This a guest post by sports writer Thomas Rooney
Arsenal striker Emmanuel Adebayor has revealed that the game against Tottenham on Wednesday night was one of the ‘most difficult games’ of his entire life. As we all know, Arsenal led 3-1 and then 4-2 in the game, but proceeded to concede two late goals for Tottenham to force a 4-4 draw.
Adebayor is under no illusions about the significance of this result, saying that if Arsenal have aspirations to be Premier League champions, they can’t let leads like this slip. He says that Arsenal will ‘never be a champion’ if they continue to behave in this way and that he ‘doesn’t know how’ the game ended up being a draw.
Something Adebayor touches upon is the notion that he and his team-mates believed the game was won at 4-2. He says that in the players’ heads the ‘game was over’. In all fairness, as far as everyone else was concerned – this was also the case. Having brought the game back to 3-2, there were some that could see Spurs getting an equaliser. However, when Robin van Persie made it 4-2, everyone believed that was that. How wrong can you be?!
The Arsenal celebrations after this goal perhaps told their own story. Every player dived on top of each other, Adebayor and van Persie performed some sort of prepared celebration and it looked as if they were celebrating victory. As much as I wouldn’t want to take celebrating out of the equation, perhaps on this occasion – a crucial game against your biggest rivals – the Arsenal players should have simply gone back to their positions and focused on shutting out Spurs for the remaining few minutes.
As Adebayor says, everyone is very ‘disappointed’ with the way the team dropped two points. However, it must now be put to bed. It’s gone. All things considered, a point was still gained and Arsene Wenger’s team must move onwards and upwards.
Speaking of Wenger, there is no doubt that he will be demanding a positive response in the game against Stoke City. Arsenal travel to the Britannia Stadium to face the newly promoted side and it is essential that three points are picked up. If Arsenal drop points yet again, then 1st place would start to look a long way away. They can’t afford to be playing too much catch-up.
The game at Stoke won’t be easy – that’s for sure. They are a well organised outfit and in Rory Delap they have someone who can cause more threat than a corner with his long throws. Arsenal will have to watch out for this. Up front, Stoke have power, power and more power. Fuller and Sidibe won’t give Arsenal’s shaky defence an easy afternoon. Of that I can be certain.
As far as the team Arsenal will put out is concerned, William Gallas and Emmanuel Eboue are very doubtful. Other than that, it should be the same team that played against Spurs. Let’s just hope Arsenal can produce the same threat going forward, but this time manages to hold onto a lead.
By Thomas Rooney – A sports writer who blogs about football betting