Tottenham’s Adebayor reliance a major worry for top-four hopes

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Was it sacking Andre Villas-Boas, hiring Tim Sherwood or playing Emmanuel Adebayor that rejuvenated Tottenham? The answer isn’t one defined moment, rather a mixture of all three.

However Sherwood and Tottenham’s heavy reliance on Adebayor for inspiration is becoming all the more worrying by the game.

The Togolese has been back in the fold at White Hart Lane for 13 games now, and has found the back of the opposition net an impressive nine times.

Adebayor has made himself the focal point of the Spurs attack, and while that has been a large reason why they’ve relocated their footballing identity and steered their 12/5-rated top-four ship back on course, the north London club are starting to rely on their in-form striker in the same way they lent on Gareth Bale.

Spurs have only lost three games since the Sherwood/Adebayor partnership took flight, only one of which has been in the league, and it is the former Arsenal goal getter who is the reason.

Spurs have won all five league games in which Adebayor has found the net, and have only tasted victory in two of the seven in which he hasn’t (in all competitions).

That stat shows that all it will take to derail their top-four bid is an injury or loss of form to their number 10, while his continued strong performances only does detrimental work to the other strikers in the squad.

Roberto Soldado has been superglued to the bench since the 1-1 draw with Hull, only managing to prise himself off for the last six minutes of the recent 4-0 rout of Newcastle.

His complete lack of confidence on the trip to Humberside manifested in the two glaring chances he missed, and resulted in Sherwood ditching his 4-4-2 tactics for an Adebayor-centric 4-2-3-1 shape.

That resulted in two straight wins to nil, making it increasingly unlikely that Soldado will be afforded enough game time to find his form. With Jermain Defoe off in a matter of weeks too, Spurs fans must be hoping their Champions League chances don’t go south with any potential loss of Adebayor’s form.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.