• Europa League

Villas-Boas puzzled by Adebayor

ESPN staff
February 21, 2013
Emmanuel Adebayor's form is a worry for Andre-Villas Boas © Getty Images

Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas has admitted he is struggling to find the key to unlock the talent within Emmanuel Adebayor.

The Togo forward had a superb first season at White Hart Lane, hitting 18 goals while on loan from Manchester City, but he has looked a shadow of that player since the move was made permanent.

Adebayor has netted only three goals this term and has not convinced with his all-round displays.

With Spurs' only other recognised striker in Jermain Defoe sidelined, Villas-Boas needs Adebayor to perform. But despite his best efforts, the Spurs coach is struggling to bring out the best in him.

"We're trying to unlock the best from the player," Villas-Boas said ahead of Tottenham's Europa League clash with Lyon. "Last year is an example for what we're trying to get out of him. We have been speaking to him about how he can get into goalscoring positions.

"Strikers live off goals and we're doing everything we can to unlock his potential."

Sections of Tottenham fans have voiced their discontent with Adebayor, but Villas-Boas is unsure if it has had an impact.

"I'm not sure if it bothers him," Villas-Boas said. "Players build their own motivations. Perceptions and media opinions can influence the public but the player strives on his own motivation in the end. It doesn't affect us in the way we deal with him.

"We just want to unlock his potential, we want him at the same level as last year and we're doing everything we can to try and help him reach that level."

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