Unfortunately, his goal return was slightly disappointing for “The Talent from Togo”, as nobody called him, with only 15 goals in 40 appearances for the club, yet he seemed young and promising enough to be snapped up by Monaco. In his three years there, during one of Monoco’s brightest spells, he only manged 20 goals in 100 appearances in all competitions. He was on the bench for their Champions League final against Jose Mourinho’s FC Porto, where they were beaten 3-0. He never came on for the match, but to be fair, he was competing against a competent Fernando Morientes before he became incompetent. It’s a better situation than Thomas Gravesen’s at the Scottish Cup final.
If you don’t get that awkward reference, expand your world.
13th January 2006 was when he started being noticed in Britain because if you don’t play in England, you can’t be any good. He signed to Arsenal for a reasonable £7m and was nicknamed “Baby Kanu” because he looks a bit like Kanu and Kanu is old. Anyway, he scored on his debut against Birmingham, a match that they obviously won. Four goals in ten appearances was what the return was for that season. Arsenal got to the Champions League final without him, as he cup tied himself playing some meaningless game for Monaco against some team which is in a country which fades in and out of existence. Damn politics.
Despite not scoring many goals, he scored important ones. A winner against Manchester Utd, a mid-table team who have won trophies, two hattricks against Derby Country, a fallen giant of a team that once housed the killer finishing of Kenny “No Nickname” Miller, and goals against their arch-enemies, Spurs Hotspur, one of which became 2007-2008’s goal of the year according to the Big British Castle. It was a good time for Tiny Kanu, despite his controversial controversies, which include scuffles with Frank Lampard, Alvaro Arbeloa and his own teammate, Nicklas “Saviour of Football” Bendtner.
Through all that, this landed him 2008’s African Player of the year Award with 30 goals in all competitions. This attracted attention from ballers such as Barcelona and AC Milan, but would he move?
The Manchester City revolution came a calling in 2009. They paid £25million for 2nd Generation Kanu to lead their attack. This may have seemed like a stupid move for such an inconsistent player, but he got a goal in each of his first four games. HIGH. But then, he played Arsenal. LOW. He scored and celebrated by running across the pitch to celebrate in front of the Arsenal fans. This was in the same match where he stamped on Robin Van Persie’s face. So yeah, same old Adebayor.
Now, here comes a tragic point in the history of football. On the 8th of January 2010, just before the African Cup of Nations, the Togolese international team’s bus were attacked by gunmen. Bus driver Mario Adjoua, assistant manager Abalo Amalete and media officer Stanislas Ocloo were killed in the attack with several others injured. The team withdrew from the tournament, to some strange criticism at times, and Adebayor retired from international football saying that he was “still haunted by the events I witnessed on that horrible afternoon.” He took a leave of absence from Manchester City, but came back, which to me takes some bravery to go back to a profession which nearly led to your death. Sure, he does get quite a bit of money for doing it though. Either way, shows some strong character.
At a press conference, he wore an Arsenal traning top. Laugh out loud.
Following Manchester City becoming richer, Future Kanu had to go on loan to an even richer club, Real Madrid, in which he scored important goals to knock Tottenham out of the Champions League, regaining the love of Arsenal fans. Until he actually went to Tottenham on loan. Silly boy.
And that is the history of Adebayor, told through my lazy research and witty ways. Will be trying to get one of these up every Sunday. Comment to recommend players to investigate, past and present. I don’t know how long this feature will last. Until I get bored.