White Hart Lane striker to do damage at old stomping ground of Emirates Stadium?
Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp has backed Emmanuel Adebayor to thrive on the atmosphere as he returns to the Emirates to face Arsenal in Sunday’s highly charged north London derby.
Adebayor enraged Arsenal fans in 2009 when he sprinted the length of the field to celebrate a goal against the Gunners for his new club Manchester City.
The Togolese striker was subjected to abusive chants during Tottenham’s win over Arsenal at White Hart Lane last October and is expected to face a rough ride on Sunday in his first game at the Emirates as a Spurs player.
The ill-tempered atmosphere in October’s encounter has prompted both Tottenham and Arsenal to issue a joint statement calling for calm this week.
But Redknapp is confident Adebayor will rise above any abuse from the stands.
“I’m sure he will enjoy going back there,” the Tottenham manager said. “He played well against them at home this year so I don’t think it will be a problem.
“I suppose he will get some stick, that goes with the territory when you go back to your old clubs, but I’m sure he can handle it.
“Hopefully he will keep his cool and that’s what he needs to do.”
Spurs are favourites to do the double over Arsenal for the first time in nearly two decades, and a win on Sunday would stretch their lead over the Gunners to 13 points and leave Tottenham on course to finish the season as the highest place representative from the capital.
“I want to be London’s top club this year,” he said. “To dominate London would be very difficult because you have two very strong teams in Arsenal and Chelsea.
“They are always going to be there or thereabouts and Tottenham will be as well. We have to keep improving. That depends on your ambition and the chairman is ambitious here.”