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Rewind to Boxing Day 1963

Barclays Premier League
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Adebayor: Togo call-up riled AVB

Emmanuel Adebayor admits Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas was unhappy with his last minute decision to take part in the African Cup of Nations.

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Adebayor, 28, belatedly opted to join up with the Togo squad ahead of the tournament in South Africa and he claims there was some tension over his decision to leave mid-way through the Premier League season.

Villas-Boas stated publicly that he has no issues with Adebayor representing his country, but the striker has suggested the Spurs manager had a much more stern assessment behind closed doors.

"That is what he said to the press, but not what he said to me," Adebayor told the Togo Football Federation's website when asked whether Villas-Boas's public utterances were accurate. "There is a difference between what you say to the press and what you say in private."

Adebayor's decision to play in the African Cup of Nations has left Tottenham with just one recognised striker in their squad, inspiring suggestions that Villas-Boas will now be forced to enter the transfer market to bolster his attacking options beyond Jermain Defoe.

Meanwhile, Adebayor insists the issues that had threatened his position in the 2013 Togo squad have yet to be fully resolved, with the security of the players one of his priorities following the horrific gun attack on the team bus that forced their withdrawal from the 2010 tournament.

"I have met the head of state on two occasions," he said. "We talked, I told him what was wrong with Togolese football. He must, at all costs, find solutions. We discussed it and he guaranteed that he would take charge of everything.

"In 2010, I wanted to go to the African Nations Cup to win and you saw all that happened. I hope this time will be better for me, for my team-mates, for all of Togo."

• Pick your Premier League fantasy squad for the second half of the season now and challenge your friends.

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