Tottenham’s trouble-magnet Togolese frontman Emmanuel Adebayor has played just 11 of the team’s last 1260 minutes of football, yet he must feature, if not start, against Newcastle.
The former Arsenal star finds himself on the periphery of the Lilywhites squad at present and not for the first time, having tasted the cold side of Andre Villas-Boas disdain during 2013/14.
Yet Newcastle represent the perfect opponents against whom to return him to the fold for a variety of reasons, from his taste for their blood, to the opportunity to rest Harry Kane, to such a move’s potential to snap the side out of their springtime torpor.
The Magpies are not Adebayor’s most-punished opponent (that honour is reserved for Tottenham themselves), but they are by some way his second-favourite snack.
In 12 games against Mike Ashley’s mob he has found the net a commendable eight times, losing only once.
Indeed, when assists are taken into account, Newcastle eclipse even his current club as the team he has shone against more than any other.
On top of his eight strikes, the Togolese has set up another seven in his dozen outings against them, meaning he directly contributes to well over a goal a game over that period.
Adebayor is understandably 19/10 to notch at St James’ Park as a result despite his outlaw status in Mauricio Pochettino plans and 4/1 to do so as part of a Lilywhites win.
Quite aside from his bête-noire status for the hosts, Tottenham could do with the shake up a change of personnel and accompanying tweak in methodology his reintroduction might administer.
Given the runaround by Manchester United four games back, they’ve since reacted like a side whose concentration is on the waver, winning a slugfest on points against lowly Leicester before a listless draw in Burnley and, most recently, being outplayed by Aston Villa at White Hart Lane.
In addition, starting Adebayor would give Harry Kane’s young limbs valuable rest ahead of a summer in which he could well partake of the European Under-21 Championships.
The irrepressible youngster has sat out just one of Tottenham’s 19 matches since the turn of the year in its entirety.
Rest him in favour of the Newcastle nemesis and everyone’s a winner.