Emmanuel Adebayor has moved on from Tottenham Hotspur, but now he's opened up to David Hytner in The Guardianabout his time at White Hart Lane, his relationship with Mauricio Pochettino, and what will happen when he faces Spurs as a Crystal Palace player in the FA Cup this Sunday.
Rumors were flying in the months before Ade's departure that the relationship between Ade and Mauricio Pochettino had completely soured, but Adebayor says that's not really the case, and that he still maintains a good relationship with the Argentine manager. The same can't be said about Daniel Levy, however.
"With the club itself, it wasn't a good relationship with the chairman, Daniel Levy, as he made everything complicated. But at the end of the day, I know where I am from and if you want something, you have to stand strong for it, and I stand strong for what I think.
My relationship with Pochettino was beautiful. I think we have a very, very good relationship with man-to-man conversations. We always talk and he told me at the time: ‘Emmanuel, I can't count on you anymore,' and I understood that. I realised my time at Tottenham was over and I moved on."
Say this about Pochettino: apparently players like him so much that they respect and like him even after he tells them to get lost!
Ade was released by Tottenham in September after he rejected a loan moves to Aston Villa and West Ham during the closing days of the summer transfer window. He's since been signed as a free agent in the January transfer window by Crystal Palace, and Tottenham are subsidizing his wages until his original Tottenham contract expires at the end of this season.
Ade's never been afraid to speak his mind, and he said that he's relishing the opportunity to play – and score – against his old club:
"If I score against Tottenham, trust me, I am going to celebrate because I am on the pitch to score. If I was going to score and not celebrate, trust me, I will tell the manager I would rather not play. What is the point of being on the pitch and scoring goals and not celebrating?
When you score, you can look for a few seconds at it as the best thing that ever happened. For me, apart from having my baby girl, the best thing is when I score my next goal."
I enjoyed my time at White Hart Lane and I can't say thank you enough to the Spurs fans. In life, there are always ups and downs and I had them at Tottenham. Today, they are having a good time and I am happy for them. But I am going there to play against them, to play my football, to enjoy myself and see what happens."
If there were ever quotes that were designed to infuriate Tottenham fans, it's these. But I'm actually okay with them. While I'm admittedly an Adebayor apologist – I like the guy, think he gets a bum rap from football supporters, and has been dealing with an amazing amount of personal crap in his career – I don't think he owes Tottenham Hotspur anything. Goal celebrations are political, but I'm with Ade in the sense that you play for the shirt you're wearing. If he scores against Tottenham, I'm extremely curious to see what he'd do.
That said, I fully expect Wimmer and Alderweireld to shut him the heck down.