The taunts and abuse that Emmanuel Adebayor suffered from Arsenal fans at the City of Manchester Stadium on Saturday cannot be excused. The display was disgusting, inhumane and hideously inappropriate.
But whatever comments he was forced to put up with, Adebayor and his actions during Manchester City's 4-2 victory over his former club cannot be forgiven either.
By sprinting the full length of the pitch to celebrate in front of the Arsenal end after scoring City's third goal, Adebayor came close to sparking a riot and showed gross irresponsibility and negligence.
With his goal and City's win, he had already gotten the last word on his protagonists. No more was needed. It was bad enough that the surge of activity that followed his crass celebration resulted in a match steward being knocked out by a bottle thrown from the stands.
What made this even worse is that by responding to the boos, whistles and cuss words, Adebayor showed that the taunting got under his skin.
Fans spout anger and abuse because they want a reaction, to affect the mindset of their target. Much of the time the taunting is ugly, but it's also relatively harmless.
The reason Arsenal supporters hate Adebayor so much is due to the insensitive comments he made about the club and manager Arsene Wenger more than a year ago.
In the summer of 2008, when it looked as if the Togo striker would join AC Milan, it didn't seem to matter. But when that transfer fell through, Adebayor had to spend another uncomfortable season at Arsenal, one in which he often looked less than motivated.
With all that considered, after scoring on Saturday, couldn't he have just celebrated with his own fans, the City supporters who are falling in love with him?
Adebayor is not exactly covering himself in glory right now. During the same match, he allegedly was involved in an incident with Robin van Persie, who claimed he had been intentionally stepped on by Adebayor.
The English press is reporting that Adebayor could receive two separate back-to-back three-game suspensions. Such a punishment does seem reasonable, given the seriousness of his offenses.
Hopefully, the time on the sidelines will prompt Adebayor to think about his decisions and alter his ways.
Weekend Best XI
1. Get him an Advil
Leonardo has not found life easy since replacing Carlo Ancelotti as head coach of AC Milan. Still reeling from a 4-0 thumping by local rivals Inter Milan before the international break, the Brazilian hoped for better things against newly promoted Livorno, but there was no real improvement. Livorno held the Rossoneri to a dismal 0-0 draw.
2. Get him a beer
Fabio Capello has done everything right since taking over as England manager but his decision to ban players' wives and girlfriends from the World Cup could be his best move yet. The infamous WAGs will be allowed to jet in for matches and spend one rest day with their partners, but a repeat of the ludicrous sideshow that overshadowed the side's 2006 campaign will not be tolerated by the hard-line Italian genius.
3. Get them some earplugs
Bob Bradley and his USA players need to prepare themselves for a cacophony of noise when they visit San Pedro Sula to take on Honduras next month. Fully aware of the importance of the clash, a group of Honduras supporters have ordered more than 100 vuvuzelas, the hideous African horns that created such a racket at the Confederations Cup, in the hope of creating an even more intimidating atmosphere.
4. Keep an eye on …
Tim Barton. The Texas entrepreneur is poised to take control of Serie A club Bari, meaning he will become the first American to own a leading Italian side. Barton has deep pockets and big ambitions – which, combined with the strong core of emerging youth talent at the club, could signal bright days ahead for Bari.
5. Catch a flight to …
Manchester. Old Trafford hosts arguably the most significant Manchester derby in years, with defending English Premier League champion United playing host to its resurgent neighbor Manchester City. For once, there is more than just local pride at stake.
6. Useless and completely made-up statistic of the week
57 – Number of horrendous mistakes made by the Los Angeles Galaxy in its most inept performance of the season, a 6-3 defeat to FC Dallas. Things had been looking up for the Galaxy, but Bruce Arena's men gave a reminder of the bad old days of the past two seasons in a dismal performance.
7. Fond farewell
The Women's European Championship might have dipped under your radar, but the tournament produced some outstanding soccer, including a brilliant performance from champion Germany, which beat England 6 -2 in the final. The standard of the women's game internationally increases with every passing season.
8. Get ready to say hello to …
Heath Pearce. The USA national team defender has signed with FC Dallas after being released by German side Hansa Rostock last summer.
9. Get ready to say goodbye to …
Darren Huckerby. The San Jose Earthquakes winger won't be seen again this season after the Englishman was forced to undergo a hip operation. Huckerby has been impressive ever since moving to the United States last year and will be sorely missed by the Quakes.
10. Get excited about …
Whether you love him or hate him, no one can deny Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the most entertaining players to watch in world soccer. Ronaldo seems to be finally settling in at Real Madrid and scored in the team's 3-0 victory over Espanyol last Saturday.
11. Why it's good to be a soccer player
Take a look at Toni Poole, aka Mrs. John Terry. Just don't expect to see much of her at the World Cup.
- Emmanuel Adebayor
- Manchester City