Why Arsenal fans have every right to boo Emmanuel Adebayor on Saturday

Two former players are likely to get very different receptions from Arsenal fans at Eastlands on Saturday.

Kolo Toure, this week confirmed as Manchester City's new club captain, should be able to count on a standing ovation from the visiting supporters.

Emmanuel Adebayor, meanwhile, will be public enemy No1. It is hard to think of any recent former player who has aroused such dislike among Arsenal fans.

Even the latte sipping classes in Islington have been known to choke on their smoked salmon bagels when his very name crops up.

I was listening to BBC Five Live when City beat Portsmouth the other Sunday - having been ordered to stop watching Sky and go shopping - and their summariser Steve Claridge reckoned Ade got a raw deal at Arsenal.

It's funny how former players view things so very differently from supporters. I like Claridge and his insight into the game.

But I've got to strongly disagree with him on this one. Raw deal? You earn respect from supporters and Adebayor only ever got it fleetingly from Arsenal fans.

When Adebayor arrived at Arsenal in January 2006 for £3m - yes, £3m quid according to my very good source - he was raw, gangly and was a work in progress.

In fact, it took 18 months for Arsene Wenger to turn Adebayor into a prolific striker who scored 30 goals in the 2007/08 season. He was on fire in the campaign which was the first season after Thierry Henry left.

In all the 13 years Wenger has been at Arsenal, I cannot think of a player - and there's been a few examples - who he has improved more than Adebayor.

If Adebayor was a sprinter you would say he was on drugs. The difference and improvement was that great. But Wenger is a supreme coach and Adebayor owes his career to the Arsenal manager.

However, Adebayor allowed his goals and improvement to go to his head. He was saying one thing to Arsenal about wanting to stay and another thing to the media about wanting to leave.

On one memorable occasion, Adebayor met Wenger at the Euros and told him he was committed to Arsenal.

Hours later, he did a press conference for his boot company and said on TV he was staying. Then he did interviews with the written media - and with cameras off - he said he wanted to leave.

Adebayor was making noises about deserving to be paid as much as Henry used to get at Arsenal and how the club was trying to sell him behind his back.

The deal never quite happened with AC Milan or Barcelona despite Adebayor making it pretty clear he wanted out so he was forced to stay at Arsenal and then signed a new five-year contract.

At this point, footballers normally trot out the old line that they never wanted to leave, they were misquoted and the nasty rotten press made it all up. Adebayor was no different.

However, on this occasion, Adebayor's actions and public statements had been so outlandish that the fans saw through his denials and booed him at the start of last season.

Adebayor pretty much sulked his way through last season and then took the big bucks and joined City in a £22m deal.

It's all been plain sailing since then. Mark Hughes has praised Adebayor, Adebayor has been scoring and playing brilliantly as well as praising the City fans.

But this is not just about a player leaving one club for another and his old club's fans being upset. If that were the case, then why do Arsenal fans still have so much affection for Kolo Toure?

Toure was part of the Invincibles team of 2003/04, he gave his heart and soul in every performance and most Arsenal fans believe £14m for a player who has been in decline for the past two years is great business.

As for Adebayor, the City striker has won nothing in his career, is at his fourth club and is still only 25 and gained a reputation among Arsenal fans for being a foreign mercenary.

So please spare me the "don't give him a hard time" line, he did well for Arsenal and other such nonsense before Saturday’s game.

Adebayor deserves everything he gets. Arsenal fans dislike him but good, honest ticket-buying supporters from every other club - bar City just yet - can see right through him.

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