Cue the celebration for Adebayor at Villa Park
Emmanuel Adabyor has escaped a ban for his goal celebration against Arsenal, at least for the time being. He does get a Ã‚Â£25,000 fine and a two match suspended ban till December 2010. The official City site claims Mark Hughes was delighted.
“We are just glad to put it all behind us now and I am relieved he will be able to play at Aston Villa on Monday night.”
“Manu was in great form before his suspension and having him available again is a huge boost to us.”
In the initial aftermath of the match and back page furore that followed, it looked as though the FA would come down hard on Adebayor. Allowing time to pass before the hearing today may well have worked in City’s favour.
Given the lack of punishment for Robin Van Persie and Gary Neville for their celebrations in front of City fans, there was perhaps a sign that the FA weren’t going to come down to hard on this kind of behaviour.
Much was made of the recent Eduardo ‘diving’ case, where Uefa retracted a hastily imposed ban after the difficulties in consistently applying such punishments became apparent. If they were to ban players retrospectively for every time they exaggerated a foul, virtually every match would have to be looked at.
Maybe the FA had this in mind, recognising that by banning Adebayor, they would be making a rod for their own backs with future goal celebrations. To avoid a future clamour for players to be banned, it makes sense to simply fine Adebayor for ‘improper behaviour’. It should be remembered that the former Arsenal man didn’t break any rules as they stand – he remained within the field of play, and kept his shirt on.
There will be a lot of attention on Adebayor in the coming games, and he will have to show himself capable of controlling his emotions when provocation comes along. Hughes will surely speak to him about this, and I would expect the player to show more discipline in future. The real test of course, will be a trip to the Emirates, but that’s a long way off.
Next up is Villa Park, and the main point of interest for City fans will be the team that Hughes picks. Adebayor looks a certain to return, given his scoring run and strength in the air.
Who will make way? Tevez is finding his fitness and scored twice in the last match. Bellamy is in even better form. Petrov provided a greater threat against West Ham than the ever present Wright-Phillips. Ireland should be fit to return, but can he be accommodated? Barry is a first choice midfielder and de Jong has been instrumental in our recent successes.
The speculation will continue over the weekend, but for now we can content ourselves with looking forward to Adebayor’s next celebration.