Watching Adebayor blow chance after chance has finally taken a toll on my blood pressure. It’s passable when Arsenal ends up winning the game but when goals are hard to come by and you blow open net chances, it’s hard to let bygones be bygones. Case in point is the Fulham game, opening five minutes. Theo Walcott sends a beautifully constructed cross into the six yard box only to see Adebayor strike it like a baby does a balloon. Even the commentator mused, “that should’ve been a goal”. Now this sticks to me more than the chance he blew against against Hamburg when he found himself fortunate enough to be in a one-on-one with the goalie only to send a shot that barely warranted the status of ‘shot on goal’.
The truth is that Adebayor is incapable of:
1) finishing a play by taking advantage of the goalies position (or lack thereof)
2) maintaining poise when in a goal scoring situation
3) creating goal scoring opportunites for his strike partner
4) physically dominating a defender despite the height advantage
All being critical aspects of being a goal scoring threat. Nobody expects him to be Ruud van Nistelrooy when it comes to finishing but at least he can be a poor man’s Reyes. Wenger (and I have no way of confirming) probably felt comfortable loaning out Reyes knowing that he had Adebayor in addition to RVP and Henry. But Adebayor hasn’t panned out save the Manchester United goal which I thought was partly because the goalie did not play it well. But give credit where credit is due, he did supply the finish to Fabregas’s work.
The only thing I hear anyone say about Adebayor is that he’s tall and lanky. News Flash: Those are not skills. He doesn’t fit the Arsenal mould of a player. With Henry doing more creating rather than scoring of late, we need a striker who is precise, maintains poise and doesn’t take the first available option. Adebayor is simply not that. I hate to say this but I’d rather have Peter Crouch on this team than EA. At best he’s a holding midfielder who can be used to win aerial balls; asking anything more of him is like asking Keanu Reaves to play Hamlet. They both can do it, but not very well.
Theo Walcott on the other hand has impressed whenever he has gotten any playing time. Although, his crossing decisions have been unwise at times, he still has shown more poise and decision making skills to warrant further analysis. He has a better chance of succeeding at Arsenal. He has the skill to create chances for Henry and RVP – proof is his beautiful cross to Baptista in the Hamburg game (my YouTube video below) and his play against Bolton and Fulham – and can maintain his poise in a one-on-one situation. I’m going to go ahead and use his age to pardon some of his decisions to “dribble over pass” but who isn’t guilty of that?
I just don’t feel confident that Adebayor will even come close to bothering a defender, let alone scoring, when he has the ball. If anything, I’m ecstatic when he just passes the ball and it isn’t intercepted. Theo Walcott will be with Arsenal for a long time to come and the more playing time he gets, the better off the Gunners.