Here’s a brief tactical review from one of Onside Analysis’ Performance Analysts considering Emmanuel Adebayor’s 2012/2013 season for Spurs:
Emmanuel Adebayor has not enjoyed the best of seasons in goalscoring terms based on the standards that he has set himself in previous years, not just at Tottenham but also from his time at Arsenal and Manchester City. Starting the season with injury and being kept out of the side by an in-form Jermain Defoe made it difficult to get into the side and when he was playing, goals were not easy to come by.
As with all strikers however, judging them purely on goals can be a harsh measurement at times and does not take into account the overall contribution to the team and result. Adebayor’s role within the team has varied throughout the season as he has played as a lone striker at times and at others he played up alongside Jermain Defoe.
When playing alongside Defoe, Adebayor has tended to be the player leading the line and providing the depth whilst Defoe was dropping off to link up the play. As the lone striker, he has been required to hold up the ball and link up the play for Spurs whilst such is the way that Villas-Boas wants his side to play he has had to be extremely versatile, mobile and interchangeable with his teammates, especially as players like Bale and Dempsey want to get into central areas regularly and Adebayor’s movements have to accommodate for that. It is a role that he is comfortable with as he is not just a target man that plays with his back to goal but one that can use his pace to run in behind, run channels and collect the ball and run at players. He has shown towards the end of the season that when fit, on form and with the team playing to his strengths, he can produce the type of performance he displayed at Chelsea where he scored a fantastic goal from outside the box and provided an assist with an intelligent back flick pass
Adebayor has played on his own up front more regularly towards the end of the season and that has led to an improvement in Adebayor’s goal return with 5 goals in his last 10 games compared to 3 goals in the previous 22 matches.
This article first appeared on Onside Analysis – check out their excellent work here.