Leave Adebayor alone, Wenger urges Arsenal fans

Updated: 01 October 2011 11:21 IST

Arsene Wenger has urged Arsenal supporters to respect Emmanuel Adebayor when the striker plays against them in Tottenham colours for the first time on Sunday.

Leave Adebayor alone, Wenger urges Arsenal fans
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London:

Arsene Wenger has urged Arsenal supporters to respect Emmanuel Adebayor when the striker plays against them in Tottenham colours for the first time on Sunday.

Adebayor spent three years under Wenger but angered Gunners fans after he moved to Manchester City and sprinted the length of the field to taunt them with a goal celebration.

The 27-year-old had an impressive goalscoring record against Spurs when he was at Arsenal but is now looking to add to his old team's troubles this season in Sunday's north London derby at White Hart Lane.

However Wenger has urged Arsenal's fans to lay off Adebayor despite the Togolese striker's history.

"That's what you don't want," Wenger said. "You want people to support the team in a positive way. A football game is a fantastic day that everyone has to enjoy and with a positive atmosphere.

"So let our fans get behind our team and forget about the rest. If the game is great the attention will be on the game."

Wenger's team looked nervy, clinging onto victory against Olympiakos in the Champions League this week, and they have already lost three times in the Premier League.

At least he has Theo Walcott and Gervinho returning from injury, although Laurent Koscielny will miss out.

"It is a very important game, you know the next game is always the most important in your life," Wenger added.

"We do not try to play down its importance at all, I just think it's the same home or away, if you play well you win.

"Every win makes you stronger, especially when you come from a difficult period. For us it's important to get wins together and get the confidence back."

Adebayor will be determined to get on the scoresheet against his ex-team-mates again.

Spurs manager Harry Redknapp was one of the only people to call Adebayor two years ago and offer his support when the striker was criticised for his extravagant celebration in front of Arsenal fans.

"I'm sure he won't over-react again," Redknapp said. "I think he apologised last time. He's got a lot of respect for Arsenal still but he loves it here now, he's a Tottenham player.

"I am sure he's going to get plenty of abuse but he has just got to get on with his game.

"You can't react to that. Fans are entitled to give players all the stick in the world so long as it's in the bounds of decency."

Spurs have won their last three Premier League matches and fielded their reserves in the Europa League when they defeated Shamrock Rovers.

William Gallas is out with a new calf injury and Aaron Lennon looks set to miss out with a groin problem.

"There won't be much in it," was Redknapp's verdict on the game. "Arsenal are dangerous and cannot be underestimated.

"Theo Walcott, Robin van Persie, Gervinho. It's a good forward line. One with fantastic ability, two with great pace and they can all score goals.

"They're a threat to anyone and we'll have to be at our best. But I fancy us against anyone here at White Hart Lane. We're a good side."

Redknapp feels the criticism of Wenger has been unfair.

"You know what it's like in football. You lose a few games and suddenly Arsene Wenger's a poor manager," Redknapp said.

"The man's been a great manager at Arsenal and I am sure he will be for many years to come. God knows what people are saying about him on the radio.

"They have had injuries. That has been the problem. I think the centre half (Thomas) Vermaelen is top drawer.

"They have missed him. I think he is a fantastic player."

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