Date: 29th April 2008 at 11:25am
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Before I begin with the match report, I just wanted to create a separate thread to say congratulations to Emmanuel Adebayor. Ade’s second half hat trick meant Ade became the first ever Arsenal player to score hat tricks against the same opposition in both league fixtures. But even more of a milestone than that, Manu reached thirty season goals. That’s a quite remarkable feat for a player who, in truth, is not meant to be a goalhanging supremo like Torres or Owen. Having played the majority of the season up on his own with his partners van Persie and Eduardo stricken.

I felt a bouquet was in order as this guy receives far too many brickbats! I doubt a thirty goal striker has ever received as much ire as Ade, both from his own supporters and neutral observers. I’ve spoken of this phenomenon before amongst Arsenalfans and I have tosay it comes from a deep seated arrogance. Adebayor was routinely written off after about two games in an Arsenal shirt and so when he proves people wrong, they just wait for his next error sothey can feel as though they are correct. Witness Alexandre Song, who was disgracefully booed in his first ever Premiership start. Now he has come into the side and looks assured and a viableoption in central defence. Yet those so keen to criticise have been silent about his current form, their pride hurt as once again quickfire assumptions are proved wrong. Wait until he makes a mistake and these people will soon crawl back out of the woodwork and use his error as a mast for their ego.

Anyways, back to Ade, people forget that he has scored at Anfield, Old Trafford and the San Siro this year whilst also continuing to score against more pedestrian clubs like Tottenham. Meanwhile, Fernando Torres is rightly lauded as a terrific striker, Ade does not attract the same plaudits. I criticised Henry during the last two years of his Arsenal career for his contribution in away matches, his scoring statistics North of London became comparable to most centre backs. But of Ade’s thirty goals, seventeen have come away from home. This speaks volumes of Ade’s character and the difference he can make to us. I hope that if he does not score 30 again next yearthat he won’t be roundly lambasted, but we’ll worry about that another time. I saw an interview with Ade a couple of months back when he revealed that, upon his transfer to Barcelona, Henry told Ade ‘you will score thirty goals this season’ and how that had been a huge boost to Adebayor. I’m not entirely sure Thierry actually believed that, I certainly wouldn’t have. So thank you Manny. But please, Ade, pal, stop stealing my dance moves capisce!?LD