Forums / The footytube Blog
Order: Newest / Oldest
Adebayor Was Chastised For Inciting Crowd Trouble And Yet Walcott Was Not
Icebluesun (Everton) 3 years ago
The phrase that came to mind is "shooting the messenger".

Can this be compared to the "diving Suarez" goal celebration or the many Merseyside comparisons in history?
Footytubeblog (Blog) 3 years ago
Theo Walcott has escaped punishment following his gesture towards the Tottenham supporters during the North London Derby.

Escaped may be misleading, though. Walcott hardly committed a heinous crime. And yet some may wish to draw parallels to incidents in the past involving Emmanuel Adebayor.

The difference is clear, however. Adebayor had and continues to have long-standing bad blood with the Arsenal supporters, and his sprint across the pitch at the Etihad stadium to goad the away support back in 2009 was a premeditated stab back over something he initially incited.

Why shouldn’t Arsenal supporters feel aggrieved towards Adebayor? Here was a player who had put in one good season for the club – and in honesty, for the most part it was an excellent season – and wanted parity with past big earners under Arsene Wenger.

His flirtation with a move away, involving both AC Milan and Barcelona, and then the immediate backtrack, rightly got under the skin of the Arsenal fans, who with a lot of justification felt Adebayor had far from earned the huge pay hike he eventually landed himself in the summer of 2008.

The ensuing season involved disappointment, bitterness and embarrassing performances on the part of the Togolese striker. Wenger was right to let him go when he did, though there’s a case to be made that he should have moved the forward on a year before and simply washed his hands with the case.

Adebayor’s actions at the Etihad during his first season as a Manchester City player looked like that of an individual who wanted to get one over on the Arsenal fans. And let’s not forget his studs rake across the face of Robin van Persie in the same game.

There are few comparisons to that of what Walcott did in the FA Cup third round at home to Spurs. The player had gone down injured in an unfortunate area of the pitch and was receiving a volley of abuse and missiles thrown in his direction. As a similar point, Etienne Capoue went down injured during the first North London Derby of this season and was clapped off the pitch by the Arsenal support.

What Walcott did, a throwaway gesture that couldn’t have offended anyone even if they sat there mulling over the possibility of any malice for the rest of the season, was in no way premeditated. If fans are going to give out stick, of which some is far more offensive and hideous than, say, Jack Wilshere’s gesture towards the Manchester City fans this season, then what grounds do the same fans have for being overly precious when the player retaliates?
Walcott didn’t incite anything. Gareth Bale, in fact, did the same thing when celebrating a goal against Arsenal at White Hart Lane, and Rafael van der Vaart loved to celebrate in front of the Arsenal support. Why wasn’t anything said about it? Because that would be petty and moreover there was nothing in it. It’s sporting rivalry. I’m sure many people laughed when the Borussia Dortmund fan snuck into the Allianz Arena and changed the colour of the stadium to yellow.

You have to question how many of those Tottenham fans will have action taken against them for what they did. The human factor comes into it, too. Walcott may have been told of his responsibilities as a professional, but it’s in our nature to give a little back when abuse comes our way. Once again, indicating the score line is far from the worst thing he could have done.

The difference between Walcott’s gesture in comparison to Adebayor’s actions is that Walcott didn’t incite anything from the crowd. It was simple retaliation. Sprinting the length of the pitch to celebrate in front of the away fans, however, doesn’t come naturally.

But even if it was the other way around and people could find evidence that Walcott incited that level of behaviour from the Tottenham support, you’d have to have something seriously wrong with you if you do anything but laugh at a guy on a stretcher telling you what the score is.

Kick4Life - changing lives through football