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Adebayor on life, death and Lionel Messi

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Dan Walker | 11:12 UK time, Thursday, 25 February 2010

I have some revelations to make this week. Don't worry, it doesn't involve me wearing an ill-fitting shirt and looking down the cameras every time I say sorry. While Tiger Woods was apologising to his sponsors last Friday, I was in Manchester talking to Emmanuel Adebayor.

A captivating interview with a footballer is quite rare. Normally you can't see beyond the fog of clichés and there is precious little to stir the soul. When the Togo captain stepped into the room last week, things were very different.

I don't know what you think of the Manchester City striker but here is a bloke who texted his mum to tell her he was going to die on that coach in Cabinda. I think it was Samuel Johnson who said "nothing concentrates the mind like the prospect of death". Adebayor may not have been shot on 8 January but two people on that bus died and the mental scars he carries run deep.

I was actually on holiday last week. The day before I went on leave I was told about the prospect of a chat with Adebayor. Various BBC departments had been trying to speak to Adebayor since he returned to Premier League football, but it was decided that Focus would do the interview for the entire corporation.

Emmanuel Adebayor in quiet contemplationAn interview with Adebayor was a big prize for the BBC

My wife, family and I had disappeared to deepest, darkest Derbyshire for a break with some mates last week. So, after tackling the Heights of Abraham on Thursday, I left for Manchester early on Friday morning after a pain au chocolat/banana breakfast.

There was a brief stop at services to pick up sweets and my sugar high almost persuaded me that giving four men dressed as nuns for charity a lift to Carlisle was a good idea before I considered what my bosses would say if I ended up missing my date with Adebayor as a result.

I knew there was quite a lot riding on this interview. In the morning I'd had a phone call from BBC World Service to make sure I was going to ask a certain question on their behalf, while a satellite truck had been positioned outside the ground to send the interview back to Television Centre for use by the News channel, Radio 5 live, the BBC Sport website and the News at Ten.

We set up in the chairman's lounge - a spectacularly snazzy room that only needed a giant fish tank to complete the Bond villain checklist.

Adebayor was due to meet us at 1600 GMT after completing a signing session at the club shop. At 1615, press officer Simon turned up to inform us that the session had overrun slightly, before disappearing to perform one of the greatest jobs available... moving Adebayor's brand new Bentley from one side of the stadium to the other.

As a Christian myself, I found it fascinating to hear how Adebayor's faith in God was strengthened by what he went through. It certainly wasn't a usual interview, we were 15 minutes in before City's forthcoming game against Liverpool came up!

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When it was over - and while the tape made its way to the satellite truck - I told Adebayor that Zlatan Ibrahimovic was also on the programme and mentioned there was a healthy debate currently going on my blog about the Swede's "quality" (or lack of it).

Adebayor assured me that "Ibra" was a great player but spoke about the extra level of class needed to shine in the Champions League and international football. He explained how he felt "totally lost" when he first played against the big boys and that it took him 18 months to score in the Champions League. When he finally broke his duck, he said it was like no other feeling on earth!

I asked if he had ever been star-struck by another footballer. A wide grin came across his face. "Messi," he said with a deep joy. "I went out to see Thierry Henry in Barcelona," he continued. "He told me someone else was coming to dinner and all of sudden Messi walked in. He looked so small, so insignificant, and yet to me he was the world's greatest player. For a moment, I wasn't even able to speak."

I explained I felt the same way when I saw the Chuckle Brothers outside Crawley Leisure Centre in the early 1990s but when he looked at me blankly I knew I had gone too far.

As we shook hands as I made to leave, I remember thinking "he's just a normal bloke". Ten seconds later I watched him drive off in his Bentley while I was strolling towards my P-reg Saxo!

Within a few minutes of starting the drive home, I was listening to the interview on 5 live. Within an hour, I was back at Knutsford purchasing another bag of Percy Pigs.

I was very impressed with Adebayor. It would be good to know what you made of it.

Just a reminder, the whole of Focus comes live from Wembley this Saturday on Carling Cup final weekend. Let me know if there's a part of the new stadium you would like to see and I shall do my best to deliver the goods.

You can follow me on twitter at twitter.com/danwalkerbbc

Comments

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  • Comment number 1.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 2.

    Sorry Dan, Percy Pigs are not that magical. It's all about Colin the Caterpillar.

  • Comment number 3.

    Gareth Barry a month back, Lescott a few months ago and now Adebayor. Whats with the BBCs love affair with the Man City money mercenaries?

  • Comment number 4.

    Sorry meant to say Lescott a few WEEKS ago not months.

  • Comment number 5.

    Quality article and interview, good to see footballers being portrayed as people for once haha!
    Just one thing, you need to re-do the sentence about your bosses telling you off for picking up hitchhikers, you missed a few words out I think.

  • Comment number 6.

    Nice blog Dan best on the site but C'mon Dan Im not having you drive a p- reg saxo

  • Comment number 7.

    Couple of quick questions Dan.
    1/ Do you consider yourself a celebrity?
    2/ How was the second pack of percy pigs?
    3/ Being the highest paid player in the prem do you think Adebayor is overrated?

  • Comment number 8.

    So my comments dont need to be pre-moderated anymore? Awesome.

  • Comment number 9.

    Firstly, I'd like to announce my retirement from international football.
    Secondly, Dan how did you get in sports journalism? I fancy doing the dream job.
    Lastly, What are your thoughts on a marmite with crispy bacon wheat crunchies sandwich. Had one yesterday. Gooooood!

  • Comment number 10.

    Strawberry or lemon flavoured bon bon's are an ideal travel sweet... although you have to watch out for the toffee getting in between your teeth. Its fair enough to interview Barn Door after what happened in Africa, and as he was the captain.

    Plenty of other teams' players have been interviewed as well so its not a Man City love-in as far as I can see.

  • Comment number 11.

    Interesting that Adebayor's faith in religion was so strongly reaffirmed by the terrible events in Africa when one could argue that if there were an almighty power, such events would not happen. I guess that's a debate that has been going on for centuries though!

  • Comment number 12.

    He should never have been sent off last night against Stoke. Was a shame to see a big English centre half in Shawcross go down like Drogba or Ronaldo.

    What do you think?

    Adeboayor is too hit and miss for me.

  • Comment number 13.

    Can't beat Matlock Bath on a summers day Dan! I'm from near there, and a personal favourite for a hot summers day drive for chips and an ice cream!

  • Comment number 14.

    5 feet 4
    5 feet 4
    We've got Arshavin
    **** Adebayor

  • Comment number 15.

    I don't suppose you asked Adebayor why he wore an Arsenal training shirt for an interview after the events in Angola? I think a lot of people's, particularly fellow Gooners, views changed last season and then perhaps swifted back with the tragedy he faced last month...but then went back to hatred for the Bentley he drives and has somebody drive it to the other side fot he stadium for him.

    Anyone else get the feeling 'Citeh' are trying to get all of Arsenal's rejects???? Stuart Taylor, Silvinho, Toure, Adebayor, Vieira??? A very decent 5-a-side team there...

    I miss Percy Pigs, I would walk to M+S on lunch but it's the other side fo the shopping centre. If only I had a Bentley that needed moving to the other side...

  • Comment number 16.

    # 3&4 Why are some people in this blog always looking into interviews or guests on Focus and looking for conspiracies...??

    After all the hype with his move and then 'that' celebration for City I think the event over in Angola put things in perspective for the fans, media and player alike.. Never thought he was a 20mil plus player but good luck to him..

    Dan if you are Wembley could you do a segment about the food stands?? I know they may not be open but you could do a live test of certain items.. This would go with the bad press Wembley received about the price of food and would also compliment your obvious love of food..

  • Comment number 17.

    Another good blog Dan, its funny how even someone regarded as one of the best strikers in the world can still get starstruck by other players!! Granted it was Lionel Messi!!

  • Comment number 18.

    Is this really an article? You spent most of it writing about your journey. I thought this was meant to be in depth.

  • Comment number 19.

    Afternoon everyone.

    I can't see all the comments so far because of the moderation across the nation. I will hopefully have answer about the wait for comments to be posted. I have asked the blog uberfuhrer.

    wolvespur (#2) you are right to draw our attention to Colin the Caterpillar... a wonderful jellied delight.

    PulpGrape (#3) I take your point but each one of them had a story to tell. Gareth Barry was an interesting tale, Joleon Lescott was great on the move from Everton and we hardly spoke to Adebayor about City at all. It was an interview about what happened at in Cabinda.

    I think we all just have to accept that Manchester City have grown in significance in recent months and they are a story - whether we like it or not.

    Were Ngoging to Ibiza (#5) thanks for that. I will get on it.

    Irish Rss Are Smiling (#7)

    1/ Do you consider yourself a celebrity? No. At the very best I am lower case and very happy about it.
    2/ How was the second pack of percy pigs? Tremendous.
    3/ Being the highest paid player in the prem do you think Adebayor is overrated? I think salary is not necessary an indication of quality. I don't think any footballers are worth that much.

    I also agree with Cuzza10 (#12) that the sending off against Stoke was ridiculous. Shawcross was having a good old tug at his arm.

    ESR (#13) dreamy!

    Mikey (#16) It's tempting but the last time I had some food at Wembley there were... issues!

    Thanks for the comments. Keep them coming.

    Henry Olonga





  • Comment number 20.

    P reg Saxo? Pull the other one...

  • Comment number 21.

    Nice blog, Dan. Just wondering why you've written "Henry Olonga" at the end of your comment though?! I've heard his story - very inspiring - but can't work out how it's relevant here.

    Not a fan of Knutsford services though, sorry. Give me Keele any day of the week...!

  • Comment number 22.

    How about a view from the centre circle followed by a stroll up the steps to where the trophy will be collected?

    Another travel sweet favourite would be the good old wine gum.

  • Comment number 23.

    Could you do an interview with Lawro standing on top of the Wembley Arch, so we can see how Crouchy sees the World?

  • Comment number 24.

    Hi Dan,

    Once again, great blog. I, too, was very impressed with Adebayor. He appeared honest and not scared to show emotion in his words. Good interview indeed.

    When Drogba first came to english football, he didn't set the heather alight straight away. He's now playing some brilliant football, and has a lot of consistency. Anelka is the same. Both have passed 30 now, but that's no problem.

    Adebayor is still young. Maybe it's taken him a bit longer to mature as a player. Maybe he'll get more consistent the older he gets. When he's in the mood, he's an exceptional player it's hard to defend against. I'm a fan of his.

    Next time you hit the motorway on a bit of a drive, pack sandwiches and flask. There is nothing better than a steaming cup of tea on the dashboard, and a squidged-up, cling-film wrapped sarnie. Get in!!!

    I'm sure others will ask this, but could you get a view from a good private box at Wembley, to see how the other half live?

  • Comment number 25.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 26.

    Percy Pigs contain real pig.

  • Comment number 27.

    19. At 12:57pm on 25 Feb 2010, Dan Walker wrote:
    blah blah blah then;

    Henry Olonga.

    Subtle racism

  • Comment number 28.

    I can see how the car might make you realise your mistake in seeing him as 'normal'. That and the fact that he's a self-absorbed, lazy, deluded, money-grabbing idiot.
    #15: cg198086, I wouldn't wish for anyone to be involved in a tragedy like the Togo team was, but being there doesn't suddenly make him easier to like.
    And how can he proclaim himself to be a Christian when his idol is clearly money? The fact that he feels he was a victim of the Arsenal fans proves he is too selfish to care about other people as any good Christian would.
    I hope Man City fans are beginning to see how lazy he is, compared to at the beginning of the season - he only plays well for new (or more) money. He doesn't care about fans or team-mates; he only cares about his personal advancement. If that's the sort of player you want at Man City, what does that say about the club?

  • Comment number 29.

    Dan,

    In fact there is a 92% correlation between a team's wage bill and their final league placing, so I would say salary is a huge indication of a player's quality. Transfer fees have about a 25% correlation with league placing.

    Adebayor is one of those players for me, who is similar to a lot of City's players. If you made a list of the best players in the league, you would probably get to 30 or so before a City player appeared.

    A lot of people don't have much time for Adebayor, but he seems ok, if a little naive at times (sometimes it's better to say nothing). As for being shot at, well, most of us have no idea how that would even feel, let alone experienced it.

  • Comment number 30.

    sweet and like mentioned early....an excellent way to display a footballer-in his original human form !

  • Comment number 31.

    Dan,

    could you try and film a piece on the many steps the players have to take to get from the pitch to the royal box where they collect the trophy. Would love to see you challenge both lawro and dicko to a race, would make great TV.

  • Comment number 32.

    Always look forward to your blog dan! suggestion for a crazy latenight sweet =
    dip a slice of bread (white is better) in milk, fry in pan, select and fry a fruit (banana works best), add to bread, sprinkle sugar over top, add sultanas to your satisfaction, to round it off add a serving spoon of greek yoghurt and drizzle in honey. let me know how it goes.

    on a footballing note, im not a fan of adebayor but it was a really refreshing interview. no sheild of cliches as you mentioned, and a real sense of honesty. i whole-heartedly agree with his point about over-complicating football too. stop messing with it!

    i'd like to see what the changing rooms are like at wembley if you can please dan.

  • Comment number 33.

    Saxo's are terrible mate, cant your rich wife buy you a new one??

  • Comment number 34.

    Nice 'in depth' interview.

    If the blog wasn't jammed so full of hilarious road trip anecdotes, we might have actually learned something.

  • Comment number 35.

    Places to see at Wembley - how about recreating that scene from Father Ted by filming Lawro, Keown and Dixon 'lost' in the ladies toilets......

  • Comment number 36.

    14. At 12:30pm on 25 Feb 2010, Bad-Mick wrote:
    5 feet 4
    5 feet 4
    We've got Arshavin
    **** Adebayor
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------

    I keep hearing Arsenal fans sing this at the Emirates. It would have made sense except Mr ARSHAVIN IS NOT SCORING!!!!! He HAS SO FAR NOT DELIVERED on all the hype around him. A very frustrating player,he dribbles too much,looses the ball too much, misplaced passes and worst of all, he hardly defends, struts around like he is better than anyone else in the team.
    The reason for this song is because we (Arsenal fans) realise now what we lost in Adebayor; A TOP TOP quality striker, 30 goals in his first full season, 16 goals last season even while out with injury for sometime. Not even RVP has scORED more than 20 goals a season.

    As you lay your bed, so shall you lie on it.This is the result you get when you stupidly attack your own players.
    I wish Adebayor all the best in his carrer, i hold him no grudge.

  • Comment number 37.

    28. At 1:26pm on 25 Feb 2010, ade_want_mor wrote:
    I can see how the car might make you realise your mistake in seeing him as 'normal'. That and the fact that he's a self-absorbed, lazy, deluded, money-grabbing idiot.
    #15: cg198086, I wouldn't wish for anyone to be involved in a tragedy like the Togo team was, but being there doesn't suddenly make him easier to like.
    And how can he proclaim himself to be a Christian when his idol is clearly money? The fact that he feels he was a victim of the Arsenal fans proves he is too selfish to care about other people as any good Christian would.
    I hope Man City fans are beginning to see how lazy he is, compared to at the beginning of the season - he only plays well for new (or more) money. He doesn't care about fans or team-mates; he only cares about his personal advancement. If that's the sort of player you want at Man City, what does that say about the club?

    ------------------------------------------

    Your comment is obviously based on much more than hatred....

  • Comment number 38.

    Great blog again Dan.

    I personally think that Adebyour is a very talented footballer, but his attitude at times stinks. I suppose he could be compared to Robinho, brilliant player, but at times, a complete idiot. I’m not sure that he should be the highest earner in the premier league, but City have the money to throw around before it all goes Pete Tong.

    Now on to the main and most important topic in this blog, percy pigs. Possibly the greatest sweets ever invented. They have to be up there with my other favourites; chocolate éclairs, strawberry bon bon’s and those tins of travel sweets always go down well.

    Have you ever thought about interviewing Ronaldhino? I think that would be a brilliant interview, especially as he seems to be getting back some of his old form and playing with a smile on his face!!

    Finally just reading on the football homepage, “Bridge turns his back on England team”!!! What a stupid headline that is, this isn’t Bridge’s fault, Terry should be dropped from the England team!! I know this is not your doing Dan, but just made me mad.

  • Comment number 39.

    Very deep interview...

    We found out that Adebayor thinks Messi & Ibrahimovic are good players & that scoring in the Champions league is a great feeling. He drives a Bentley & likes to wear hats.

    Well worth the license fee.

  • Comment number 40.

    Problem with Adebayor is that he only sings when hes winning and he usually sings for more money. Slaven Bilic on MOTD2 alluded to the fact that City players have no ambition because of their overinflated wages hence their dire performances of late (he was speaking after the Liverpool game). Have to agree. Those money mercenaries like Barry, Lescott, Toure, Adebayor etc, why would they care if they win anything or qualify for Champions League? At the end of the day they get paid whether they win, lose or draw. All of those players quoted Citys ambition as a reason for moving there which really meant "they are offering me ridiculous money". Well that ambition is non existant.

    While the events in Angola were terrible for anyone directly or indirectly involved, this doesn't mean Adebayor is suddenly a good person. Is he helping the victims out of this own huge pocket? I doubt it.

    Dan you replied to my comments number 3 and 4 saying that its because City are news. Yes they are but why the BBC has to adopt such a pro-City agenda is beyond me. You keep trying to humanise their players and it looks silly. Robert Mugabe got a lot of news coverage last year because the Zimbabwe situation was topical. Did the BBC try to humanise him? Of course not (and they shouldnt by the way).

  • Comment number 41.

    As someone that has been lucky enough to go to Wembley quite a few times since it was rebuilt (and will be there on Sunday) I always manage to get to my seat in time (call me old fashioned). Similarly, I stay in it until the final whistle has gone or the cup has been presented (I don't go to a football match for a quick drive home, I go to watch a game).

    So, when you are at Wembley with Focus, can you please go into the area enjoyed by the 'Corinthian Club', pre-match and at half time, and pick your way through the maze that leads from there to their seats? I recognise that you may be accosted by (lovely) hostesses proffering champagne, oysters and canapes, but please concentrate and show us viewers how arduous it is to get from A to B in 15 minutes? Please?!

    Honestly, it is an embarrassment that finals (etc) kick off and restart with seats either side of the benches and Royal box gapingly empty.

    I thank you in advance.....

  • Comment number 42.

    #34 and #39, did you not watch the video?

  • Comment number 43.

    Im an Arsenal fan through and through, and despite 'that' celebration, I get the impression from Adebayor's interviews, he seems to be a generally down to earth and nice guy. I'm also impressed by his reaction the Cabinda incident and how it affected his faith.

    #40 - PulpGrape, is it that the Beeb are pro-City, or that you are horrendously anti-City. All the BBC are doing are providing us with what they believe will be interesting innterviews, which in my humble, they have given us here.

  • Comment number 44.

    I was very impressed with Adebayor. It would be good to know what you made of it.

    was a good interview, although i wish people didn't need to bring up god every time anything good/bad happens.

    Bad-Mick, you are a cleft, most likely one of those who tore up chairs to hurl at a player who had done a great job for your club in the past. Maybe you should pay attention the your own team, and having Arshavin at the moment is nothing to sing about.

  • Comment number 45.

    #43 Sam

    No I have no allegiances in the Premier League but I don't believe a club warrants a lot of attention just because they have come into some money. Fulham for example are left in more cup competitions than City and are in the top half of the table. Don't ever see any articles on them from BBC do we? Its week in week out on here now, most of the blogs focus on City as if the authors are getting some special deal out of it.

    The fact that you're drawn in by the whole humanising of Adebayor and "how it affected his faith" kind of proves my point. You're the ideal consumer for this kind of "news".

  • Comment number 46.

    45. At 3:02pm on 25 Feb 2010, PulpGrape wrote:

    and what is your role? to stand above us all, showing how superior you are because you've worked out that putting a word in quote marks makes it seem sarcastic? he has experienced something more interesting and relevant than any sporting event, but you think it's spin.

    More to the point, money buys success. You must be pretty dim if you haven't worked that out. I don't know who you support, but i bet all the players are there because they love the club, right?

  • Comment number 47.

    The problem I have with Adebayor is when he came to Arsenal, there was a pretty big publication of him being the boy from the slums come good. He had unfortunate living conditions growing up, but finally realised his dream by playing football in the premiership for Arsenal.

    There was no mention about money, he was playing football with a smile on his face and even if he scored against your team, he was a bloke who just enjoyed playing football.

    But it changed after he started looking for a transfer away. I could understand if he wanted to go to AC Milan or Real Madrid or another side who were "more likely" to win a trophy - if the move was for footballing reasons that's just about ok (although he was pushing it with how he acted towards the crowd).

    But he moved to Man City for money. It's simple he was driven by money, gone is the player who would just play with a smile on his face and be happy to play.

    He has been through a lot emotionally this year, but most people had their opinion set about him long before the ACON even started.

  • Comment number 48.

    What is wrong with people on here??

    #27 - Writing someones name is racist now is it?

    #39 - Dont pay it then. Give up the BBC forever, I mean why should you have to be forced to read and watch what the BBC put out. Its disgusting!!

    Good blog Dan, I always enjoy it whether I believe the content is worthy of a licence fee or not. Quick question, would you ever brave a Marmite Milkshake? They sell them in a shake shop near where I live and they are not even the least popular on the shake of the week chart!!!!

    By the way, does anyone know how to chage your username? I dont like mine, I dont know why I chose it???

  • Comment number 49.

    Right, I have returned from a cheeky lunch break to see us crack 40.

    On the moderation... if you are commenting for the first time your comments are checked before they go live but if you are a regular visitor you should be free as a bird.

    Let me put this straight... The P reg Saxo is my wagon. It has just over 97,000 miles on the clock, the left wing mirror faces the floor and - for some reason - it smells of fish!

    MikeBassettforEnglandManager (#9). I can't believe you have taken the decision to step down. You will be sorely missed. If you would like to know how I got here i point you gently in the direction of an earlier post http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/danwalker/2009/09/my_route_into_the_media.html#comments

    cg198086 (#15) I did ask him about the Arsenal shirt and he wore it because it was the only top he had available.

    James (#18), JR Hartley (#34) and Laughing Larry (#39). I see you are unhappy but you all seem to be missing the fact that the interview (which mjstr1986 (#42) has pointed out) is meant to dovetail with the blog. If you have the time, watch the interview and then let me know what you think.

    Andy (#29) has killed me with statistics... point taken. I was saying that just because someone is expensive doesn't make them brilliant. Robinho, Shevchenko and Veron etc

    Pulpgrape (#40) your comments likening our coverage of Adebayor to the BBC's coverage of Robert Mugabe are a little ridiculous.

    Thanks for all the Wembley suggestions. We are in the Royal box and the changing rooms. I like the idea of trying to explain why the walk back to the posh seats takes 15 minutes. Keep them coming.

    Corpusboy (#21) There is absolutely no reason why I signed off as Henry Olonga... I just like to stick in a random sportsman every now and again. The suggestion from tgtaxi (#27) is way off.

    Petr Cech





  • Comment number 50.

    Adebayor is an absolute rotter. He represents almost everything that is bad about footballers.

    And the scary thing is, he is the highest paid player in the Premier League. He has a selfish streak, can get angry, misses chances and behaves inappropriately. Arsenal fans were delighted when he left, and I can understand why.

  • Comment number 51.

    Pulpgrape (#45)

    In the past 2 months we've had long sit down interviews with both Roy Hodgson and Brede Hangeland on Focus.

    Can I also humbly point you in the direction of this from earlier this season...
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/danwalker/2009/11/thank_goodness_for_fulham.html

  • Comment number 52.

    @ Parov1

    Adebayor is despised by the vast majority of Gooners.
    When we play Citeh at the Grove, Vieira + Toure will be applauded. Adebayor will be the victim of hate. He brought this on himself, and can blame no one but his greedy self. Even Craig Bellamy does not celebrate goals when he scores against former employers. It is all about RESPECT, and Adebayor has none of it.

  • Comment number 53.

    Please stop giving this guy attention. He was given lots of support at Arsenal, but decided to flirt with AC Milan and other clubs - comparing them to "Beyonce" for instance. He went with the money, not with the football...
    Then scores a goal against the team that made him and celebrated with absolutely no style whatsoever. He's really not a good person, not a role-model, is the epitome of the stereotype of the spoiled footballer. I'm disappointed with the BBC's "big catch" of Adebayor - if you're going to get ANOTHER Man City guy then talk to Bellamy about the charity work he does in Africa, he gets my vote for that (maybe you've interviewed him already, not sure). Last thing is this - I'll never forgive Adebayor for stamping on Van Persie's head, it was disgusting and inexcusable and people who love the game shouldn't forget that.

  • Comment number 54.

    Excellent post as usual Dan

    Feel your pain about the percy pigs, had a similar experience with a pack of Haribo once. Not sure I share Ade's views on Ibra though, even if he does seem to score a lot of goals.

  • Comment number 55.

    All you people taking a go at Arshavin - stop it! Arshavin has actually performed very well for us. When all our strikers were out, he subbed in. He is not a striker at all, but he has been able to hold the ball, have midfielders come up and try to score. He has defended from the front very well, and has been playing with a foot injury (we could not afford to rest him). So lay off Arshavin...the Russian has worked his magic for us in other ways than scoring goals. And before you all jump on me, Arsenal still has a huge shout towards the title!

    As a Gunner through and through, I have no problem with Ade's decision to move to City for the money - after all, I would bet 99% of people in this forum would do the same. I am sure our club would cut him if he had outlived his usefulness so why should he not have moved to secure a better financial future for him and his family? I don't begrudge him one bit for that and more power to him (and any footballer who decides to do that). After all, football is a business and teams, like players, make a lot of decisions based on business and finances.

    As to the blog, I always thought Ade was a nice humble bloke. It is good to read about the human side of players and I am sure the Cabinda tragedy left an indelible mark on him. I hope he uses that to much good for himself and others.

    He was a good player for Arsenal but not excellent for his position (yes he had a 30 goal season). But he is not a true goal poacher and his work rate ebbs and flows. But overall nice bloke and good luck to him.

  • Comment number 56.

    PS Adebayor always name drops Thierry Henry.. It's funny Mr Adebayor had only ONE good season, unlike Henry who was year-in year-out phenomenal, but then went and described himself as being among the world's best!! Glad to see that Henry was as unimpressed as I was with Adebayor's celebration and said that a player with class wouldn't have done that... Oh dear Manu, sounds like no more dinners in Barcelona with Messi and the real talent for you!!

  • Comment number 57.

    Whats with signing off 'Henry Olonga'?

  • Comment number 58.

    # 53

    I could not agree with you more.
    There are some new songs to be sung to Mr Adebayor come the 24th April.

  • Comment number 59.

    37. parov1: 'Your comment is obviously based on much more than hatred....'

    I wouldn't say I hate Adebayor, I'm just pointing out that he's completely deluded. He's not even worth being bothered about.

    You say: 'As you lay your bed, so shall you lie on it. This is the result you get when you stupidly attack your own players.'

    Adebayor had a great season in 07/08, winning many fans. He then held the club to ransom for wages equivalent to Henry's. This mercenary nature (and the stupid comments about planning for retirement and contradictory lies about wanting to stay, wanting to go to Barca/AC) lost him most of the fans he won. He had to prove himself again, this time as a player worthy of Henry-level wages.

    However, he didn't. He kissed the badge in a deluded bit of showmanship in a meaningless friendly. He put in none of the effort that won him support previously. He strolled around in the Champions League semi-final against Man Utd like he didn't care.

    Considering his flagrant disregard of his duty to the fans, I didn't hear him getting any abuse from the fans whenever I went to the Emirates. You must have got this idea from the Adebayor, who is probably plagued by guilty paranoia.

    When a small group of fans booed Eboue, it was not because he was poor, it was that he didn't seem to bother. He's no more talented now: but the fact he's applied himself has won the fans over, who now sing his name.

  • Comment number 60.

    52. At 3:20pm on 25 Feb 2010, Bad-Mick wrote:
    53. At 3:21pm on 25 Feb 2010, Alex S wrote:

    You Goons really have that small-club mentality now, eh? Booing ex-players because they mentioned another club? Cheer your own players, if you can do it with a straight face.

  • Comment number 61.

    The Chuckle Brothers....haha quality.

    Everyone loves a bit of chucklevision. :D

  • Comment number 62.

    Hi Dan,

    For some reason, a lot of people have come in with some really negative comments this week on this blog, I for one was more than impressed with FF last week and the interview with Adebayor was genuinely interesting.

    Regarding Wembley this weekend..I believe Dixon scored a goal at the old Wembley against Republic of Ireland in '92, might have been '91, not too sure, but if someone could dig that out of the archives that would be top notch. Other than that I think at 6 foot 6 you should be made to do some sort of Peter Crouch robot if you are allowed on to the pitch.

    Other than that, have a good time at wembley! ross
    http://footballshorts.wordpress.com

  • Comment number 63.

    I'm sorry, but it seem rather egotistical of anyone to speak of gods when someone close to them has died.

  • Comment number 64.

    "I explained I felt the same way when I saw the Chuckle Brothers outside Crawley Leisure Centre in the early 1990s but when he looked at me blankly I knew I had gone too far."

    Should've kept that to yourself!!!


    BTW, do the BBC/regulators know you're in the pocket with M&S/Percy Pig?!

  • Comment number 65.

    Great blog Dan, particularly the bit about the percy pigs and the Chuckle Brothers reference. Adebayor is a quality player when he gets good service, like at the start of the season he was pretty immense.

    But... Dan, I have a bone to pick with you...at my high school graduation thing a few years ago (St Margarets, Liverpool), you were the guest speaker and you were very late. Plus you unknowingly insulted me afterwards saying I looked like my friend's (who is same age) younger brother!! These things stay in the mind Dan! But otherwise keep up the good work.

  • Comment number 66.

    Crap blog ... where's the sensitivity ... the guy nearly dies a few weeks back and your talking about eating Percy Pigs for cheap laughs

    QUEUE the strapline under the photograph ...

    "An interview with Adebayor was a big prize for the BBC"

    ... so close to being a photgraph of a casket .. get real ...

  • Comment number 67.

    I'm sat at work starving to death and all i keep thinking about is going to buy some percy pigs. They just melt in your mouth.

    We're off to Derbyshire next week. Nice pine lodge log cabins in two dales followed by some bakewell tart. I'm leaving work now I can't take this anymore.

  • Comment number 68.

    Dan,

    I'm really interested in why ALL the 'various BBC departments had been trying to speak to Adebayor' after the attack on the Togo team bus? Wouldn't it have been better to do a report reflecting on the thoughts of the entire Togolese National squad including players like Moustapha Salifou or even some of the injured players? (who people have genuine concern for..how are they by the way?)

    If Adebayor was speaking as Team Captain..that may have been different, but it was all about how the incident effected him. There was very little discussion about how it effected his team mates. It wasn't long ago he was refusing to play for Togo due to arguements over pay and not agreeing with the choice of coach.

    Finally, can you guys please ask these highly priveleged footballers if they could possibly remove their hats during recorded interviews - especially whilst discussing such sombre subject matter or is the BBC too scared to offend them?

  • Comment number 69.

    Hello again.

    It seems that the visit to Adebayor has brought out some strong opinions from all quarters. I understand that some people have very strong feelings about the man and - for some of you - there is nothing he can do to improve what you think of him.

    David (#65) I remember that thing at St Margarets. I seem to remember there was some shambolic traffic on the M62 and I walked into the building as I was being announced. Sorry for the unknowing insult... I can imagine that hurt a little.

    Chud57 (#66) I think if you listen to the interview you can't accuse us of a lack of senstivity. I take your point about the photo strapline and I will mention it to the editor. I must confess I did not see that first time round.

    Thanks again for all the comments - even the fruity ones.

    For Saturday's programme Wayne Rooney has had a sit down chat with Gary Lineker today... Rooney has some interesting thoughts on being England captain!

    Orlando Trustful



  • Comment number 70.

    By the way if you want to know the full run down for Saturday's programme... click here.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/football_focus/6958524.stm

  • Comment number 71.

    Wow, I really have a hard time following these blogs. Here's why:

    1. Title- Adebayor on Life, Death and Lionel Messi. Catchy, and yes, it got me to read what was inside. It would have been nice to actually read about those things, as told by the Togo big man. But instead came another mashed-up collection of inside jokes about "sweets" and "men dressed like nuns". Two words Dan: NOT FUNNY.

    Moving on

    2. Fragmentation- I don't know what they put in the water over there at the BBC, but all of their sports writers seem to favor the same kind of choppy, non-progressive style of blogging that focuses more on making the reader laugh than providing any kind of insight to football. This makes it hard to read, and is the spitting image of attention deficit. I become worn out by the third paragraph.

    And as for your interjection of piety into the no-man's land of a body in your blog, that had no levity, and absolutely nothing to do with any of the writing that preceded or followed it. Why did you throw it in there? If you haven't already guessed, I am an American. Oh wait, that didn't have anything to do with this. My bad...

    3. I have officially spent too much time trying to indicate my dissatisfaction in reading the blogs on this site. Can you give me an idea what it's like to sit down with Adebayor and talk about the things in your title? I mean the guy was shot at, for Christ's sake. The actual footage of the interview might give me an idea, but I would like to hear about your impressions of the man. Please? I would love that!

    If you stop trying to be cute and clever it might benefit the lot of us who are actually interested in the football.


  • Comment number 72.

    Dear All,
    I am writing from America, just like #71 Waikru 22.
    #71. I appreciate your frank and clear expression of opinion. Regarding your third point, the actual footage of the interview IS here in Dan's blogg. If I can see it and view it from CT why can't you?
    Also taking for granted that you are entitled to express your opinions, are others such as Dan Walker not entitled to do the same (on his own blogg), and if he wants to pontificate about nuns or 'sweets' then what is the big deal?
    If you object to him doing so at least object in a more civil manner, don't want the Brits to think that they have the monopoly on decency.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    My general thoughts regarding the whole blogg are:
    This blogg appears to have a lot of miles left in it, but I hope the additional comments are not as judgemental and self righteous.

    None of are obliged to like Dan Walker, Adebayor, Bentleys, Saxos, Christianity, or any particular food thatmay be mentioned; but does that mean we have to launch into ad-hominem arguments complaining about any of the above?

    The blogg is what it is, and if people around the world do not appreciate the inside (understand British) jokes and the mix of football, food and fresh opinion, then such individuals can just start their own blogg and get their own interviews with the people they want to talk to. What is to be gained by moaning that the BBC got an interview with Mr. A not Mr B.? They got who they got and that is how the cookie crumbles.

    Also, are bloggs meant to be literary masterpieces? Are bloggs meant to cover 101 different things, or just what happens to come the bloggers way?

    In this case Dan I liked the interview which as posted, I am glad that we who are in the USA were able to watch it. Your write up was appreciated too.
    Thank you.

  • Comment number 73.

    Waikru22, have you consistently read Dan's previous blogs? If you have, you would know what to expect - football based chat with humour, and the encouragement for us mere mortals to participate. It is light hearted and fun. If you don't like it, don't read it and don't complain.

    blaenorynyclwyd - totally agree with you. A gent.

    I thought blogs were an insight into someone's life/work/thoughts/humour? Accept them for what they are, and stop the character assassination. Dan, continue as before.

    I am currently off my work recovering from a serious back injury. Believe it or not, like waiting to see a favourite programme, your blog is something I look forward to.

  • Comment number 74.

    Ok Dan,
    I am not quite in the same 'fan league' as Bealog (73). I can't claim to be patiently waiting for your next instalment; but then I do not have a bad back either.
    Bealog (73), hope you recover from your back injury more quickly than you or the physicians expect.

  • Comment number 75.

    How, how, how did you get so much responsibility within the BBC? This article was badly paced, meandering and had no punch or real story. I only read it through to be sure of my convictions. This really is nothing personal, I am aware I am represented by a username and operating behind a computer screen; but I hold ambitions to work on your level and it is discouraging to see the competition within the industry, only to read this tripe. Genuinely quite bamboozled, weak writing and too soft to present a TV show in my opinion. Crazy.

  • Comment number 76.

    I cant believe some people here? Which of you will not change jobs if you got a higher offer for doing the same thing or else? Can we see him for himself and stop silly critism?

  • Comment number 77.

    IM (76)
    You referring to criticism of Adebayor or Walker?

  • Comment number 78.

    Good evening everybody. This is fun isn't it?

    A big hello to our American friends... especially Waikru22 (#71). Thank you for your 3 point rage which you managed to write despite the amount of disgust engendered by reading this blog.

    jeff jarnot (#75) I have no idea why you would be so discouraged by reading this entry. If I were you and "held ambitions to work on my level" I would be delighted that the "competition" was so inept and so incapable of presenting a TV show. The future is bright my friend.

    And finally im (#76) "I can't believe some of the people on here". True words comrade.

    See you soon everybody.

    Juan Pablo Angel

  • Comment number 79.

    Bet some of the comments have brightened up your Thursday evening eh!?

    I do wonder at some of the people who write such long complaints, my only expectation from reading your blog is to be entertained, learn a little about whats going on with the programme, and that will do for me. I think the same applies to Jake Humphries blog's which I feel are in a similar tone, which I like as you get to know the person you see in front of the camera each weekend. It makes the whole thing so much better in my humble opinion.

    Keep up the good work as far as I'm concerned...

    Don't have nightmares.

    George Foreman.

  • Comment number 80.

    I was reading your article Dan. I was very much amused and disapointed at the same time that you found it more important to give details of your journey from holiday to the interview with Emanuel Adebayor than to give details of what one of the best forwards in the world had to say about the game. I understand why you couldnt question him too intensively on the rather sensitve issue of what went on in Angola but surely you could have given us a better insight into the player rather than the self indulgence twaddle you have undertaken!

  • Comment number 81.

    Hello Dan,
    I do enjoy reading your blog. I'm not going to justify my statement as it doesn't really matter why, I just do.

    To all those who spend their time moaning about presenting styles and all that drivel; it doesn't matter what you think. It's not about your appraisal of how well Dan writes or otherwise, it's about reading something you may find insightful, entertaining or just distracting from your normal routine.

    If it does nothing for you, stop reading it and go and do something else that won't annoy you. Good grief!

  • Comment number 82.

    God I hope it is!! :)

    As Football is the beautiful game, why are there no programs that focus on the beauty of it and move it on artistically? Or are there? Have there been any football impressionist theatrical shows or dances? Paintings? All that there seems to be is talk shows, rumors and gossip. Obviously its the game itself that is beautiful.. but I would have thought that like religion it would be inspirational to other artists? Just wondering if there have been any real left field works inspired by football?


    Also, if a player gets injured such as Owen Hargreaves for 2 years +... does the club have an insurance policy that will cover man utd's expenses etc or is it literally 17 million plus wages down the drain??

  • Comment number 83.

    I was one of the guys dressed as a Nun hitch-hiking for charity. Very disappointed you didn't stop to pick us up. I would have liked to have met Adebayor!

  • Comment number 84.

    The BBC has a responsibility to deliver top quality material throughout.. millions of people visit this site and it is a privilege to be able to voice your opinion on it...


    How can something be insightful or entertaining if it is not done well?
    Listen to yourself, ever tried watching an un-edited film?

    I didn't want to start arguments or annoy anyone, I think it is a fair and just critique-
    so there!
    meow






    GO UTD!!!

  • Comment number 85.

    Look what you've done now... both the Walker kids are up! I have the 7 month old sleeping in one arm so you will have to forgive any typing mistakes.

    I know I have been getting some grief on here for both style and substance. I don’t claim to be a literary genius and the whole point of these blogs is not to produce inspirational Shakespearean prose but simply give you a bit of insight into the world of Football Focus and some of the stuff that you don’t normally get to see and hear about.

    I have read the blog back myself and it is a little disjointed this week. The bit about Christianity does jump out at you a little like a deformed mad-man from a horror film. The simple truth is that I wrote far too much and quite a lot of it had to be cut out. What you have here is the heavily edited version which doesn’t dance along like a Wordsworth poem but is rather intended to give you a flavour of what happened last Friday.

    There may well be a touch too much frivolity (given it was a very serious subject) but I think it’s balanced by what you can hear in the interview. Much of my original text was a repetition of what Adebayor actually told us during the 40 minutes of so that we had with him.

    I have never claimed that this blog is meant to be at the forefront of sporting journalism – there are plenty of articles and blogs on this website which do that wonderfully well. This is meant to be a bit of light relief and I happen to enjoy our little electronic chats in blogville... even if you get mad sometimes.

    Right, I have a child to put to bed and I need to be at Wembley in 8.5 hours. Have a good night's sleep everybody and I'll see you in the morning.

    Hugo Sanchez

  • Comment number 86.

    Have to agree with Adebayor regarding the decision to ban Togo from the next 2 African Cup of Nations, it's an insult!

    The blogs fine the way I read it....

  • Comment number 87.

    Regarding the comments on Ibrahimovic in the blog...

    Anybody that seriously questions Ibra's ability should be taken into care. He is an incredibly talented individual. A luxury player, no doubt, but absolutely mind-blowingly creative at times, and simply a brilliant, brilliant footballer.

  • Comment number 88.

    I keep hearing Arsenal fans sing this at the Emirates. It would have made sense except Mr ARSHAVIN IS NOT SCORING!!!!! He HAS SO FAR NOT DELIVERED on all the hype around him. A very frustrating player,he dribbles too much,looses the ball too much, misplaced passes and worst of all, he hardly defends, struts around like he is better than anyone else in the team.
    The reason for this song is because we (Arsenal fans) realise now what we lost in Adebayor; A TOP TOP quality striker, 30 goals in his first full season, 16 goals last season even while out with injury for sometime. Not even RVP has scORED more than 20 goals a season.

    As you lay your bed, so shall you lie on it.This is the result you get when you stupidly attack your own players.
    I wish Adebayor all the best in his carrer, i hold him no grudge.

    ---------


    For starters Arshavin is not an out and out striker and when he, RVP, Eduardo and Fabregas were all up front together Arshavin was going great guns. He is still having a decent season, he creates a lot of goals and has scored in some big matches for us. Its not his fault he has had to play up front alone for 5 months!

  • Comment number 89.

    Dan, ignore those critising the blog, it's a great light hearted read, as we all appreciate - although, you need more food references mate...

  • Comment number 90.

    @ #75 Jeff Jarnot,

    There's an awful lot more to becoming successful and respected in the world of broadcast journalism than being able to string a sentence together. For example, it's important to be able to hold together a live outside broadcast and marshall a group of ex-pros who, in order to work effectively with you, need to respect your position and ability. You need to be able to relate to and befriend a wide variety of personalities, some of whom display egos even more staggeringly out of proportion than your own. Finally, you have to be self-deprecating and self-aware enough to concentrate firstly on your own failings before you start to rant delusional nonsense about others.

    Young padawan, you have much to learn, it seems.

    --

    Dan, that was a more interesting video than the blog that accompanied it, but perhaps that's because there wasn't enough of your usual meanderings into awe-inspiring levels of irrelevance regarding foodstuffs, what you can see outside your Saxo's window and what type of socks Lee Dixon prefers. We blog fans get enough dry comment as it is - we need more flavour to savour, and that's what you do best.

    Did you know that you've made it onto the hallowed 'Famous People From Crawley' list on Wikipedia? From a merely footballing perspective, your mate Gareth Southgate is also on the list, but also a journeyman footballer named Simon Wormull. He started his career at Spurs - perhaps he has gone on to live the life you might have had, had your faith not led you to dumping Sunday football. Just think - you could have been playing for Farnborough Town now...

  • Comment number 91.

    It's a football blog, what's wrong with you people? Twas an interesting read. Adebayor is a great guy, got to love a player that most people hate.

    Robbie Savage

  • Comment number 92.

    Woke up this morning in USA and read about Adebayor's latest ban.
    After all yesterday's blogging I had to laugh!

  • Comment number 93.

    Dan,

    Honestly, the people on here just reaffirm my hate dissapointment in 60% of people I meet. So quick to criticise and gun people down.
    Listen to the interview guys, as Adebayor says, any of us could be taken away from this earth any day, why not just get along with each other for our short time here.

    Seriously Dan, I look forward to having a good read of your blogs, if I want a serious news article I'll go to another site, I come here for the informality and appreciate the BBC are being a bit different about it by providing these blogs.

    To put it simply... everyone just enjoy the blog, stop whinging and let the man live!

    Keep up the good work!

  • Comment number 94.

    Adebayor you are the key player for manchester city football club be careful of your life such that you can lead man city onto top four for the European champion league competition.

    What will you do is to concerntrate on the work you are doing in England and leave all the other nonesense things such can maintain you diginity

    Malangki

  • Comment number 95.

    great blog, with some nice humor dan, haters gonna hate :) , but maybe you can give some blogging teams to old Phil McNulty who appears to be struggling with his.

  • Comment number 96.

    I do wonder about the intelligence of some people on here:

    - it's meant to be a light-hearted blog

    - the random sportsman references are not casual racism

    - adebayor's situation makes him an obvious candidate for an interview

    - there are only so many questions you can ask a footballer - it's not like he's interviewing Barack Obama

    Keep up the good work Dan, although some of your food combinations are truly disgusting.

  • Comment number 97.

    quality article dan.one question though,are your blogs going to be only about english and premier league players or we are going to hear from players in other major leagues too?

  • Comment number 98.

    I don't think Dan's blogs are badly-written at all. I find them interesting and entertaining.

    Mihir's blogs tended to be well-written but completely devoid of any insight. Tim Vickery's blogs are good because he has such a vast knowledge of his subject. McNulty's blogs don't offer anything particularly fresh or different. It is probably only Dan's, Tim's and the Quotes of the Week blogs that I always read.

    Dan, if you weren't a Christian I would suggest that you tell your detractors to go and shove their criticism .......

  • Comment number 99.

    I'm sorry Dan but I think that the rant at 71 was probably better than this weeks blog haha! Though another good blog I enjoyed the line about The Chuckle Brothers haha. Did you ask Adebayor why he decided to wear that Arsenal shirt in that interview? Never did found out the meaning of that!

  • Comment number 100.

    @ #99 Dan says in one of his earlier posts that he did indeed ask Adebayor that question and his answer was that it was all he had lying around at the time :)

 

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