Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

WENGER: FANS MUST NOT BAIT ADEBAYOR; PLEASE LEAVE CITY STRIKER ALONE, SAYS ARSENAL BOSS; Wenger's Warning over Adebayor

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

WENGER: FANS MUST NOT BAIT ADEBAYOR; PLEASE LEAVE CITY STRIKER ALONE, SAYS ARSENAL BOSS; Wenger's Warning over Adebayor

Article excerpt

Byline: James Olley Football Correspondent

ARSENE WENGER has urged Arsenal supporters to avoid taunting Emmanuel Adebayor when Manchester City visit Emirates Stadium tomorrow night.

The former Gunners striker is expected to face a hostile reception on his first return to the club following his controversial goal celebration in City's 4-2 win at Eastlands in September.

Adebayor ran the length of the field to celebrate in front of Arsenal's fans, for which he was subsequently fined [pounds sterling]25,000, while he was suspended for three matches following a stamp on Robin van Persie in the game.

But Wenger has warned his players not to be distracted by the furore surrounding their former team-mate. "There is a need to focus on playing football," said the Arsenal manager, who revealed he plans to talk to Adebayor after the game.

"To play good football is to be calm, relaxed and focused. That's what you want your players to do.

"We don't want the crowd to get on Adebayor's back. We want our crowd to support the team because, in a big game, that is what you want.

"I can forgive him [for his celebration].

I am stubborn but not stupid.

Sometimes in the heat of the moment you can do things that are not right.

"Arsenal have done well for Adebayor so you don't expect that."

City manager Roberto Mancini was not in charge for the September clash but has called on Adebayor to show more restraint if he scores again against the club he left in a [pounds sterling]25million deal last summer.

"I watched the game against Arsenal on TV," he said. "I don't know why it happened but in that game Emmanuel made a mistake. Tomorrow it is important he only concentrates on City because Emmanuel is important to us when he is doing that.

"If he scores again, I will be happy but it is important we don't have another situation like the first one. …

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