Something To Think About

Two stories have grabbed my attention this week. They involve issues that we’ve already discussed and that I have vowed not to revisit, but based on what I’ve read I have to make an exception. Please bear with me.

Before I continue, let’s be clear. I am not asking anybody to forgive Emmanuel Adebayor because of a few quotes attributed to him. I just want to know the impact (if any) that his comments have had on you as an Arsenal fan and more importantly, as a rational adult.

Generally speaking, in life we can be in one of three mental states – child, judge, or adult. It’s in our adult state that we find reason and make sound decisions. Obviously, our former striker was not in any state to act rationally when he raked Robin van Persie’s cheek. And he was probably just as far from rational when he sprinted to the away fans to let them have some of what Arry and a few others would argue that they deserved.

Speaking about his assault on Robin, Adebayor has been quoted as follows: ‘It’s one of the things that you can’t do in football. That’s for sure. It’s true that if someone did that to me it would annoy and hurt me. I regret it, for sure.’

Not exactly an apology but nor a denial of the fact that he focked up. I’m not sure if it’s enough. But am I the one to judge?

On his confrontational stance with Arsenal fans, he stated the following: ‘I talked with the coach and he told me I was one of Arsenal’s best-paid players, that the club was in the red, so maybe they wouldn’t be able to pay me any more – it would be better for me to go. I asked him: Is it your choice or the club’s?”

‘He answered: “It’s everybody’s choice, from the whole club”. I was pushed out.’

He continued, ‘Everybody says Adebayor went for the money. I think a lot of people are wrong because Arsenal bought me for five or six million and they sold me three-and-a-half years later for £25million. So people should know that it’s not me who wanted to leave for money, it’s Arsenal that forced me to go.’

I doubt Arsenal fans care that Adebayor has made an attempt to set the record straight about his departure from the club managed by the man he has said, ‘gave me the opportunity to be where I am today. ‘ I also doubt that they care any at all that he took offence to chants insulting his mother. Frankly, I don’t know the chant he’s referring to. Honestly, I don’t. The only Adebayor chant I know is the one sung when he was in full flow for Arsenal, scoring goals and helping the team win games – the one he once stated that he longed for, the one that he should have tried hard enough to hear from the fans in his last days at the club, whether he was ripe for selling or not. That would have been the adult thing to do.

As much as Adebayor is offended by insults hurled at his mother, he must remain professional. He must remain in his adult state. He must not judge the fans. He reacted like a child and then judged the fans.

I’ve long accepted that he is not worth the energy. He’s gone. He’s not our problem anymore but I just had to ask the questions.

The second issue deals with Eduardo and that penalty vs. Celtic. The Eduardo issue showed a lot of people up for who they really are. Again, let’s be clear. I don’t like when players feign fouls to win penalties, or worse, to get an opponent sent off. I accept however that it happens and that my team may or may not be on the “right” side of the outcome. Eduardo fell over easily but the acrimony that followed went beyond anything that the “crime” (and certainly not the player) deserved.

I’ve read an interesting piece by Tony Gahan. He compares Eduardo’s situation to that of Steven Gerrard in a ‘What If’ manner that I found worth contemplating.

“World Cup Final England v (insert name of hated country here – so many to choose from). 0 – 0 in the 93rd minute and Stevie G is hacked down in the box – clear penalty and he bravely picks himself up to score from the spot. The 44 year wait is over and England are World Champions at last. But wait – some of the foreign media are claiming that Stevie dived – surely not? How could this be – the goalkeeper comes out and takes his… oh dear, no contact made at all? Stevie will be a little disappointed with that when he sees it again. Still, it’s only the (insert name of hated country here) so that’s OK – but wait here comes FIFA with a life ban for Stevie as he stumbles out of the celebratory party at 4am with JT and the boys and an instruction to replay the game later that day. We must stand up to cheats they say – of all countries surely you English understand? Without Stevie a slightly worse for wear England lose 4-0 – a victory for honesty and fair play says the world and who are we to argue? The moral high ground has just become a very lonely and dangerous place to dwell!”

I stress that I am in foreign waters here. I’ve asked questions that are probably best answered by psychologists. I’ve touched on the implications of the proverbial shoe being on the other foot. I don’t know what side of either debate you fall on but both examples put focus on how much our stance on an issue is influenced by our own stake in the matter.

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