15 April 2016

Adebayor eagerly plots his return to the Emirates...

SOUTH NORWOOD, LONDON—Alan Pardew's lads had just finished a spirited training session, the kind all but guaranteed to ward off relegation. They had after all earned positive results of late, what with an away-draw with high-flying West Ham, victory at home over Norwich, and another draw against prolific Everton. As the players ambled off the pitch, all eyes were on one former Gunner, one who has long had a score to settle with his former club. Emmanuel Adebayor meandered on over to reminisce with another former Gunner about what once was and what might yet still come pass.

     "Mr. George! Oi, Georgie!" Adebayor trotted eagerly over to Marouane Chamakh.      The Moroccan, apparently lost in thought or having forgotten a nickname long-lost, continued trudging towards the locker room.
     "Mar-oo!" Adebayor's call grew more insistent, and his pace intensified. "Chamie-san. There you are!" He bumped Chamakh rudely, and the man dropped a shin-guard. Visible irritation crossed his face as he bent down to retrieve it.
     "Cham-cham! I didn't think you heard me at first, back there when I called you Mr. George, so I gave you a new nickname: Maroo! You like it, right, because it's, like, your first name, but—hold on, see—it's just part of your first name, so that's what makes it a nickname!"
     Chamakh shrugged his shoulder and did his level-best to smile.
     "Come to think of it, mate, that's what where the word 'nickname' come from, innit? Like, I nicked part of your name, right? There it is then: nickname!"
     Chamakh struggled to offer something noncomittal yet off-putting. He failed.
     "So, Maroo. Big game Sunday, eh? You been back to the Emirates? Eh?"
     Chamakh managed to raise an eyebrow. Just as he started to speak, Adebayor cut him off. Isn't the first time he's done that, Chamakh thought to himself.
     "Mate, you should of been there—"
     Should have, Chamakh thought.
    "—when I scored against them in that North London Derby! Mate, it was epic. Jermaine, he tried to score it on Shuhnezny, but that wanker could only paw it down into my path, right? So what did I do?"
     Chamakh waited expectantly.
     Adebayor shoved him. "Maroo! Ask me what did I do, right?"
     Chamakh shrugged. "What did you do."
     "Lad, I slotted that ball home. Shuhshezny couldn't do nothing, no way, no how. BOOM. Goal. 0-1 to Spurs, amiright? I'ma do it to 'em again. Just. Like. That."
     Chamakh looked at his man. He squinted. He cocked his head to the right. Then, he checked himself in the mirror to ensure that his hair was still on-point. Done. "Ade?"
     "You should of seen them—"
     Have, for the love of Allah, Chamakh again thought.
     "—when I scored it! Game over!" Adebayor could barely contain his glee.
     "Ade?" Chamakh again ventured to interrupt.
     "I—eh? What is it, Maroo?"
     "I—first, don't call me...no, never mind that, now. Didn't you get sent off in that match?"
     "I—what? Sent off? I...well, I guess I...I...yes."
     "So, didn't Arsenal end up winning that match?'
     Adebayor paused at this point, as if lost in thought.
     "So, what you're saying, Manu, is that you plan on scoring a goal to make it 0-1 just like you did in 2012."
     "Spot on. Nailed it."
     Chamakh regarded his teammate as one might a flea or a tick. "But...Arsenal will end up winning 5-2 because you're going to get sent off."
     "Right! That's just—oh." Adebayor, nonplussed, stared at his boots as if they would offer an answer. Chamakh, seeing his opening, walked away.