Tottenham striker Emmanuel Adebayor primed to tackle former club Arsenal in FA Cup
Agence France-Presse in London
Emmanuel Adebayor’s return to form has ensured Tottenham head into their FA Cup third-round clash at Arsenal with renewed confidence they can overcome their north London rivals on Saturday.
Adebayor has scored four times in five appearances since being restored to the team by new manager Tim Sherwood after a spell in exile under previous boss Andre Villas-Boas.
The Togo striker continued his impressive revival with the opening goal in Tottenham’s 2-1 win at Manchester United on Wednesday.
And Spurs left-back Danny Rose believes the strike partnership between Adebayor and Roberto Soldado is one of the reasons behind the side’s recent renaissance.
Adebayor, who left Arsenal for Manchester City in acrimonious circumstances, will relish the chance to torment his old club this weekend and Rose said: “Obviously no disrespect to Andre but playing one up front has been a bit frustrating and hard for Soldado at times.
“It is just nice that he has got a bit of help up there with Adebayor.
“Adebayor didn’t play a game since pre-season until a few weeks ago but his energy levels have been brilliant.
“He has been like a new signing. He has scored three or four goals in his last four games and it is brilliant for us.”
Rose admits he is pleased to see Adebayor, expected to be fit despite coming off with a knock during the United win, involved again after a frustrating season and a half under Villas-Boas.
“The first season under Harry Redknapp there were no questions about his [Adebayor’s] attitude,” Rose said.
“I can’t speak for last season because I was out on loan but when I came back in pre-season, his attitude was fine.
“Obviously there was a bit of a disagreement between him and Andre but it is finished now.
“We are all grateful that he is back in the team. He hasn’t got a point to prove but he is playing as if he has and he looks fresh and is causing teams a lot of trouble.”
The victory at Old Trafford was Spurs’ third win in fouth games and Rose added: “We want a good run in the FA Cup as well but everybody is confident, the manager is confident and all the players are confident. We are looking forward to every game now.”
Arsenal begin their cup campaign having maintained their position at the head of the Premier League table with victory over Cardiff on Wednesday.
With the January transfer window now open, the Gunners have been linked with a move for a new striker, with Fulham’s Dimitar Berbatov reportedly a £2 million (HK$25.6 million) target.
Arsene Wenger’s limited forward options have been highlighted by ankle injuries to Olivier Giroud and Nicklas Bendtner.
Giroud missed the Cardiff clash and Bendtner could face a spell on the sidelines after spraining his ankle shortly after scoring Arsenal’s opening goal against the Welsh side.
With Giroud again doubtful for the visit of Spurs, Lukas Podolski and Theo Walcott are the two main contenders for the main striker role.
And England international Walcott admits he would welcome the arrival of new faces as Arsenal head into the second half of a season they hope will deliver a first trophy in nine years.
“The boss has already said that he is looking for special players and we have got a lot of special players in that dressing room already,” Walcott said.
“It is always nice to have competition with players coming in, but January is such a difficult period in the transfer market to get players in, especially the top players.
“To be fair, that is for the manager to decide if he wants to go out and buy anyone and whoever comes in will make the club stronger anyway.”