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Sep 15, 2009

Wenger admits surprise at Adebayor's "animosity"

Arsene Wenger believes Emmanuel Adebayor will one day look back and realise just what he owes to Arsenal Football Club.

The Manchester City striker, who headed to Eastlands in a £25 million summer move, is facing the possibility of an extended ban after being at the centre of two controversial incidents during Saturday's 4-2 Barclays Premier League win over his former club.

The Football Association have charged the Togo international with violent conduct after he struck former team-mate Robin van Persie in the face with his boot, as well as for misconduct after he ran the length of the field to celebrate in front of the visiting Arsenal fans following his goal.

Adebayor, 25, was plucked from relative obscurity at Monaco by Wenger in January 2006. A couple of seasons later, and the 6ft 3ins African was one of the hottest properties in Europe following a 30-goal haul.

Following a summer of speculation over a big-money move to AC Milan, Adebayor agreed a new deal only to then suffer a lack of consistent form amid reports of dressing room unrest before eventually leaving for Eastlands.

Wenger, though, believes in time, Adebayor will come to re-evaluate the role Arsenal played in his development. "My thought is that Emmanuel Adebayor deserves to be charged for what he did,'' reflected Wenger as he spoke to the media ahead of Wednesday night's Champions League Group H opener against Standard Liege in Belgium.

"But I was surprised that there was such animosity in his attitude towards Arsenal because in a few years he will realise that Arsenal has been great for him. That is why I was deeply surprised and shocked.''

The Gunners boss continued: "Only he can say if he will regret leaving. All I can say is that is life and professional football players move on. In life, the goal is to be objective enough in seeing who helped you and who didn't help you, who had a positive influence on you or not.

"You can sometimes be disappointed in the short term. But still I believe that when you take distance with the events, you always get to the right judgement. I think the longer distance will make Adebayor realise that Arsenal was a very positive influence in his life.''

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