Emmanuel Adebayor is about as much use as a one-legged man at an ar*e-kicking competition nowadays, but he does do a rather nice line in pre-match motivational speeches – for the opposition.
The talkative Togan has been busy running his mouth this week claiming his ex-employers, Manchester City, lack team spirit and, at the first hint of adversity, the players start arguing and bickering on the field.
Obviously Ade must be right, after all, we all saw how City buckled and descended into an abyss of bitching and snarling, as the Premier League title slipped away against QPR last May!
Arguably the worst £ for £ of all Mark Hughes’ profligate purchases (Roque Santa Cruz is up there challenging) Adebayor is a self-centred, bone idle, under achieving bag of wind, motivated by greed – a disgrace to his profession.
His words, however should only serve to motivate a Roberto Mancini team looking to secure the Runner’s-Up slot and end the season on a high.
If City can extend their four-match winning streak, or at least their five-match unbeaten run against Tottenham, it will serve as payback for years of suffering against the men from White Hart Lane.
Prior to Sheikh Mansour’s salvation City were poor enough to have numerous bogey teams – never a good sign – but none more so than their nemesis from Norf Larndan.
I once had the displeasure of having the then Spurs and England goalkeeper, Paul Robinson, taunt me in conversation as he referred to what was then the City of Manchester Stadium as ‘Three Points Stadium’. Simply, Spurs always, but always, went away with the spoils whenever they visited the blue side of Manchester.
Prior to City’s recent renaissance which saw the scintillating 5-1 away win with Edin Dzeko bagging four goals, and the season before, when a one-man wonder performance from Joe Hart saw City escape with a 0-0 draw, the Sky Blues had lost 10 of 12 encounters.
For all the plaudits bestowed on Spurs by the fawning tabloids, the Lillywhites have shown themselves capable of snatching despair from the jaws of glory as they stumble and falter when it comes to the business end of the season.
And so it is, with a handful of games to go Spurs sit outside the Champions League places once again.
It’s a little known fact that Wales already had two teams in the English Premier League, well before Cardiff secured promotion this season. You have Swansea and you have Gareth Bale FC – and City will be fronting up to the Welsh wizard as he climbs off the treatment table after a two-game absence.
Bale’s return and the likely appearance of Aaron Lennon will hearten old gravel chops Andre Villas Boas – if ever a man had a voice to curdle milk it has to be AVB.
In contrast to Spurs’ diminishing injury list, City could be missing two of their most creative stars with David Silva and Sergio Aguero, potential absentees with niggling hamstrings.
Having laboured to a fortunate 1-0 win over Wigan in midweek, Mancini will likely restore City’s PL leading defence to its full compliment with Nastasic, Clichy and Zabaleta replacing Lescott, Kolarov and Richards.
James Milner should return and, it may be heresy, even treason, to suggest that Yaya Toure could perhaps do with a rest after his recent exertions?
One man seemingly who never requires a respite is Carlos ‘Duracell’ Tevez. With just one year remaining on his contract, City and the indefatigable Argentinian need to decide if their – at times – tempestuous marriage, has run its course or if the wedding vows should be renewed?
It’s a dilemma, especially if, as seems likely, City are preparing to bust the bank with a move for Napoli’s Uruguayan hit man Edinson Cavani. From a fans perspective a South American cocktail of Aquero, Cavani and Tevez is as tasty a concoction as you’ll find anywhere in the world of football.
The likely departure of Edin Dzeko and a need for a replacement for Mario Balotelli could also see Fiorentina’s Stevan Jovetic join the attacking corps at the Etihad this summer. It would underline City’s intention to wrest the PL title back from its loan to the Swampdwellers.
Two players surely going nowhere this summer – apart from a sun lounger – are Captain Fantastic Kompany and Merlin Silva. Both will hit personal milestones if they play – Vincent making his 150th league appearance in Sky Blue and David his 100th. Their combined contribution to the rise of the Blue Moon cannot be overstated – long may it continue.
City will want to make capital on their latest trip – it’s a quirk that they remain the only team in the PL to remain undefeated against London clubs, with a record of six wins and four draws.
With eight wins from their last nine fixtures – three of those helping secure their FA Cup Final berth – City are the form team.
Spurs are now five points behind their loathed North London rivals, Arsenal, albeit with two games in hand. It makes the clash with City the proverbial ‘must win’ game.
Whereas City and Joe Hart have become Kings of the Shutouts in the last three seasons, Spurs are leaking like a sieve, conceding in each of their last seven games.
It’s an intriguing prospect and one with so much more riding on it for the home team. A win for City delays what some see as the inevitable handing of the title to Slur Baconface’s mob, but more importantly, it keeps Mancunian momentum going, adding credence to Mancini remaining in post next season.
It would also ram it up the fundament of one waste of space African who would be left to choke on his own poison and bile.