Mauricio Pochettino has left Emmanuel Adebayor back in London ahead of this week's Europa League tie, sparking rumors of a rift between the two. Because the English press has no idea what they're doing. Anyone who's paid even the slightest attention to Tottenham Hotspur's season has seen that Pochettino has rotated heavily between cup matches and league matches, essentially swapping the entire lineup between games.
Adebayor has thus far started every league fixture he's been fit for, missing only the Manchester City match due to a late return from African Cup of Nations qualifiers. Like most of Pochettion's first choice eleven in the Premier League, he has not featured prominently in the cups, as the manager prefers instead to keep him fresh for the league. Shrewdly observing that Adebayor, as always, will not be involved in Spurs' Europa League tie the English press has brilliantly deduced the completely wrong conclusions.
Emmanuel Adebayor is again absent for Tottenham's Europa League travels, but the head coach Mauricio Pochettino denied his non-appearance against Asteras Tripolis is symptomatic of a wider problem.
Obviously he denied it, because Pochettino loves Adebayor and keeps starting him in the league no matter how poorly he plays. Unless the "wider problem" we're talking about is that Adebayor continues to be first choice in the Premier League. Which, yes, his non-appearance is symptomatic of a wider problem.
Adebayor has not travelled for a continental match since last year's trip to Sheriff Tiraspol. He was an unused substitute that night in Moldova, perhaps after falling out with then head coach Andre Villas-Boas, yet his absence has continued despite re-establishing himself under Tim Sherwood and now Pochettino.
Yes, because he has re-established himself. And now he's being rested for the Premier League. As always. Because he's first choice.
The striker started against Asteras at White Hart Lane two weeks ago but has not travelled for the reverse fixture in Greece - the sixth successive European trip he has not been involved in.
Maybe it's because he's being rested for the league match, which Pochettino clearly prioritizes?
That pattern of absenteeism led to Pochettino being peppered with questions.
None of those questions were at all relevant to the actual problem, namely that Adebayor continues to be first choice in the Premier League.
"Aaron Lennon is not here, Kyle Naughton is not here, Younès Kaboul is not here," he said when asked specifically about Adebayor. "It is the same situation.
"Injured players and players I absolutely can't do without in the Premier League aren't playing some stupid pointless game in Greece."
"I decide the list for those coming to Greece and the players here are the players in the squad that will play.
"I brought my B team and a few guys I can throw on if things aren't going well."
"Okay, yes, it is a reality that Adebayor has not travelled in three games from England, to Limassol, Partizan Belgrade and here.
"Yes, I'm not going to waste my first choice striker traveling to the middle of nowhere in Europe for a game that I don't put any value on."
"For every single mission, for every single trip, we have our organisation and selections. We are ready." Pochettino's insistence nothing untoward is behind it suggests the Togo striker has been rested ready to face Stoke on Sunday. That would be a blow to Harry Kane - and many Tottenham fans - given the striker's impact in place of the ineffective Adebayor last weekend, when the 21-year-old's introduction helped Spurs to come from behind to win 2-1 at Aston Villa.
Oh, here we go. Finally we realize that perhaps he's resting him to play in the Premier League. Just like he's done every single other week. We knew you'd get there eventually.
When that was put to Pochettino, in tetchier mood than usual, he retorted: "I want to say that tomorrow we have a very important (match). Our mind is only on Asteras."
"I am tetchy because you have asked all of the dumb questions. No, this match is not important, but I'm not going to tell you that."
The former Argentina international finally broke into a smile when asked whether hat-trick hero Kane would go in goal like he had done in the closing stages against Asteras a fortnight ago after Hugo Lloris was sent off.
"Ha ha. Amazingly, this is your least dumb question yet. Bravo, England."
"No, no he will not be in goal," he said, laughing.
"I find this hilarious, because Harry Kane playing in goal is more likely than me having fallen out with Adebayor."
So let's recap. Everyone who follows Spurs wants to see Adebayor dropped in the league so we can start Harry Kane or even Roberto Soldado. Everyone who follows Spurs knows that Adebayor is currently first choice in the league even though he's been in terrible form. Everyone who follows Spurs immediately knew Adebayor's absence from the squad meant he would be starting against Stoke on Sunday.
Instead of asking relevant questions about why Adebayor continues to play in games despite not having a good season, the English press have decided to fabricate some #narrative of a rift between Poche and Ade. Which is literally the exact opposite of the problem. Way to go guys.