emirates every home game.
The reason we fell out with Adebayor was that he appeared to lack effort when he wasn’t interested. On his day he was as unplayable as Drogba, but he could also be as ineffective as Lee Chapman in an Arsenal shirt (another ex-Gunner who couldn’t stop scoring against us). If his big problem is motivation and commitment, surely the worst thing can do is fire him up!
So what do we do when we play City? Simple. We show our love for Vieira, We sing Kolo’s name and if he is around, we applaud Silvinho. And for Adebayor? Nothing. No boos, no abusive chants. Absolutely nothing. For a man with such a massive ego, the thing he most dreads is indifference. Adebayor? Didn’t he once play for us? I can’t really remember him.
One other thing, I care about the reputation of our fans. We are welcomed at most grounds round the country because we support our team without the ugly attitude of some other London clubs. But we don’t cover ourselves with glory when we accuse an African man of having a father who cleans elephants and a mother who is a whore.
Enjoy the game if you are going. Show your respect for our former invincibles and ignore Ade. He just ain’t worth it.
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