Emmanuel Adebayor says his “hate” for Arsenal comes from a fallout with manager Arsene Wenger, and has explained why he preferred to play under Jose Mourinho because of his winning mentality.
Adebayor left Arsenal for City amid acrimonious circumstances in 2009, and was seen as one of the first players to cash in on their newfound riches with a deal worth £150,000 a week.
In an interview with TRT World, he has claimed that Wenger forced him out of the club before misleading the media about his reasons for moving.
“I had a meeting with Arsene Wenger in his office when he told me I had to leave because he doesn’t see my future any more in Arsenal. I have to move on in my life,” Adebayor said.
“I was like ‘I’m going to stay.’ He was like ‘no there is not even a fight organised. We are not going to organise any fight for you. You move out or you stay here and don’t play any games.’
“So I didn’t have any other choice than joining Man City which I was very happy to join. And the next day when I joined Manchester City I saw him doing a press conference in London saying that I wanted to leave because the money was big and everything, and since that day that is where the hate for Arsenal came from.
“Not the fans because the fans are the first English fans to sing my name in London. Even today when I watch them play I want them to win but at the same time I want them to lose because the anger in me is too big.”
Adebayor infuriated his former fans running the length of the pitch to celebrate after scoring for City against Arsenal at the Etihad that year.
Asked what went through his mind when racing toward the away section, Adebayor said: “A prisoner is out. A prisoner is free. I play for the club for three and a half years. They bought me for three or four million, they sold me for 27m, and they are still calling me names. They are still telling me I leave for money.
“You bought me for £3m, I still have five years’ contract and you let me go for £20m more and you are telling me I am the one leaving for money and you are abusing me.
“You can insult me no problem, but telling me my father washes elephants? I ain’t taking that. So for me, it’s just to show them that the person you are insulting still has something in his locker.”
Adebayor also praised current Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho, whom he played under at Real Madrid, saying he was one of the few “honest” managers he has worked with.
And when asked to describe the difference between Mourinho and Wenger, Adebayor said the Portuguese coach is obsessed with winning while the Arsenal boss is merely a teacher.
“Mourinho is a manager that wants to win a trophy no matter what it takes, even if he has to park the bus, the train or a plane he just wants to win and will do everything it takes to win,” he said.
“He will not sleep. He will work 24 hours to win one game. And Arsene just loves to bring kids in and make them become big players. He is like a teacher.”