It's Monday night here in Sydney. The hangovers have gone, the City shirt needs a wash, and the dust is settling after a game which has dominated blogs, internet forums, newspapers and more blogs.
So, how do I feel about the game, and Adebayor's performance?
Well, I'm not really sure. I'm a football fan first, and a Manchester City fan second — and this leaves me in a bit of a quandary. Dealing with me as a football enthusiast, on the one hand I think that some of Adebayor's actions were nothing short of appalling. Short-sighted, vicious, and self-centred. (Joey Barton, anyone?) On the other hand, you have to love the pantomime — the baiting of the fans, the crazy run, the display of emotion and, whilst it's not right in any way, you have to have a grudging respect for a man who can stamp on someone's face in full view of the ref, and get away scot free!
Not that I'm condoning any of this - just that as someone who enjoys his football and entertainment, you'd have to admit that this was a game that has got everyone talking, everyone has an opinion, and you'd have to be made of stone not to have found yourself shouting at the TV at some point. However, as much as it adds to the theatre, it's a shame that what would've been a very memorable game in its own right is being overshadowed by a couple of off the ball incidents.
Our club have now won four in a row, and in beating Arsenal have not only taken the points off a team that I think we will be battling for league position come May, but also laid down a marker for the rest of the "Big Five". It's a long way to go, but certainly we would've been carrying a lot of momentum into the game over at Trafford next week - his looming suspension seems to be almost certain, given the witch hunt going on, and robs us of one of our most in-form players for another big game. On the bright side, fining him a few weeks wages should recoup a decent wedge of cash! I just hope this isn't too much of a distraction for the players who are going to be taking to the pitch next week, with Robbie, Tevez, and RSC all out, holding onto Petrov and buying Bellamy is looking like an increasingly judicious move by Hughes. It certainly puts paid to those people who were laughing at the number of strikers on the books earlier in the season.
But I digress... Back to the man of the moment, Adebayor. The skill shown by the Togolese front-man in his run down the left-hand touchline was probably the second best run I've seen in a City shirt, and SWP's miss about the second most disappointing one! He has really been playing like a man possessed. The comparisons with Barton are unavoidable, I always said with Joey that you'd rather have him on your side than playing against you, but he let his emotions run his head, became a disruptive influence, and events ran their course.
The difference with Adebayor is that he's good enough to let his skill on the pitch do the talking - let's hope he takes the same decision after he's had time to reflect on this game.