25 September 2014

Adebayor tries to get Spurs up for the North London Derby...

WHITE HART LANE—There was a nervous tension in the clubroom as the lads changed after bravely fighting to a stirring comeback win over Championship side Nottingham Forest, showing a never-say-die attitude that saw them through after going down 0-1 but fighting back to win 3-1 in fine fashion. Spirits were high; after all, the win would bring the club closer to silverware than it had been in lo these many years. Still, there was apprehension in the air, thick enough to cut with a carving knife, and into the breach stepped a man among boys, one who had brave both sides of the tempest. A calm settled over the room as Emmanuel, a name almost messianic in meaning, strode forward and held forth.

     "Boys."    
     With that, all heads turned to gaze upon the messenger.
     "Listen to me. I know of what I speak. I have scored goals in this derby, and—"
     "Darby."
     "Wot?" Adebayor's irritation was palpable.
     "Beg pardon, sir, but I'm pretty sure that it's said like 'darby' rather than 'derby'—if you don't mind my saying so."
     Adebayor glared. He scanned the room, letting all who gazed upon him know the depth of his fury. "Darby. Derby. Dorby. I don't care. What I do care about is this: Arsenal sold me on. It's time for revenge." He paused, allowing the weight of his words to settle in. His eyes again scoured the room, honing in on each player for a second or two, pregnant with meaning, before moving on.
    "Ade?"
    The man's gaze, once locked in, could have melted titanium, such was his rage. "What. Is. It?" he hissed, through clenched teeth.
     "Um, it's just that—how do I put this?—weren't you kind of, um, I don't know, playing out a contract, just a bit?"
     If looks could kill, Adebayor's would be just a bit off-frame, but dangerous all the same. "I don't know what you mean."
     "Well, it's not as if Arsenal sold you to an actual rival, now, did they?" The voice was just a bit shrill but persistent nonetheless.
     "What? What? Man City were every bit the club then that they are now! How dare you suggest that they've come up out of nowhere—or that their surge happened despite my departure? I chose to leave Man City. I chose Tottenham. What's more, I've scored some epic goals in these clashes. I know what it takes to stay on the pitch, against all odds, and see it through to the bitter—"
     "Sir?" A tentative hand went up. Adebayor cocked his head to one side and shot his glare at the speaker.
     "Beg pardon, if I may, but haven't you been sent off against Arsenal once or twice?"
     At this, Adebayor's gaze turned to the horizon, or what counts for the horizon when one is indoors. "I do remember...something. Something unfortunate. Something that didn't go...according to plan." Again, his eyes turned to the distance as if searching for the words, seeking the explanation. "I...I...it was..." His voice broke, and his hand covered his eyes. For a few awkward moments, no one dared speak.
     Into this breach stepped Vertonghen. First, though, he had to signal to Lloris, who demurred and sat back down. It was then that Vertonghen spoke. "Listen, I think we all hear and understand the anguish that is Adebayor's. I myself had a chance to join this Arsenal club, but I passed. I thought, maybe I can help this other club. It has not come to pass. If I understand this derby correctly, it is important, yes? Perhaps more than other matches?"
     There was a general murmur of assent. Even Adebayor, sulking on the periphery, joined in.
     Vertonghen continued. "Ade has tried to inspire us. He has played on both sides of this, this 'darby?' so I can only assume that he speaks the truth."
     Again, a murmuration passed through the assembled.
     "Look, lads," Vertonghen persisted, "we're utter shite at home, aren't we? But we're not playing at home. We'll have a chance to escape that, that abomination of a stadium and show the world what-for, won't we?"
     His voice had risen to a crescendo, a strident, shrill crescendo, but it was met by little more than blank stares.
     "Maybe we can Besiktas next week," he heard a voice mutter...