Emmanuel Adebayor knows he will never win around some Tottenham fans, so the divisive striker is focused only on repaying the patience of head coach Mauricio Pochettino.
Saturday’s substitute appearance in Spurs’ 2-1 win against Sunderland was the 30-year-old’s first appearance for nine weeks because of injury, illness and then a period of compassionate leave due to family issues.
Adebayor was quoted in November as saying his mother was practising black magic on him – a subject the striker was understandably coy on, merely saying he has “been through a lot” but that those off-field issues are now behind him.
The frontman just wants to get back playing football again after a turbulent time and has thanked head coach Pochettino for his help and understanding.
“We have a very good relationship between men because I am an adult and he knows what I have been through,” Adebayor said.
“He knows what I can achieve and what I can do as a footballer so, yeah, we have a mutual respect for each other. I think, for me, that’s the most important thing.
“It is always good to have a manager that you can talk to as a friend, as a brother, as a manager, as your boss.
“He helped me a lot. When I have got a problem, I will definitely go to him and tell him ‘listen, this is my situation’.
“He always finds a solution to it, so it is always good to have a man manager like him.”
Adebayor says there is “no hiding things” with Pochettino, who he describes as one of the most understanding managers he has played for.
The Spurs head coach says the Togo striker remains an “important player” at White Hart Lane, so was frustrated to hear some supporters booing his second-half introduction.
Pochettino says Spurs fans “need to back all our players”, although Adebayor seemed unfazed by that mixed reaction.
“I don’t know if I will win the fans over, I just want to play football and enjoy myself,” he said.
“I know if you do good, they will applaud you. I know if you do bad, they will boo you. It is as simple as that.
“For me, I am not here to win any fans back. I am here to do my job as a professional.”
Saturday was Adebayor’s first appearance since a home defeat to Stoke on November 9, after which he incurred the wrath of fans for suggesting the team would rather play away due to the pressure being put on them.
That, along with a perceived lack of interest from the striker reportedly earning in excess of B#100,000 per week, seems to have been behind the booing, although he does not want to waste time thinking about it.
“I don’t want to understand it, I just want to do my job as a professional,” Adebayor said. “That is what matters.
“With my age, to be honest with you, I don’t want to look because, no matter what you do, there will always be some that hate you.
“For me, the most important thing is to do my job, enjoy it and embrace it.”
Have something to tell us about this article?