Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas is keen to play on striker Emmanuel Adebayor’s emotions to score a crucial North London derby victory over Arsenal in the English Premier League tonight.
AVB is hoping the striker’s bitter past with the Arsenal will result in success for Tottenham at the Emirates Stadium. A win for Spurs will move take them four points clear of their bitter rivals in the EPL table.
Despite Jermain Defoe’s recent goal-scoring exploits, AVB is looking forward to starting with Adebayor despite the fact that his other forward, Jermain Defoe has been among the goals lately.
Adebayor received widespread praise on breaking into Arsenal’s starting XI. However, his decision to leave for the cash-rich Manchester City angered Gunners fans, who were further incensed when the 28-year-old joined arch-rivals and North Londoners Tottenham.
Villas-Boas yesterday said he wants Adebayor to use his anger against Arsenal fans, who criticised him last season, by scoring against the Gunners tonight.
“I suggest to make the most of (the situation) we can use an individual’s motivations and that is why we used Adebayor also in the game versus City last week. These are things that you have to count on. Hopefully, it can have a positive effect but it can have a negative effect too. Last year he scored from the penalty spot and had a good game and this is the type of revolt and motivation for matches like this,” said AVB.
Tottenham have not finished above Arsenal in the EPL points table in almost two decades — 18 years to be precise. However, with Arsenal struggling in the recent past, Villas-Boas believes this is the right time to fire against them. “We have to (finish above Arsenal). We are looking to shorten the gap and not letting it grow. To play for fourth spot is difficult bearing in mind the competition you have to overcome. Arsenal have won trophies in recent times and they have qualified for the Champions League more often. That is where we want to be in future. We’re getting nearer,” he added.