Adebayor accused

"I am sad and disappointed by my former team-mate Emmanuel Adebayor's mindless and malicious stamp on me during today's match. "We are both professional footballers and I know that the game is physical, I too have made hard and sometimes mis-timed challenges but never with the intention of hurting an opponent. He set out to hurt me today.

"I knew he was aiming for a collision because he changed the angle of his body to allow contact to be made. He moved backwards when his natural momentum would have taken him forward. I find that deeply disrespectful. He has shown a real lack of class today, to me and the fans.

"I do feel lucky that I have not suffered a greater injury. The contact was only centimetres from my eye. I have not received an apology from him, there were no words exchanged afterwards. He had his own agenda today and that is bad for football. It's bad for the game we all love.

"I want to make it clear that this has nothing to do with the result of today's match. We do not hide from that disappointment but I need to speak out about his behaviour."

>>Robin van Persie.

What is remarkable about van Persie's comments are that they appeared (ie, were sanctioned) on the official Arsenal website, not an off the cuff or throwaway remark and not something I have seen previously.

A cliche perhaps, but only Adebayor knows the degree of intent that was involved in the incident but the footage is there to be able to make a reasonable judgement.

I deliberated waited until watching it again this morning before posting up, as watching it as live it did not appear malicious, and more a case of Adebayor catching van Persie as a result of his momentum from the tackle.

Seeing again on replay (and with the benefit of slow motion) that was clearly not the case.

There was a definite kick out by Adebayor at van Persie, and of course he made contact with him. Given the coverage the incident has garnered it is inevitable that the FA are going to take a further look at it.

Whilst he may escape further punishment regarding his goal celebration (as he was booked at the time), I don't think he escapes this - and neither should he. Sure he faced provocation from the Arsenal fans throughout the game but raking his studs (it wasn't a stamp) across van Persie's face isn't something that can be defended.

The huge worry of course is that he could well miss next weeks derby as a result of this, something that we can ill-afford given that Robinho and Tevez are already absent.

Make your own minds up:




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