Date: 11th August 2008 at 11:22am
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Ade’s belief in himself during the summer in likening himself to Thierry Henry and demanded a Henryesque contract might have been hard to stomach but it is all part of a self belief system that all top strikers need to some degree. Speaking to recently he gave his views on the background to this confidence and the difference between CL and PL football in advance of our upcoming CL qualifier against FC Twente in Arnhem on Wednesday.

“In the PL if you lose the ball in your box there isn`t the danger” he says “Lose the ball in your opponent’s half in the CL there will be danger, lose it in your own half and it could be a hot situation. Playing in the CL is like basketball. Lose the ball in your half and it`s a goal – no mercy.”

Ade may not have had quite the level of competition in mind that FC Twente, given added spice with Steve McLaren as manager, represents but they have managed a respectable fourth place in the Dutch Eredivisie for two seasons running.

Adebayor has had few pre-season games in which to hone his finishing skills but a brace at Ajax following a confident penalty against Real Madrid will have settled any doubts that earlier misses in the first half against Real might have sown.

In the same interview he seems confident that his goal scoring exploits are a consequence of his development as a player and not just a run of good fortune.

“You know self-confidence is one of the most important things for a striker. Everybody says I am more mature now – that I`ve grown up. It isn`t complicated I just have a perfect surrounding now – that`s all.

Arsene took me to his office and told me that to play in the Premiership you needed to work physically first. I told him I was ready physically. He said that I wasn`t ready for real duels. The fitness coach worked exclusively for two weeks with me in the gym and outside on the pitch with me too.

Since I left Monaco 2 years ago I have gained seven or eight kilos which is a lot – I am more powerful than before. I regained my ability in front of goal the same as I had at Metz. It`s the whole thing I have worked on. I feel good mentally and my family has given me great support.

Doing well doesn`t bring more pressure – no. More confidence – yes. Pressure is a positive way as more people come to see me play. The journalists expect me to score goals so any pressure is felt in a good way. You say to yourself you must do everything to score because people are waiting for that. At the moment it is working fine for me – that`s good.”

Despite the summer shenanigans most will be pleased that Adebayor is still with the team. The more determined he is to prove his value and the more self confidence he has to do it the better it will be for us.

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