Adebayor ready to be Arsenal's 'new Kanu'

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The Independent Online

Emmanuel Adebayor is confident he can help provide the goals to lift Arsenal back into the top four of the Premiership and clinch Champions' League qualification.

The Togo striker has scored twice in his six appearances following his arrival from Monaco during the January transfer window for a fee of around £7m.

Adebayor has been dubbed the "new Kanu" because of the similarity in stature to the former Arsenal favourite, and the 22-year-old feels there is plenty more to come from him.

"I am getting quite a few games in the Premiership and so it is up to me to show what I can do, to show the boss what I am capable of," Adebayor said. "We are playing well at the moment in the League and I am sure we will get the points to lift us up the table.

"I am focused now on scoring more goals for Arsenal. As long as I keep hitting the back of the net here, then I will be happy."

The Arsenal striker will be hoping to retain his place in the starting line-up for Saturday's match with Charlton as the Gunners look to continue their resurgence and keep the pressure up on fourth-placed Tottenham.

Adebayor, though, admitted he was now having to adapt his style after spending all of his career in France, where collected a Champions' League runners-up medal in 2004.

"The game in England is much more physical than in France," he said. "You have got to be focused 200 per cent on the game and you have to concentrate for the entire 90 minutes."

Adebayor is one of several Gunners who will be in World Cup action this summer, as the Togo compete in their first finals. With South Korea, Switzerland and France in their group, it will be a tough task for the Africans to qualify for the knockout stages.

"It will be very difficult for Togo as it will be our first time at the World Cup. However, we plan to take it a game at a time and enjoy ourselves," Adebayor said.

"The good thing is that we do not have a lot of pressure on our shoulders. Nobody is expecting anything from us. We will have the entire continent of Africa behind us cheering us on so I am looking forward to it."

Sven Goran Eriksson, the England coach, will be hoping that both Ashley Cole and Sol Campbell are soon back in first-team action for the Gunners following their injury lay-offs.

Campbell could come into contention this weekend after playing for the reserves earlier in the week, although the trip to Portsmouth a week on Saturday may be a more realistic target for both him and Robin van Persie.

Cole, however, still faces at least two weeks of rehabilitation on an ankle problem. The Arsenal midfielder Freddie Ljungberg is also definitely out with a calf problem, but the manager, Arsène Wenger, hopes to have the Swede back in the squad for the first leg of the Champions' League quarter-final with Juventus on 28 March.

Before then the Gunners will seek to build on two successive Premiership wins with further maximum points' hauls against Charlton and Portsmouth.

"It is always better to develop something with victories, but it is difficult. Before we were playing one great game or two then we would lose and so lose the confidence as a team," said Thierry Henry.

"We need to be more consistent. That is what we are doing now but it is still a fresh thing," the Arsenal captain added.

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