The first player to score two hattricks against the same opposition within the same season, ever. The first player other than Thierry Henry in donkey’s years to score 30 in a season for Arsenal.
His name is Adebayor. He is 24 years old. He’s from Lome, Togo.
And everyone wants to get rid of him.
To be fair, the word ‘everyone’ is a bit of a broad brush to stroke across the myriad of Arsenal supporters out there. But read the comments of Arsenal blogs and forums around the net – dominated by pubescent, Championship Manager addicts – and you would forgive me for getting a hint of that impression.
Sure, next season he should aim for 20 goals and take it from there (second-season syndrome can be a nasty mistress), but what Emmanuel has achieved this season is phenomenal.
Thirty goals. Count them, you impatient temprementals out there. Thirty goals.
“But hark! Six of those – twenty percent – came against Derby!”, I hear you shout.
No-one took Fernando Torres’ hattrick that he scored against the same opposition away from him. No-one even mentions how he did not score against Derby the second time round.
Not to take anything away from the force of nature that is Fernando. It’s just that, well, our own Togolese gladiator has scored the exact same amount of goals in all competitions. Leading the line on his own. Under the disproportionate heckling and unfair pressure sustained by ungrateful, Johnny-come-lately Arsenal ‘fans’.
The PFA acknowledge him, my life-long Manchester United-supporting uncle fears him, and my Liverpool mates shake their heads with a muted disbelief that Arsenal fans are the way they are given the amount of goals the young forward scores.
How many goals would Benzema or Huntelaar have scored in this season, were they playing for Arsenal? Adebayor’s power, hard-work, troublesome dribbling and all-action displays make him one of the world’s top strikers. Like it or not.
He has his faults, but he’s young, still. Tractor-comparisons are unfair, given his other qualities. He’s a match winner, a storm-trooper, a rolling boulder. Very few defences have proved to be an Indiana Jones in the face of his efforts.
This certainly is a season to remember for young Ade. He will only get better. That is frightening.
He’s scored 30 goals for Arsenal. Arsenal fans bemoan his ‘mere presence’ on the field. That too, is frightening.