Post Match View – Manchester City

1995 – Nayim Mohammed lobs David Seaman from the half-way line in the Cup Winners’ Cup Final to spark an orgy of taunts by Scum aimed at our fans.

1995 – A shamed George Graham leaves Arsenal after admitting he accepted £425,000 from John Jensen’s agent Rune Hauge.

1998 – The once beloved Arsenal legend George Graham signs as Spurs manager.

1999 – Patrick Vieira loses the ball in the FA Cup Semi Final to start what became a famous run, goal, and celebration by hairy Arsenal hating Ryan Giggs.

2001 – Chants of “One six to The Arsenal” ring loudly as ecstatic United fans celebrate an emphatic victory over us in a league match at Old Trafford.

2008 – Spurs destroy Arsenal 5 – 1 in a League Cup Semi Final.

The items above are a few moments in recent memory that I consider humiliating and fodder for the Arsenal hater.

Emannuel Adebayor was once just a thin kid with vast potential. At Arsenal, to be absolutely clear, Arsene Wenger and Thierry Henry provided Adebayor with the type of nurturing that helped him exploit some of that potential. In other words, Arsene, Thierry, and Arsenal Football Club have played a significant role in making Emannuel Adebayor the player he is today.

With his disgusting displays yesterday, in one match he has thrown away anything positive that he’s ever achieved at Arsenal.

I’ve gone on record to defend our former striker. I’ve felt that the way Arsenal fans made it clear that they hated him last season was somewhat over the top. I’ve felt that accusations of being a money grabber were irrelevant because everybody wants to earn more money for what they do. Why should he be any different? I’ve felt that because the man comes from an under-developed, poor country with minimal opportunities that he was entitled to do what is best for himself financially. If that meant leaving for Milan or wherever, fine.

Romanticism is dead. Players tend to put self interests ahead of loyalty.

I raise my hand for misjudging the man’s character. I can’t say anything to defend what he did yesterday. I would remind Adebayor that he’s left Arsenal for a “better” situation than where he’d been. Why not just move on and leave the negativity behind you? I expected him to be a professional and go about his business sans retribution for fans or teammates.

If he scored a hat trick against us, whatever! That’s football.

My colleague pointed out yesterday that Nicolas Anelka has never celebrated a goal against Arsenal in the manner Adebayor has. Someone else pointed out to me that Adebayor has suddenly learned the offside rule. I don’t remember him being caught once yesterday. Most importantly, the work rate through which he made his profile in his best days at Arsenal seemed to be back where it was yesterday. The man was not putting forth his best effort last season.

I defended him when people called him lazy.
I disagreed when people said we should sell him.
I disregarded his vast potential to be classless.
I was bitterly disappointed yesterday when he behaved like the person he’d been accused of being and worse.

Going back to the list at the top of the page, the last point was an embarrassment for everyone associated with our club. We lost to Scum in humiliating fashion but the real sad part of that match was not the score. It was an on-pitch attack Adebayor made against his teammate. There was the sign that the head butting, face stamping, crowd provoking, classless, ingrate had vast potential to be on a par with the likes of Sheringham, Giggs, and latterly, Stan Collymore as Arsenal enemies.

Adebayor has elevated himself to the top of the enemy list in amazing fashion.

The deliberate accident that could have injured Cesc was bad enough but I had no idea it was an indication of things to come. I had no idea that Adebayor had that much hatred for his ex-teammates. I had no clue that he could show so little respect for Arsene Wenger. The stamp on Robin’s face speaks for itself. Replays show clear intent. It was an unforgiveble, cowardice act. The Hussein Bolt-like sprint to the away supporters’ end iced it for me.

He ran past our bench. He ran past Arsene to essentially stick two fingers up in the face of everyone associated with Arsenal Football Club. That is an act that must be addressed.

Adebayor has stated that he plays to make his country and his people proud. I can’t fathom how yesterday has done that in any way. After spitting in Neil Ruddock’s face – an act for which he was rightfully punished – Patrick Vieira said how embarrassed he was to have let himself, his family, his people, and the club down in such a way. I doubt a similar expression of contrition will be forthcoming from the new cunt on the block.

As a club, we want our players to take the high road, not to act in any manner that defames the club. I promote that idea 100% but I want to state here that there are special circumstances that require special responses. Yesterday’s brutal, evil intentioned display by Adebayor is one. Part of me wants nothing to do with retaliation but another part of me screams for nothing short of sorting out the guy for blatantly showing what little regard he has for our club and all we’ve done for him.

Yes, the FA must revisit and address the actions of Emannuel Adebayor with severity but a part of me wants him sorted by the players. It would be a serious departure from normal protocol. I understand that. My call for a response from our players is rooted in the rampant disrespect for our club and now attacks on our players. It must be stopped. Adebayor must certainly feel that no one at Arsenal would ask him questions if he felt like breaking Cesc’s ankle or permanently disfiguring Robin.

Circa 2003, the Premier League made a special effort to dull our teeth. Referees treated Arsenal players harshly for fouls that were not called previously. We’ve become a far less agressive group knowing that when we commit fouls, we’ll receive the full extent of punishment that perhaps other clubs would not. Adebayor’s assault on our players must be addressed regardless of how refs treat us. We must draw a line.

Two weeks ago, a damn fourth official attempted to humiliate Arsene. Two seasons ago, Eduardo’s career was nearly ended with a brutal tackle by a man who was then made to look like a victim himself by the English media. We can list incident after incident that clearly express (for me anyway) hatred and anti-Arsenal sentiments. Adebayor must be sorted. We cannot be a bunch of softies there to be abused with no form of retaliation.

The ingrate ran past the man who made him what he is today to incite fans that once sang his name in praise. He ran past the man who made him what he is today to incite fans that helped pay his high wages. He ran past the man who made him what he is today to incite fans that pay their way to be entertained with good football not thuggery. When true professionals are criticized it should not be taken so personally that they remonstrate with fans. When true professionals are feeling pressure, they don’t try to injure their opponent. Retaliation is not the best approach, I know that. I stress however that we must draw a line.

Arsenal Football Club should not be anyone’s doormat.

As for the game itself, I cannot get too down by the result because I know that we are better than what we’ve shown. There were many “turning points”. The Gallas missed header early in the first half was the biggest one for me. Clattenberg was more proof of the ineptitude amongst English referees – he missed Adebayor’s stamp on Robin (was the cleat mark and blood on Robin’s face not enough?) and then he and the linesman failed to spot a clear City hand ball. But we have to deal with bad refs and any other obstacle we face. We haven’t done that well enough.

I’ve been frustrated by Almunia and Clichy before. I am careful not to be too critical of them especially given yesterday’s circumstances. The fact remains however that Almunia could have done better on the Micah Richards header and two of City’s four goals came from Clichy either losing the ball or being out of position.

Midweek Champions League football can’t get here fast enough.

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