Super-charged and super-confident Adebayor is to be believed in
Arsenal 6- 2 Blackburn
This performance by the Gunners demands a short review. The incision, collection team cohesion and pace of our play was outstanding and demonstrated that when the team gets into its rhythm its potential for producing scintillating total-football is unlimited.
After this match the tough Blackburn manager, Mark Hughes, severely contradicted himself. Being someone who admires bravery and not backing down to an opponent, he praised himself for selecting a team for the match at the Emirates that would not sit-back but rather play an open game of football. But then in the same stream of thought he seriously questioned the wisdom of his decision given how his team for large parts of the match were cut open by wave after wave of electric pass and move attacking play.
Personally, I don't think that even if Hughes had selected a 4-5-1 system he would have stopped the attacking 4-4-2/4-1-3-2 system used by the Gunners yesterday. Wenger has now definitely reverted back to the two strikers up front option which I was advocating before the Spurs match, and yesterday with a super-charged and super-confident Adebayor causing havoc and van Persie displaying more technical excellence the Blackburn defence was stretched to breaking point.
Adebayor is to be believed in! He has put on some muscle to give him a real physical presence that when added to a 6 foot 4 frame gives Arsenal an imposing physical option up-front that has not been seen in the Wenger era and is much needed against some/most Premiership defences. And where before he looked to lack some confidence on the pitch, he is now striding across the pitch like he owns it and is even now choosing himself to take on the responsibility to take penalties. Add that he has close control similar to the deft Kanu and is not afraid to dribble with pace and power into the heart of defences and it is really clear that there is massive potential in the Adder.
His teammates must love that we now have an outlet who has the sheer physical qualities to stand up to any defence. And personally I was really impressed by how he made John Terry look more normal than any other Premiership striker has managed to do in recent times.
Yesterday Adebayor was superb in taking the game to the Blackburn defence. Whenever he collected the ball he looked a serious threat and the Blackburn defenders simply were hanging on trying to handle him. He set up Hleb for Arsenal's second, scored the third from the penalty spot, produced excellent combination play with Rosicky which saw the Czech play-maker strike the cross-bar at 3-1, and then went on a massive dribble followed by playing an acute through-pass to Fabregas who then found an open van Persie for the fifth goal. These were his major moments, but there was so much more in his all-round play which meant that he was fully deserving of the standing ovation given to him when he was subbed.
It will be significant to see how Thierry links up with Adebayor. To me this has the makings of a really complementary and exciting parternship. A super-charged and super-confident Adebayor can only inspire Henry to re-find his fighting best upon his return from rest. And Henry will ensure that Adebayor remains humble and focused on improving and producing for the team.
I have focused on Adebayor but I don’t want to take away from the whole Arsenal team for their collective performance yesterday. Although at times there was defensive indecision which is indicative of this season being one season to soon in terms of having the overall maturity and consistency to challenge for the title, they showed in their total-attacking cohesiveness the definite potential in future seasons for this young squad to make their mark.
Because when they get into their stride - as they did yesterday - their football is quite irresistible and for me its truly fantastic to watch.