After his match-winning performance against Tottenham over the weekend, Arsenal striker Emmanuel Adebayor is refusing to get too carried away with his side’s excellent start to the season.
Adebayor scored two goals in Arsenal’s 3-1 win over rivals Tottenham, the first a fine header and the second an amazing volley that will surely go close to Goal of the Season. The win pushed Arsenal to the top of the Premiership ladder for the first time in almost three years, but Adebayor was quick to play down his side’s title chances and stressed that the team is focused only Wednesday night’s Champions League clash with Sevilla.
“I scored an amazing goal and I’m very happy for that but the most important thing is getting the points from Spurs. Every game we play they call it a test. We feel that as well, but the most important thing is taking it one game at a time. We don’t want to speak about the title, we just want to keep on going.”
It’s good to hear that Adebayor hasn’t let that great goal go to his head. While I believe that the positive start to the season has given Arsenal every chance to challenge for the league, there is no guarantee that this will be the case. I mentioned yesterday that mental attitude will have a massive part to play in who eventually wins the Premiership and it is good to see another example of an Arsenal player who has his mind in the right place. Manager Arsene Wenger also took time out to praise Adebayor for his contribution, suggesting that his presence on the pitch is more valuable than many people realise.
“Some people have doubts about him, yes. But when he is not in the side you see that a lot of presence goes out of the team. He is a constant threat in the air.”
I totally agree with this one. Regular readers of the blog will know that Adebayor is a firm favourite of mine and there will always be questions about my objectivity when I do speak about him. However, I honestly feel that too many Arsenal fans look at the chances he misses as being more important than the overall contribution he makes to the team. It’s clear through his comments that Wenger understands the value of Adebayor and that is why the big striker has kept Eduardo da Silva out of the starting side so far this season. At this stage, I see no reason why this should change.
Walcott needs more time
Arsene Wenger also spoke about the progress of another of his young players, Theo Walcott, and suggested that he expects the 18-year-old Englishman to start more impact on the field. Walcott has had a quiet start to the Premiership campaign so far but it is clear from Wenger’s thoughts that he expects more to come from him this season.
“If you don’t get in the team at 18, 19, 20 doubts start. He’s at an age now where you expect him to exert his personality and turn up in big games.”
I have to say that I don’t overly agree with Wenger. My reasons for this can best be summed up by a post I made back in late July when it became clear that Wenger would not be signing another winger to replace the departed Fredrik Ljungberg:
“It seems that Wenger is now relying on a successful season from Theo Walcott and that worries me because he is still so young. Although Cesc Fabregas came on a little earlier than most Arsenal supporters expected him to, a great season from Walcott should be a bonus for the club rather than a necessity.”
Enough said, I think.
Arsenal FC Blog Fantasy Champions League
Just to finish up I thought it would be worth mentioning that official Champions League Fantasy Football game has begun for the 2007/08 season. As with the Arsenal FC Blog Fantasy Premier League I have created an Arsenal FC Blog Fantasy Champions League which you can join if you already have a team by clicking on ‘Join a Private League’ and popping in the following code: 148732-24960. The Arsenal FC Blog Fantasy Premier League has over 70 members and it would be great to see similar numbers contesting for the Champions League crown. Maybe someone could even do the double. If you haven’t yet set up a team you can do so by registering here. But you’ll have to be quick because the first matchday starts tonight.
For what it’s worth I usually find the Champions League Fantasy Football more enjoyable than the Premier League one because it’s a little bit less time intesive due to the games being far less frequent and there is more variety in the teams and players that can be selected. Anyway, I hope to see you on there battling it out with the other Arsenal FC Blog readers soon.
Have your say on Adebayor, Walcott and the Champions League by leaving a comment.