“Togo cannot do without a player like Emmanuel Adebayor. We need him in the outfit to move forward,” Togo coach Didier Six had said upon assuming office last November, but he no longer feels the same way having been able to move the team to the next round of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying without the onetime indispensable top scorer.
The 57-year-old Frenchman told reporters in Lome last weekend after his team edged Kenya to reach the second and final round of the 2013 Afcon qualifying that Adebayor’s indispensability was becoming a thing of the past, as his players were learning to play and live without his presence.
“Nobody can deny the talent and importance of Emmanuel Adebayor in the Togo national team, and the great things he has done for the nation. But we can’t keep waiting and hanging our hopes on one player, who has turned his back on us. We need to accept the situation, work with those available and move forward,” Six said.
“And that is what I feel the players are beginning to do. We must learn not to depend on one player but depend on the team as a whole,” he said.
The 28-year-old Tottenham striker, who remains Togo’s all-time top score with 23 goals, retired from international football in April 2010 following a gunfire attack on Togo team bus in Angola, but returned to the set up in November 2011 featuring against Guinea-Bissau in the 2014 World Cup qualifier.
However, he announced last month he was leaving the team once more because officials were yet to implement the safety guarantees that lured him back.