This is a guest post by sports writer Thomas Rooney
Arsenal striker Emmanuel Adebayor scored 30 goals in all competitions during a season where he looked like becoming one of the best forwards in the world. As we move into the second half of the current campaign though, Adebayor has only found the net 11 times.
As a result of this, some have questioned whether his goal scoring exploits were a one-off. Others have suggested that regardless of the amount of goals he has scored, Adebayor has quite simply not been the player he was last season.
Arsene Wenger is prepared to admit that Adebayor hasn’t hit the heights he is capable of in recent months, but is confident that the striker is moving ever closer to his best form. The Arsenal boss says that the player is ‘working very hard’ to improve his game and the fact that his form has dropped a little is irrelevant because this ‘happens sometimes’.
Wenger also highlighted the way Cristiano Ronaldo’s goal scoring record this season has differed significantly to last time out. Ronaldo netted an incredible 44 goals last term, but has only netted nine times to date this season. Therefore, Adebayor is not alone in failing to be as good as last year.
The Arsenal man still has plenty of time to reach 20 goals this season though and that is a decent return. As Wenger says, it isn’t always about the goals Adebayor scores anyway. Sometimes the way he ‘contributes to the team’ by assisting other players is equally as valuable as a goal.
This weekend sees Arsenal travel to Hull City in a match that Adebayor will be keen to find the back of the net in. It would certainly repay Wenger for publically backing him.
As for Arsenal’s chances in the game itself, well it is a game they should win. However, we have been here before haven’t we? Back in September, Hull travelled to the Emirates as significant underdogs, but managed to snatch all three points. It was a result that received much criticism and there is no doubt revenge should be on the Arsenal players minds this weekend.
One thing that needs to be mentioned is that Hull City were flying when they visited Arsenal in September. They were in the top three places in the Premier League and beating almost everyone they came across. This isn’t the case anymore. In fact, they have only won once in their last 14 matches.
Therefore, their confidence won’t be as high as it would have been in September. Arsenal need to capitalise on this by stamping their authority on the game from the beginning. In reality, Arsenal’s superior ability should be enough to win the match, but if needed the motivation of revenge should ensure the three points. It won’t be easy though!
In terms of team news, William Gallas and Mikael Silvestre will be unavailable for Wenger and Alexandra Song will face a late fitness test as Arsenal look to extend their seven match unbeaten run with a professional victory at the KC stadium.
By Thomas Rooney