Supporters stick with a club for better or worse; players and managers move on, forced to develop different loyalties. It is typical of the eventful life and career of Emmanuel Adebayor that two of his three English clubs should be the bitterest of rivals, who over the next eight days happen to be fighting each other for what seems certain to be the final place in next season's Champions' League.
"My head, my concentration, my focus, my life belongs to Tottenham," he said after scoring and making a goal in the midweek draw with Chelsea, which may not be enough to prevent the other London side taking third place. "If we finish above Arsenal I will be very happy. Don't get me wrong, I still have affection for the club, but that was a different life, it was in the past. If I can kill them, I will definitely kill them, because we are in a game where you have to give your best to the team."
His "affection" for Arsenal has previously been shown in strange ways: almost provoking a riot when running the length of the pitch after scoring against them for Manchester City; receiving a red card this season for a wild challenge on the new Emirates hero, Santi Cazorla. Yet that dismissal helped the home side to come back and beat their neighbours 5-2, which may prove to be a crucial result when the points are totted up next Sunday night.
Before then Spurs must go to Stoke today and receive Sunderland at White Hart Lane, knowing on both occasions that their opponents should be safe from relegation. Arsenal, a point ahead, have home advantage against Wigan before travelling to Newcastle.
Stoke v Tottenham is on Sky Sports 1 today, kick-off 1.30pmReuse content