Why play football just because you’re a footballer?

‘It’s not fair to judge young boys’ – Klopp

Tottenham have named their squads for their upcoming Premier League and Europa League campaigns, and there was little surprise to see that Emmanuel Adebayor was not included on either list. 

Spurs have desperately been looking to off-load the striker for some time, but the Togo international's wage demands have proved a stumbling block. Tottenham are believed to have looked to terminate Adebayor's £100,000-a-week contract, but with the player seeking a £5million pay-off, the north London outfit decided against doing so.

Instead, Adebayor will be sidelined from first team football until the start of January. It's unclear whether he'll consider this a good or a bad thing, as it appears that playing football is no longer a priority for the 31-year-old.

Adebayor made just 17 appearances in all competitions last season, one in which he was twice granted time off to deal with personal matters, and he looks set to play even fewer in the current campaign. 

But there were a number of ways out for Adebayor. Aston Villa were keen to bring in the former Manchester City striker on loan, while West Ham even considered a permanent deal before their interest cooled, with chairman David Gold saying that the Tottenham forward was "very expensive". Instead the Hammers gave Nikica Jelavic a Premier League lifeline by signing the Croatian from relegated Hull City.

It's easy to look in from the outside and criticise Adebayor for refusing to take a pay cut or move to a smaller club, but surely there comes a time when one has to ask: does he actually want to play football anymore? His refusal to leave White Hart Lane where he has been told in no uncertain terms that he does not have a future suggests that he's not that fazed.

Former Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini famously delivered this assessment of full-back Wayne Bridge who was not in his first-team plans:

"For a player it should be important to play football. I don't know why someone would want to stay at one club when they know they cannot play. When we are young and start to play football, we don't play for money. We play because we like football and every player should have this target in mind: play football," said the Italian.

"Wayne is a good guy but for every other player it should be important to play. Wayne has had two or three chances [to leave]. In the summer he had the chance to play for Celtic, and this is an important team. I don't know [what he does on Saturdays now]. Golf?"

Replace 'Wayne' with 'Emmanuel' and 'Celtic' with any one of a plethora of clubs and you've pretty much got Adebayor's current situation. Bridge would later hit back at Mancini and say that he doesn't even play golf, we're not sure Adebayor does either.

What makes Adebayor's situation even more frustrating is that this is a player who has previously played for some of the game's biggest clubs in Monaco, Arsenal, City and Real Madrid. He's been named African Footballer of the Year and led his country to the World Cup. Now, he sits at home while his team-mates play. It's hard to comprehend.

Many footballer are living the high life, they're paid not for playing, but just for being at the club. Football is their job, for many it's no longer a passion. It's hard to know where Adebayor's priorities lie, but they don't seem to lie with playing football.

James Ho