Adebayor deserves all he gets
A few years back I was enjoying a free role in a Blue Bell match (free as in I was sub so I was free to do what the hell I liked) when our centre-forward was felled by some hairy giant redwood of a man.
When it came to the theatrics, our frontman made Drogba look like one of them dopey child-men presenters off of CBeebies, but on this occasion the twang of hamstring was unmistakeable.
Now I'm nominally a holding midfielder who sits, often literally sits, in front of the back four. I wasn't expecting to be the team's spearhead at 2-2 with 20 minutes to go, but that's where I was put.
Any road, Tony Thompson's missus had tumble-dried our white shirts that week so that only a 12-year-old with shoulders the width of Peter Crouch could have fitted in them comfortably and, well to put it sympathetically, the long, diligent hours I'd spent in the Blue Bell were making themselves known beneath the shrunken polyester.
Here's to Robbo
My midriff resembled a fat badger trying to escape under a tablecloth. This prompted our opponents' little fan club - a curious batch who must all have been related to one another as there wasn't a chin between them - to pipe up with the usual hilarious terrace chants:
'Who ate all the pies?'
'When's it due?'
'I've heard of a six-pack, mate, that must be a one-pack.'
And the less literary but undeniable 'You fat *******, you fat *******!'
I didn't cope all that well. I tried to make up for the barracking by tackling like Paul Scholes, passing like Vinnie Jones, going for headers like a three-year-old with his bootlaces tied together, and displaying the first touch of Emile Heskey in sponge boots.
The mirth grew and I got worse. Then, two minutes into injury-time, a corner, a bit of bagatelle and the ball slapped in the wet mud in front of us like a divine roast chicken falling into the lap of a devout and hungry man. I laced it past the keeper without blinking.
And who did I head for? The boss? Nah. Me team-mates? Nah - they'd been giving me a load of gyp 'n' all. No I hared off towards the fans with the non-forking family tree and waved two clenched fists in their faces.
Which brings me to the heroes of Eastlands on Saturday. The stewards. Emmanuel Adebayor couldn't have done more to encourage a pitch invasion had he gone on to the PA system and told everyone that the Phoenix Four were going to be appearing in the centre-circle. But some steely blokes in luminous jackets did the club proud.
In my case, there weren't any stewards. Just a clutch of pug-ugly mugs staring back at me and clicking their knuckles. No one had a shower after that game - just straight on the minibus with Robbo picking up the valeting bill from the bus hire firm afterwards.
It was a daft thing to do and I learned me lesson sharp-ish, but if Adebayor thinks he can get away with his Gary Nevillian vaudevillian act by saying, 'well, y'know, I was a bit over-emotional' then he's living in the land where reason sleeps (otherwise known as the inside of Serena Williams's head).
He had 90 yards to rethink it. He's a bit of an old woman anyway, Emmanuel, so 90 yards should've offered him at least seven changes of mind. He should thank his lucky stars he didn't used to play for Millwall.
I keep reading that he feels 'loved again' at City. Now the desperate neediness is bad enough, but it also proves how out of touch footballers are these days. You let all and sundry know you want to be at Barca and the Arsenal fans go off you a bit. Lack of loyalty is repaid with lack of loyalty. It's how it is.
Three years back I told the wife's family that I couldn't come to a dull old christening 'cos I had to watch a Boro reserve match against Wigan. I think it got the message across - it wasn't like the first team had been in sparkling form either - but I didn't exactly expect to be the toast of the town at the next gathering (whenever I get me next invite). Put yourself in the position of an ardent supporter and get over yourself, mate.
The stamp wasn't too special either. Van Persie did right with that blog - emphasising that it wasn't an excuse for the defeat. I reckon three-match bans for each offence might do the job.
Six matches off. Three weeks... how soon before Adebayor feels unloved again?
I know you're in Manchester, mate but you're already starting to sound like blinking Morrissey. Big Mouth Strikes Again.
I dedicate 'You're The One For Me Fatty' to my old mate Robbo
In the interview afterwards he was this charming man but what difference does it make? And when confronted by Gallas over his behaviour he apparently replied 'William It Was Really Nothing'. And wasn't it Morrissey who came up with a solo album called Your Arsenal?
I'll stop. That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore.
I suppose it should be acknowledged that the Fand-Abu-Dhabi-Dozy consortium must be right pleased with Sparky's start. They look good.
Can't see Adebayor and Robinho not going missing halfway through the season - but you won't need this Shergar and Lord Lucan double-act 'cos come Christmas there's always Santa Cruz and his little helpers Tevez and Bellamy. City, genuine title contenders? You never blinking know.
Chelsea are still the team to beat, mind. These scuffy little last-minute efforts are the stuff of champions.