What they did, what they said

Emmanuel Adebayor

Has retired from international football again, announcing on Saturday he was suspending representing the Togo national team and would not be participating at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations. Not sure if the clue is in 'suspending'. If he remains true to his word I'm more worried if this means Daniel Levy will suspend himself any attempt for us to sign a striker. Then again, we hardly need an excuse to do that.

As for the player and his Lilywhite shirt. With Defoe banging them in, on form, Adebayor's stop-start season finally has to kick off when he returns. He has to earn his spurs (see what I done there?)

We remain in a perpetual state of waiting.

Defoe on Villas-Boas

This made me tingle: (via the Guardian on Friday)

"Away from football, as a person, he is a top guy, a really nice guy. After every session he will come into the changing room or treatment room and go to every player to see if you are OK. 'How do you feel? How's your legs?' General chit chat. He will do it with every player, every day," he explains. "Even when I was away with England he will send me a message sometimes – 'Good luck. How's the game?' Stuff like that. When you have got a manager like that you want to play for him and do well."

I guess this is bad news for the tabloid hacks. Oh no wait, they can move away from in-house revolts and concentrate on January instead...

Gareth Bale and the loaded question

If all the made up stories and obvious links aren't enough (with Luka Modric on permanent soundbite alert on the Madrid bench, all lonely and in need of a friend) Bale has also found the time to respond to a headline-creating question which will no doubt fuel more hype in the lead up to the next window even though its a nigh impossibility the player will depart.

"It would be nice to experience other leagues and other cultures. I've always said I'm not afraid to go abroad. If the times comes and a team that's right comes in for me, then I'll look at it seriously. I'll see what happens. Everybody wants to be playing in the Champions League. Obviously we were unfortunate not to get in there last season but the UEFA Europa League is the next best thing. We've all put 100 per cent in every game we have played, we've taken the competition seriously and hopefully we can win this one."

So basically Bale harbours ambitions most footballers desire. To be successful, to play at the very highest level, to win things. I said loaded question, right?

edit: Question originated from the Fulham programme notes.

Elsewhere

One of the most annoying things in football is the sight of Arsene Wenger leaving his dugout and walking towards the touchline/technical area with a smug smile littering his face in the aftermath of his team scoring. So it's only logical that one of the greatest things would be Wenger leaving his seat to walk despondently towards the touchline, utterly powerless witnessing his side about to lose at home, arms flapping, looking around for an impossible solution.

In the post-match reactions to our 5-2 loss in the cesspit, I said the result would flatter them and carefully mask some home truths. The game was a catalyst after-all. Or perhaps not. That defeat said little about either side in the end. It's what happens between now and the next time we face them which will re-define everyone's journey experience on the London Underground. Mind the something.

The next three months

December - Everton away. The other's are winnable.

January - Manchester United at home. The others are winnable.

February - All winnable.

March - Arsenal at home.

If there was ever a reason to speculate to accumulate, to consolidate our depth. To take advantage of everyone else's self-doubt...it's now. We've got a lot of work to do. A lot is expected from returning players, but more so how our chairman plans to back our coach in a months time.

I remain confident.