Since the close of the transfer window, Scott Parker and Rafael van der Vaart have rightly won many plaudits for their contribution to Tottenham Hotspur’s fine run of results. However, perhaps just as important has been Emmanuel Adebayor.
Adebayor’s arrival saw the departure of Peter Crouch to Stoke City, and Spurs seem to have done well from this switch in forwards. In eight Premier League games he has contributed three goals and four assists, already nearing Crouch’s Premier League figures for the whole of last season. To date, Adebayor’s shot per game ratio and key passes are twice that of Crouch last year and his pass accuracy is better by 20%. Only in aerial dual success are they equal in comparison.
Adebayor appears to fit with Redknapp preference for a taller front man to lead the line and with Roman Pavlyuchenko seemingly failing to convince and wishing to leave, Adebayor has quickly established himself as a constant name on the team sheet. Alongside this, Adebayor looks to be able to form a productive partnership with either Rafael van der Vaart or Jermain Defoe, providing two assists for both, even if the Dutchman is the manager’s current starting choice alongside the Togolese.
Arguably, the most impressive – and perhaps the most surprising – aspect of Adebayor’s game has been his work rate. Averaging 60 touches and 40 passes per match, of which he has a 77% success rate. The number of passes may be impressive for a forward. Almost on a par with van der Vaart and treble that of Defoe, the majority of his possession [an average 88% per match] has come in the area between the edge of the opponent’s penalty area and the base of the centre circle in the Spurs half.
Adebayor frequently drops deep to collect and make passes either from the defence or midfield. Even more frequent is his movement to the flanks. Nearly 42% of his passes have come from either flank, with a fairly even split between left and right wings. This would suggest that Adebayor is continually moving, pulling defenders/opponents in different directions. If not directly contributing to a goal, by scoring, assisting or making a key pass, he is creating space for his teammates, as perhaps can be seen by the fact that apart from Adebayor, seven other players have scored for Spurs and eight contributed assists. The main beneficiary at present being van der Vaart.
Prior to his arrival, perhaps some Spurs fans were sceptical about his signing. With the reported mood swings and dressing room disruptions the fact he is a good player may have been overshadowed. Adebayor with his all-round performances is showing that he could be an essential part of Spurs’ season with his partnership with van der Vaart crucial to Spurs’ chances of success.
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