Adebayor has shown how important he can be for Tottenham, says AVB
Andre Villas-Boas singles out Emmanuel Adebayor for special praise ahead of Tottenham's Europa League clash in Basel
Andre Villas-Boas has singled out Emmanuel Adebayor for special praise ahead of Tottenham’s Europa League quarter-final trip to Basel.
The Togolese striker has largely failed to rekindle the impressive loan form that earned him a permanent transfer to White Hart Lane from Manchester City last summer.
The 29-year-old, who managed 18 goals in 37 games last term, notched up just his sixth strike of the season when he scored the opener against Everton at the weekend.
But Spurs boss Villas-Boas has launched a staunch defence of the forward and believes Sunday’s goal can help him rediscover some of the confidence in his play that had deserted him in recent months.
“Adebayor has got back in the goals in our recent games and he has shown how influential he can be,” Villas-Boas told a news conference ahead of Thursday’s game in Basel, which is finely poised at 2-2 after the first leg.
“He’s really enjoying his football. He is driven by his last goals and last performance and he is doing extremely well.
“Finding the back of the net allows him to go into the game with more confidence and I always think it’s self-belief from the player, rather than anything else that helps them improve.
“His link-up play has improved tremendously. He’s been much more involved in the build of play and assisted and created so much, allowing others to flourish.”
Basel v Tottenham: Pre-match facts
• Tottenham’s six games against Swiss sides have ended W3 D1 L2 (W2 D1 L1 at home – W1 D0 L1 in Switzerland). Those six matches produced 26 goals, with Tottenham scoring four or more in each of their three victories.
• Basel helped eliminate Manchester United from the 2011-12 Champions League group stage, drawing 3-3 in Manchester before a 2-1 home win on matchday six to reach the round of 16.
• Basel are in excellent form at home. Since drawing 2-2 with Genk in their first group stage home game, they have won their last four Europa League games at St. Jakob-Park without conceding a goal.
• Tottenham are the only side left in the competition who have won this trophy before, lifting the Uefa Cup in 1971/72 and 1983/84.