Villas-Boas trying to 'unlock' Adebayor

The Tottenham star has had a disappointing season after making his loan move from Manchester City permanent but his coach predicts a turnaround in the striker's fortunes
Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas says that the club are doing all they can to unlock Emmanuel Adebayor's ability after an under-par season.

The striker has failed to repeat his 17 Premier League goals in 33 appearances from his loan spell at the club in 2011-12, with fitness problems, poor form and missing games at the Africa Cup of Nations affecting him since making a permanent switch from Manchester City.


Villas-Boas explained to reporters his efforts to coax out the Adebayor of old, declaring: "We're trying to unlock the best of Adebayor. Last year shows as an example of what we're trying to get out of him.

"The team has adapted its style of play, which can relate to the dynamic of how he adapts to the other players.

"We have been speaking to him about how he can get into that goalscoring position. Strikers live off goals and we're doing everything we can to try and unlock his full potential.

"Perceptions and media opinions can influence the public in general but I think the player strives on his own motivation in the end. It doesn't affect us in the way we deal with him.

"We just want to unlock his potential because we recognise we want him at the same level as last year and we're doing everything we can to try and help him reach that level.

“The injuries and the Africa Cup of Nations took him out for lots of games. [Jermain] Defoe's run this year had been magnificent. The team shifted a lot with the loss of Rafael van der Vaart and Luka Modric.

8/1 Emmanuel Adebayor is 8/1 with William Hill to score the last goal in Lyon v Spurs
"I'm not sure if it affected Adebayor's run. The relationship with the team now is different so everybody has to adapt in some way. With the run we have until the end of the season he can still be the player we saw last season."

The Portuguese coach is also unconcerned by suggestions that Spurs are over-reliant on Wales winger Gareth Bale, insisting that most clubs have a single standout player who is essential to their success.

"This is always the problem with big teams," he observed. "Barcelona rely on [Lionel] Messi, Real Madrid rely on [Cristiano] Ronaldo?

"But the great players have to make the difference. They are the stars and Gareth has been magnificent this season. It's something we are fortunate to have - players who can be decisive on those moments."