A hidden word of warning

A hidden word of warning

Emmanuel Adebayor has spoken out about his relationship with Arsenal strike partner Robin van Persie.

The Togolese forward suggested that the two players – who, consequently, have now scored thirteen goals between them this season – are performing well because of the understanding they have gained about each other’s style of play.

“The understanding between us is magnificent. He likes to have the ball at his feet more than I do. He likes to get off the front line and he has the technical skills to do that. I am tall, I can climb high and I can go deep. I am more of a pivot for the team.”

Someone’s a happy chappyYou have to agree with that, considering the amount of goals that the pair have scored so far this season. What is really interesting about their partnership up front is that they rarely play directly off one another unlike, say, Fernando Morientes and David Villa at Valencia. Adebayor, as he mentioned, plays the role of the target man and while he is doing this job with great success, the truth is that his headers and chests down are usually aimed for the midfielders running through than for his strike partner van Persie. In situations where Adebayor is presenting well for the midfield you’ll probably notice that van Persie will stay well clear, preferring to take up a dangerous position of his own in the penalty area. This clever positioning whilst the defence has been focused on stopping his partner has seen van Persie score crucial goals against West Ham, Steaua Bucharest and Sunderland in recent weeks.

I’ve often commented about van Persie’s tendency to go quiet for long periods in a match and then suddenly pop up with a crucial goal before the end. Whilst Adebayor does not possess the finishing ability of the Dutchman it is his ability to stay involved in a game for the full 90 minutes that suggests why the two are working so well together, despite the fact that they rarely interact directly. It is clear in the style of play that Wenger is employing that he does not want the two strikers to work together in a direct way, but wants the midfield players like Cesc Fabregas, Alexander Hleb and Tomas Rosicky to interact with Adebayor and create chances for van Persie. A bucketload of goals from a variety of players suggests it’s working well so far.

Kolo Toure just wants the team to keep winningToure wants ball to keep rolling

Another man who is happy with how things are going for the club (who wouldn’t be) is stand-in captain Kolo Toure. The Ivorian spoke recently about the confidence flowing through the side at the moment and the way the boys are using it to push on and get the result in tight matches like the one against Sunderland on the weekend.

“We always go on and get the winner at the moment. I think it’s really important for the team to keep on winning because when it’s like that the confidence goes higher and higher. We are doing that very well and the hardest thing is just to keep going.”

There is an unintentional hidden message of warning in Toure’s comments. While things are going well it’s natural to feel like you’re always going to win and that is certainly the case with the team at the moment. What will be the biggest challenge – and Patrice Evra has also alluded to this – is how the team respond to their first defeat. If the mentality is right then the first loss should be followed by a more positive result straight away but, as you will probably remember in the case of ‘The Invincibles’, one defeat can have a big impact on a side’s confidence and form.

The other thing to remember is that the longer the side remains at the top of the table, the greater the challenge is to stay there. If the boys can maintain the good run of results then the pressure will start to mount on the likes of Manchester United and if they drop a few points in the next month or two the gap could widen quite substantially. Another win over Bolton in the Premiership will mean that Wenger’s side should go into the games against Liverpool and Manchester United knowing that a draw would be a positive result. And wins, well, they would be magic.

What’s certain is that Arsenal’s great start to the season has give them every chance to be in with a say at the end of the season. The media will harp on about Arsenal not facing a real challenge yet this season but the fact is that the boys have done superbly well in some tough matches without the services of some experienced players in William Gallas, Tomas Rosicky, Jens Lehmann and Gilberto Silva. The young players are doing well and there’s no reason to suggest that when Liverpool and Manchester United come to town, they won’t be ready for them.

What do you think?

Have your say on Adebayor, van Persie or Toure by leaving a comment.

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13 Responses to “A hidden word of warning”

  1. jos asante
    October 10, 2007 at 7:03 pm #

    I has been reading some news lately.Thierry Henry saying that he never want to play against Arsenal.But if he do….How could he be treated at the emirates?For me and for all the true gunners he will be happilly welcome and will never boo at him.I wonder how he will celebrate if he score could it be arrogant or respectfull?For me he could be respectful to the Arsenal fans.

  2. Spanish Fry
    October 10, 2007 at 8:17 pm #

    I’m sure he would be respectful. I couldn’t see Henry running around like a madman if he knocked Arsenal out of the Champions League.

  3. Jay
    October 11, 2007 at 12:03 am #

    To be honest Henry is the one of the worlds best players because of his 10 yrs at Arsenal. He will would definetly be respectful and so should us fans be of him but we are going to win the champions league anyway lol!

  4. Iceman
    October 11, 2007 at 1:22 am #

    y r u people talkin about henry knocking arsenal outta the CL? we should be focusing on positive things, like winning the quadruple. before u say that its too early to say that, i know it is, like adebayor said, we gotta take it one match at a time.

  5. Jay
    October 11, 2007 at 3:42 am #

    No-body mentioned knocking outta CL, we mentioned Henry returning to the Emirates and playing agaisnt his former club.

  6. Boris Godunov
    October 11, 2007 at 7:40 am #

    The great thing about Adebayor is that he’s a 90+ minute player. Not only he’s very productive throughout the whole game, he’s also capable of producing either a goal or an assist at the very end. Many fans get frustrated with him because of some poor finishing, but it’s not his primary role, at least I don’t think it is. My guess is that Wenger saw the depth in him after the ManU game at Old Trafford last season when he scored the only goal very late in the match. Late assist for RVP in Steaua and a stoppage time goal against the Spurs seem to support my view on it.
    In case of RVP, some analysts accuse him of not being on the same page with the rest of the team more often than not. There’s some truth in that, considering he doesn’t have the best passing ability and vision like that of Cesc. He’s not a goal poacher like Aduardo, though he does know his way around the box. However, his biggest attribute is the ability and willingness to test the goalkeepers from all angles, from any distance, with both feet. He has tremendous power and accuracy on his shots, and that’s what Wenger might be developing in him. He reminds me of Ronaldo (the original one, not the wannabe at Manure) in his prime.

  7. casicky
    October 11, 2007 at 11:33 am #

    Van Persie and Ade are palying well for the team,i say for the team because they seem to have realised that as much as they are the main strikers if they assist the midfielders in scoring we might have a higher score rate.
    um glad Henry was injured when we palyed some of the top three las season becoz with out him we showed we can compete and that gives the team some confidence because they fear no-one and playing the way they are why should they fear anyone.Come friday i will be supporting Mali to win but with a man of the match performance from Ade.we have a lot to look forward regarding players,becoz of the size of our squad we have a lot of players that are waiting to prove their worth to Wenger players like Diarra and Dudu,but i fear we will never see the potential of Bendtner being realised at Arsenal,he so much of a talker and i feel if he had done enough then he would have been thrust in at some of the games but its not his time yet but he has too many pressures that surround him that could push him out of the Grove..if he is patient he will realise success at Arsenal but if he continues with all this talk then he might be leaving us sooner than we had all anticipated

  8. jos asante
    October 11, 2007 at 7:43 pm #

    Do we honestly think our current best eleven can match the standards of the””Invincibles””?
    Lehmann-Almunia
    Lauren-Sagna
    Cole-Clichy
    Toure-Toure
    Campbell-Gallas
    Gilberto-Flamini
    Ljungberg-Hleb
    Vieira-Fabregas
    Henry-Adebayor
    Bergkamp-Van Persie
    Pires-Rosicky.

  9. jos asante
    October 11, 2007 at 8:19 pm #

    I will always respect Thierry Henry for what he has done for the club he gave us the best years of his career,an Arsenal legend.I cant believe some fans who slag him off.Its good to hear him saying nice things about Arsenal.Henry never really wanted to leave but I think it was for the best.I think his domestic life payed a part in his departure,(who knows)
    One thing I do know is that we are now a unit and everyone gives 100%

  10. le gunner
    October 11, 2007 at 10:39 pm #

    I beleive Henry is planning to pay a visit to the Emirates in December. He should be given a warm welcoming reception. he will remain an Arsenal legend no matter what specially if he scores an own goal if we paly Barcelona in CL.

  11. Spanish Fry
    October 11, 2007 at 11:15 pm #

    I agree with Boris.

  12. Anonymous
    October 14, 2007 at 6:13 pm #

    Great interview with the arsenal Legend Thierry Henry Check it.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/main.jhtml?xml=/sport/2007/10/14/sfnhen114.xml&page=3

  13. Spanish Fry
    October 15, 2007 at 11:53 am #

    Thanks for the link, anonymous stranger…

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