Emmanuel Adebayor has been in menacing form since his return from footballing exile at the turn of the year. The Togolese frontman now has eight goals from just 11 Premier League appearances; a feat that has made him by far Tottenham’s most potent marksman.
The comparison between Emmanuel Adebayor and the Wolf of Wall Street, Jordan Belfort, is perhaps a tenuous one. Yet this hasn’t stopped a recent mock-up of Adebayor as the Wall St trader from going viral; the striker himself was in fact so impressed that he posted the image on his Instagram account.
Maybe there are some parallels; Belfort was cast adrift following financial collapse and was left to re-imagine himself as a self made man trading in penny stocks and securities. Adebayor to my knowledge hasn’t had such flirtations with the dark side of banking, but he is definitely a man that has seen a total reversal in his fortunes.
Adebayor has always been a difficult character; his punctuated history of clubs is suggestive of a man that just never quite managed to fit in. His football abilities are undoubted, and even his staunchest critics would be hard pressed to argue that he doesn’t have the innate talent of a world class centre forward. At Spurs he is putting together a run that is starting to emphasise this ability once more. His brace against Newcastle in a recent 4-0 win not only showed his clinical ability in front of goal, but also was suggestive of a man willing to bring his teammates into play. On the pitch Adebayor isn’t the man that many like to argue is in it for himself, he is fast becoming a focal point, a man that other can play off of.
But is this just another false dawn?
We’ve been here before with Adebayor. Even at Spurs he has put together months of decent form only to descend back into lethargy and disinterest. Much like his Hollywood counterpart Belfort, he seems to drift from moments of ecstasy to the verge of professional ruin.
It is difficult to gauge the revival given how impressive he has been in recent weeks, prophesising the future is hard at the best of times but given Adebayor’s inconsistencies it is even harder. For me the true test will be when things invariably start to go awry. If Soldado wins his place back and starts firing, will Adebayor have the strength of mind to work hard to win his place back? If Spurs hit a rut will he be the man to galvanise the side or will he simply be the first to throw in the towel?
Spurs’ relationship with Adebayor is less like dealing with a New York stockbroker, more like dealing with an overgrown child. He craves attention and thrives off it; he actually appears to need it. The problem for Spurs is that Adebayor is in fact a wonderfully gifted footballer and one that if treated properly can fire the club to even the loftiest of footballing ambitions. A lot will depend on whether Sherwood can keep the centre forward motivated, and whether the man himself can negotiate the ups and downs of Premier League football.
For Spurs I really hope this one doesn’t end in tears, but given his track record you wouldn’t put it past him following his Hollywood counterpart to an ignominious end.