The Togonater Returns

March 30, 2009

For some unknown reason an unusually high percentage of my friends support Queens Park Rangers; which I know is odd, especially as I was neither brought up, nor do I live, anywhere near the ground.

QPR are a small club with a small support and therefore logic dictates that any Arsenal supporter should only know one, maybe two, QPR supporters tops; but, for reasons that defy logic, I have about 10 people who I would class as friends that support QPR.

QPR supporters are a bit like squirrels: have you ever tried to feed a squirrel? Everything has to be done very slowly and delicately, no sudden moves, no bold statements, like mentioning the Champions League, otherwise you the big ole Arsenal supporter, will scare the frightened little Championship supporters away.

The other quaint little trait they have is that whenever the conversation turns to football they remind me quickly – almost too quickly – of how much they hate Chelsea. This seems to serve two purposes: the first is to try and create a mutual enemy which in turn they hope to establishes a mutual bond and secondly they seem to have this misguided idea that by associating themselves with Chelsea they, some how, elevate themselves in a sought of bigger by association kind of way. The reality, of course, is that if their rivalry should be aimed at any west London club then Brentford are far more comparable than Chelsea.

Anyway, why am I bringing this up, you may ask? The reason is that all my QPR friends play fantasy football, it is the only way they have of staying in touch with the Premiership. So, come the beginning of the season they all ask me about various Arsenal players with a view of buying them for their fantasy football team. With our main striker having scored 30 goals the conversation quickly turned to the question of Adebayor.

They had read stories all summer of possible transfer rumours and were under the impression that he had gone from being one of the most liked and respected players amongst Arsenal supporters – his name was sung last season with more gusto than any other player – to one who is vying for the top spot with Eboue as the player that most supporters would like to see sold at the end of the season.

I explained that it is only a minority who had decided to dislike Adebayor, and this dislike was mostly whipped up by certain blogs who systematically vilify one player to another. It is blog rocket fuel, guaranteed to attract more readers and increase your hit ratting. But to me – it stinks. It has nothing to do with supporting Arsenal and every thing to do with promoting your blog.

Adebayor found himself at the end of last season having scored 30 goals and still being paid 35 thousand a week, which, of course, is a lot of money in itself; but, it’s a pittance in view of what he should have been earning.

So, step one was for his agent to ask for a pay rise, which I am sure was greeted by the club with all the enthusiasm that an Arsenal supporter has for a price increase of his season ticket. Let’s be honest, Arsenal are not the most obliging when it comes to parting with money.

Safe in the assumption that the club were not exactly beating a path to Adebayor’s agent’s door in an attempt to pay him more; the obvious question then is: what is an agent supposed to do in an attempt to achieve the level of wages a 30 goal a year player should be receiving?

The answer is to take the only course available; that being, to try and create interest from plausible transfer targets: AC Milan, Barcelona etc. Now, at this point, we should be clear, it wasn’t Adebayor who was on the phone to these clubs and then passing the information on to the press it was his agent whose job, it is important to remember, is to try and get the highest wage possible for his client. The ranglings dragged on; it was an anti-Arsenal journalists dream: a licence to print disingenuous stories about Arsenal all summer.

An agreement was finally reached which we are led to believe is around the 80 thousand a week, a figure I do not find excessive. Adebayor, in turn, extended his contract which increases his value to the club.

It is too early to jump on the Ade must be sold band wagon. Arsenal are resurgent in every way: FA Cup semi final, CL quarter final and 4th in the league the competition for places is hotting up and no matter how arrogant you might think Adebayor is he cannot help but notice the return of Eduardo the continued improvement of Bendtner, not to mention Walcott and Vela waiting in the wings.

I fully expect him to return to the attack for the game against Man City and I fully expect him to do well. Adebayor’s ego will push him to another level; his pride will force him to respond. Many people’s patience has already run out, calling for him to be sold. Players, proven capable, of scoring 30 goals a season in the EPL do not grow on trees, teams like QPR can only stare in awe at the idea of having one of them. I’m convinced that it is too early for calls to sell him, although, my patience will not last for ever.

Adebayor has got from now to the end of the season to prove his worth, something I think he is more than capable of doing but if he does not rise to the occasion and start scoring more goals, I will be joining the chorus of SELL HIM.