In the beginning, there were goals. And the goals were good.
Dipping my toe back in the water of writing for Cartilage after a confidence-dip-induced hiatus. Easy on the new kid, please. My theme last time out on my Huddlestone bit (link if you missed it and are interested) was crime. This week, I've gone for the less controversial... massive amounts of blasphemy.
Please give me some recs, I'm definitely going to hell for this GIMPage. Best viewed fullscreen.
So, Burkina Faso, the mighty Stallions, have sent the puny Sparrow Hawks of Togo home with their sad little beaks between their legs. Come on you stallions! A moment's reflection suggests that Spurs' maverick African centre-forward Emmanuel Adebayor is probably commiserating with his less illustrious teammates as the kind of protector and sometime financeer/out-bailer of the group in the face of an awful disorganised Togolese FA. Where Togo are mean-ass Samaritans walking past their players, Ade's rocking up in his helicopter and paying for everyone's meals. He's a good guy, Ade, carrying the hopes of a nation - and the exit will have hurt him.
But it won't have hurt Spurs.
Last year, Ade finished up as our top scorer and with a respectable 18 from 37 (versus 16 from 38 from the ever impressive goal machine Jermain). He played well up top, holding up the ball, winning headers, linking play and generally looking very dangerous and improving the side before exploding inevitably against Arsenal (we've all been there).
The crucifixion of the Ade
It's been levelled at Ade at various points in his career that he only plays well when he's new to a team. Well, I understand that. Leaving Arsenal was a pretty miserable affair, as if just playing for them wasn't ordeal enough. Van Persie shamelessly headed Ade's boot in a game against City, almost killing him, while the baying Gooners called him a silver-chasing Judas. Pastures new beckoned, and he had a good year at City. But then City froze him out and refused to let him leave without stringing him along for a long while waiting for a bid that would never come. He took a parting financial swipe/grab at them as he left and - following a brief and successful spell at Spurs' Spanish feeder club - he settled beautifully in at Spurs, rocking no boats.
Following an excellent first season with us, he's tailed off a bit and everyone's crowing that he's dead here and wasn't it all bollocks about him being the messiah and not just a naughty boy. He's just here to turn money into whine, they say.
The passion of the Ade
But here's the thing. I don't think Ade needs to be under threat, or just fresh into a club, to pull off miracles. I think he needs to feel valued; just as Berba and Defoe and Lennon are confidence players, so too is Ade. With Jermain out, he knows he's the big dog. The HarryKane is still probably only a blustery day rather than a genuine storm and Dempsey is never going to be a striker no matter how many goals he scored from two yards for Fulham last year. Sorry, Deuce.
So it's likely that Ade, inevitably given all the up-top responsibility in this side for a few weeks, and given Andre's sweet sweet loving arms around the shoulder, will come back as a buzzy happy player.
Genesis (of a sweet partnership)
Plus, he now gets to link up with someone he's never played with before: Lewis "Fuckincredible" Holtby.
Another of Ade's typical detractions is that he's had some trouble in striking barn doors with banjos. But can he possibly miss the kind of chances that Holtby creates? Can anyone?
Psalm down dear, he can do a different Job
Another crucial thing to bear in mind at this point is that Spurs are a marked card this season. Sides see the pace of Bale and Lennon and refuse to give them the space to run into. Defoe's chief non-shooting attribute is his pace, and unfortunately that's sod all use against a back line that's two yards out from their goalkeeper. But what is useful against that sort of defence is an aerial threat. Sit deep against Ade and we can ping in some useful crosses. We've got an out ball from the keeper that isn't just a desperate cry for help. We've got a Plan B when Bale can't run the entire length of the pitch off a Holtby flick and score, or Lennon can't put a sitter on a plate for Deuce. We've, in short, just Go-morr-ah(f) a threat in front of goal. Ahem.
Conclusions as dictated by a vision of a torrid bush:
Levy clearly took a massive gamble hoping that our current strikers would be enough to haul us over the line for 3rd/4th in a very competitive league. He brought in the Biblically-named Ezekiel Fryers, and God's gift to Spurs the Holtby himself. But Everton, Chelski, Arsenal and possibly even Lolpool and Newbcastle could legitimately have hope of putting a good run together and shooting up past us. If Togo had stayed in AND Jermain had limped off, we'd be pretty screwed. 4-6-YOLOs everywhere, sodomy and fire and who knows what else. But I fully believe that Ade's second coming may see Levy's gamble pay off - and if we do make it into the CL this year, with a full complement of untouched money to spend on a top class striker, well... Jesus, man.