Comment & analysis round-up
Quote of the day: “I can go and play at the Emirates for the return game, why not? I play for Manchester City and if they want me to go and play, I will play… After the game I saw him [Robin van Persie] and said sorry but he didn’t even want to speak to me… I don’t know what I have done wrong to get banned. I have not heard the police or FA want to talk to me. The club have not said anything. I heard that a steward was injured and I regret that. I have apologised to Robin van Persie. It was silly to run up in front of the Arsenal fans. But these people have been insulting me all game. Even in the warm-up they were insulting me. They were saying things that are not nice to hear, personal things. I didn’t plan it, not at all. I didn’t even know that I would score. The way things were going from the warm-up, at the end it came into my head. I would like to apologise to the steward for what happened, why not?” – Emmanuel Adebayor.
Runner-up: “We can still win all the trophies on offer this season. Our expectations have not gone down at all because of the rebuilding. Our goals are exactly the same – to win the Premier League and to win the Champions League. We genuinely believe our fans will have many reasons to be happy this season and it is our intention to make that happen. Perhaps on paper we are weaker this season but on the pitch it is a different matter. Together, we have the determination and ability to prove to everyone that we can still accomplish all our goals this season. We are paid loads of money to win and thatâ€™s what we intend to do.- Nemanja Vidic.
Today’s overview: For every action there is a reaction, and Emmanuel Adebayor is feeling the heat as the FA prepare to slap the wrists of the Togolese forward after his antics against Arsenal on Saturday.
First to shoot there mouth is Oliver Holt in the Mirror. “The FA are set to hammer Emmanuel Adebayor with a four-match double ban after he turned Manchester City’s clash with Arsenal into a personal revenge mission… With Robinho sidelined for three weeks and Carlos Tevez facing a fitness fight to be ready for the Old Trafford clash, Adebayor’s absence could derail City’s dream start to the season.“
Higher! Higher! screamed the Star’s David Woods and Bill Thornton declaring “BAD-BOY Emmanuel Adebayor could be hit with a whopping SIX-game ban.” The Sun’s Paul Jiggins joins in with the chorus of a hefty ban concurring that “Adebayor, who joined City for Â£25million, is likely to face separate improper conduct charges and faces a SIX-MATCH ban.”
Soapbox-merchant Steven Howard argues that the FA need to make an example out of Adebayor. “At a time when crowd incitement is very much a talking point, the FA have to be seen to be taking decisive action. This is no time for a rap across the knuckles with a feather duster… Yesterday, though, he claimed: “I don’t know what I have done wrong to get banned.” I suppose placing stewards, who earn about five bob a game, at risk of serious injury because of his purile behaviour, goes over his enormous head. Not to mention putting his boot into someone else’s. He still doesn’t get it.”
The call for harsh punishments are supported by Stan Collymore. “I canâ€™t condone the people who threw missiles at him by way of retaliation, but Adebayor should be hit with a retrospective ban for a ridiculous act which nearly caused a riot.”
But what about the Arsenal rioters. Were their actions justified?
Yet it is not only Adebayor who could face punishment, Daniel Taylor announcing “Arsenal could also face an FA inquiry after fans fought with stewards and threw objects on to the playing surface. Police reinforcements were needed and the injured steward was unconscious at the side of the pitch for five minutes.” Staying with the behaviour of the Arsenal fans, Patrick Barclay delivers some home truths. “Fans lose their right to be offended when they go on the offensive. If they cannot take it â€” these miserable products of a sick society who consider a playerâ€™s family fair game for the vilest insults and yet, because of their numbers, are allowed to continue to serve as footballâ€™s audience â€” they should not give it.”
Delivering the provocation defence, Mark Ogden offers a limited excuse for the Gunners’ behaviour in the stands. “The visiting fans should not have pelted their former player with missiles, and those who charged down the terrace steps to confront Adebayor were idiotic. But they would not have done so had the City forward celebrated at the end of the pitch where he had converted his header from Shaun Wright-Phillipsâ€™s cross.”
Martin Samuel have enough blame for everyone following the City-Arsenal match. “Actually, nobody came out of that incident, or several others during the game, with much credit. Van Persie was attempting a nasty foul on Adebayor, which provoked an indefensible reaction. Then there was Adebayor’s response to his goal, running the length of the pitch to provoke the Arsenal fans. No doubt they had been giving it out all game, though, which makes the missile throwing and small-scale riot that followed a dismal response, too. Bendtner’s attempt to kick the dribbling Adebayor to kingdom come could also have been dangerous were it not so mistimed and utterly useless.”
Returning to the football side of things, Louise Taylor attacks the character of pompous Arsenal. “[Does] the arrogance clearly visible as Van Persie, FÃ¡bregas and Nicklas Bendtner strut their stuff sometimes translate into Arsenal assuming a collective and dangerously patronising sniffiness about opponents they arguably regard as footballing carthorses.” Oliver Kay also turned his focus onto Arsenal’s weaknesses. “It is too tempting and a little disingenuous to suggest that they would have won with Adebayor on their side â€” at least if the disappointing Adebayor of last season is taken into account â€” but once again, the feeling was that they need to grow up, beef up and wise up if they are to fulfil their managerâ€™s hopes.”
Alan Hansen makes the bold move arguing that Manchester City have crashed the Big Four. “Where once there were four, now there are five. Manchester City’s win over Arsenal was overshadowed by Emmanuel Adebayor’s recklessness, but that should not detract from a seminal moment in the season.”
The blue half of Manchester fail toÂ take up all the column inches this Monday as Kevin Gardside finds room to laud Wayne Rooney. “Ronaldo who? That is a T-shirt waiting to happen if Wayne Rooney continues to evolve into an amalgam of Duncan Edwards and Bobby Charlton. For all his preening brilliance, Ronaldo never tucked a goal away the like of United’s third at Tottenham. Rooney was a raging bull in slippers, muscling his way towards nirvana on his tiptoes.”
Its Keegan vs Ashley as King Kev’s constructive dismissal case against the Newcastle owner kicks off today.
Turning the annals of history, Sam Wallace belittles the last appointment of Keegan at the Magpies. “The misjudgement that Newcastle fans made when Keegan returned to their club was to remember the great days of the 1995-96 season and conveniently forget everything that happened in between. Yes, this was the man who signed John Beresford, Scott Sellars, Rob Lee, Andy Cole, Philippe Albert, Peter Beardsley, David Ginola, Les Ferdinand and Alan Shearer. But this was also the man who later signed Vuoso, Bischoff, Mettomo and McManaman.”
Onto the transfer nonsense where scoop-master general Alan Nixon invents the story that “Tottenham skipper Robbie Keane is a shock transfer target for Scottish giants Celtic – with a multi-million deal planned for the next window… The major snag for Celtic will be paying Keane’s wages, but their wealthy Irish backers would dig deep for such a popular capture and a player who would help them domestically and in Europe.” Next, the sensationalist hack puts the frighteners on the Hammers coughing “West Ham are worried that England keeper Robert Green will buy out the last year of his contract – and sell himself on the cheap at the World Cup finals.”
Sven’s Notts County are back in the market for recruits, the Mirror spouting that “Eriksson has launched an ambitious double bid for Michael Ball and Michael Mifsud.” And Reading could be the next mega-rich lower league club, The Sun reporting that “Royals chairman John Madejski is understood to be close to agreeing an Â£80million deal to sell the Championship club to a Middle Eastern consortium.”
Lastly, the Daily Mail fart that “Preston manager Alan Irvine fears losing Republic of Ireland defender Sean St Ledger to Middlesbrough in a deal that could rise to Â£3million.”