Half Fit or Half Wit?
It would seem that Jermain Defoe could be available to face Arsenal on Sunday, but the question is, would you play him?
Jermain has missed the last four games since damaging ankle ligaments in the 1-0 win against WBA, but it is probably fair to say that in his absence, no one else has exactly stepped up and forced themselves upon the manager with outstanding performance and a few goals to even make the decision a hard one for AVB. As things stand, Clint Dempsey will probably miss the North London Derby as he struggles with his calf injury, whilst Emmanuel Adebayor continues to offer little or certainly not enough to force his selection.
In fairness to Adebayor, I actually thought he played better in both the Lyon and West Ham games, without luck or great service and of course facing his former club, seems to bring out the beast in Emmanuel, though whether that is for better or worse, we can debate. The facts are that Ade has a record of three goals in twenty-two games, which is terrible for a man of his undoubted quality, however whether it is due to apathy, lack of fitness or confidence, we still appear to be carrying a player that did so well last season, but has been terrible for the majority of this one.
I suppose we still have to see how well Jermain has recovered and how sharp he looks in training before deciding whether he should get the start against Arsenal, whilst AVB may well consider that Ade is improving and might well be nicely fired up to face his former club and also give us pay back for his reckless sending off at The Emirates in November. Of course he did score in that game, so is this a good opportunity to get inside the head of Adebayor and reap the rewards?
Personally, though I accept Ade has been terrible for much of our season, I would start him on Sunday. As I wrote earlier, I actually feel he has improved in the last couple of games and perhaps just needs that bit of luck to see a change in his fortunes and confidence. Add to that he faces his former club, but might also have Jermain Defoe breathing down his neck once again, which might force his work-rate to increase, as he knows he has genuine competition.
Whilst Adebayor has a clear axe to grind with Arsenal, Jermain has rarely achieved much success against them, scoring only once and that was in November 2004 in the famous 5-4 loss, in what I seem to recall was martin Jol's first game in charge. Perhaps as Arsenal continue to struggle defensively, either will fancy their chances of scoring on Sunday, however, who do you see as leading our attack in this North London derby?..