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May 10, 2013

AVB: Adebayor criticism unfair

Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas believes his much-maligned striker Emmanuel Adebayor deserves credit for his performances this season.

• Blog: A good season

The Togo international turned in his most impressive display of the campaign as he claimed the man-of-the-match prize in Wednesday night's 2-2 draw at Chelsea.

His modest total of four Premier League goals, though, does not represent a healthy return for a team that have been operating with just two recognised strikers this term.

However, Villas-Boas has suggested the criticism that has been levelled at Adebayor by Tottenham fans is not justified, as he has been a victim of circumstance in a season of change at the club.

"The team changed dramatically in terms of personnel and style of play, so it has been a totally different scenario for him," Villas-Boas said. "I think he has had an amazing season. This season he adapted to a new function, a new role.

"Some players that played last year had a great season, were very experienced and they have left [Luka Modric and Rafael van der Vaart]. The team has changed in some way. The team has had to adapt to a new reality.

"Adebayor's mobility has been excellent for us, the way he fed our team, as you saw the other day with [Gylfi] Sigurdsson when he assisted him for the goal, so the team is completely different to last year.

"We were pleased with the number of games that Adebayor played in the end representing what he has done for the team, maybe not the amount of goals that he expected, but he has certainly helped the team be within the frame to achieve our objectives."

Meanwhile, Villas-Boas has insisted failure to qualify for next season's Champions League will not represent a failed first season in charge, even though he will have fared worse than the top-four finish Harry Redknapp achieved as Spurs boss a year ago.

"The objective is to do better than last season, every single club progresses in that direction," he said. "A couple of clubs reach their objectives, other don't make it. We are still in that frame, still in that possibility. We have to judge on whatever happens.

"We have made great progress this season when you see our performances against the top clubs and the qualities we have shown. We have to build on that."

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