• Premier League

Adebayor saddened by Arsenal's woes

ESPN staff
February 25, 2012
Emmanuel Adebayor has scored some vital goals for Tottenham © Getty Images
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Tottenham striker Emmanuel Adebayor insists he does not enjoy the demise of Arsenal despite his controversial exit from the club.

Adebayor, who is on loan at Spurs from Manchester City, famously ran the full length of the Eastlands pitch to celebrate in front of Arsenal fans when he scored for City in his first match against the Gunners after leaving the club. He was also charged for a stamp on Robin van Persie in that match.

A move to arch rivals Tottenham has hardly helped his reputation among Gunners fans, and he has been the subject of offensive chants.

But Adebayor did say his old club cannot expect to continue to challenge for honours if they sell their top stars, such as Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri.

"Just because I play for Spurs now doesn't mean I want to see them struggle," he said. "I don't. I have a lot of good memories and good friends still at the club but I'm sorry to say the problems are there for all to see and in my opinion there's a simple explanation for it.

"Every year they are losing great players like an Ashley Cole, Thierry Henry, Cesc Fabregas or a Samir Nasri. So every year they desperately try to replace these guys.

"But it is not easy to find another Thierry Henry or Cesc Fabregas as even Arsene Wenger has found out. So that's the problem. In an ideal world you keep those great players and every year add even more quality to the squad.

"That way you improve, that way you move forward, that way you stay competitive. But you can never improve if all you do is try and replace the players that you lose every year and never strengthen.

"It just means there's even less chance of winning trophies, so it all becomes a vicious circle and you lose even more players. Because all top players are the same - they want to win things and when they know that's impossible they will look to leave. That's football.

"When I left Arsenal to join City it was because I believed they were better equipped to win trophies. They spent money and showed genuine ambition. What's happened? Last year they won the FA Cup and qualified for the Champions League. Now this year they are in with a great chance of winning the Premier League.

"It is amazing - they have invested in players, in the team and it is working.

"Tottenham, too, have invested in top players in recent years - Gareth Bale, Scott Parker, Rafael van der Vaart, Luka Modric. And we are doing very well and playing some amazing football.

"More importantly, though, we have managed to keep great players like Bale and Modric and then built on the existing team by buying players like Parker, Brad Friedel, Louis Saha and myself.

"Arsenal have unfortunately lost their best players and have needed to merely replace rather than kick on. But if they would just give themselves a chance to keep their best players, players like Robin van Persie and then strengthen, they would be a real threat again.

"We can all see that Van Persie is one of the best strikers in the league, in the world, and to lose him would be a massive blow. But to lose him, not to replace properly and to not build up the squad afterwards would be a disaster.

"That would be an Arsenal team without any capacity to even challenge for trophies, let alone win one. That would make me sad. I'm very proud that I played for Arsenal Football Club."

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