Emmanuel Adebayor says Tottenham’s players are paralysed by fear at White Hart Lane and would rather play away due to the negative atmosphere generated by the club’s supporters.
The Togo striker, speaking after Spurs’ 2-1 home defeat against Stoke on Sunday, said the players were afraid to get on the ball during the contest but added Mauricio Pochettino is not to blame for the team’s poor form.
Tottenham have also lost at home to West Brom, Newcastle and Liverpool this season and are currently 12th in the Barclays Premier League table.
“Will it help playing away from home? To be honest, I think so,” Adebayor said.
“At least you know I am going to be having the majority of opposition fans booing me rather than our own fans booing me.
“And I am not just talking about me, I am speaking on behalf of all the players.
“I think it might be better to play away from home at the moment because at least we know beforehand we are guaranteed to be booed because they want their home club to win.
“But when you are playing at home and your own fans start booing you after a few minutes then it is harder.”
There was a nervous atmosphere from the start at White Hart Lane yesterday and the fans were quick to vent their frustrations after Bojan Krkic gave Stoke an early lead.
The criticism seemed to affect the players and Pochettino admitted after the match his players “needed a lot of time to recover”.
“When you are playing in front of your own crowd you want them to support you,” Adebayor said.
“But now it is like going through a sad moment and your family not welcoming you home – that’s the worst thing ever because you have nowhere to go.
“Obviously I was on the bench against Stoke and, though I could not see everything as clear as night, I could see that nobody wanted the ball.
“It’s hard for the players. It’s not their fault and it’s not the fans’ fault either because the fans want to see a result, the fans want to see a response and things are not going our way at the moment.
“We just have to fight as a team and as a club to find a solution – the quicker the better.”
Pochettino had put his faith in Adebayor as his first-choice striker this season but the 30-year-old has scored just twice in 12 appearances.
The talented forward is often criticised for a lack of effort in games but Adebayor insists he always tries his best for the team.
“For 13 years now I’ve been a professional and I’ve had to deal with that stick everywhere I’ve been to,” Adebayor said.
“If I make a mistake it doesn’t mean I’m lazy, I will always try my best, but the funny thing in football is, when you score two goals everyone is like ’Wow, he’s back on form and back to his best’.
“But that’s not the point. Even when things aren’t going my way I am still trying the same, running around, wanting the ball, jumping to head it and looking to play my football.
“But now because I have missed a couple of chances, people are like ’Whoa, he is not trying and shouldn’t be in the first team.’
“As a footballer you have to deal with those things, but it does make you laugh.”
Tottenham have now lost five league games already in the current campaign and have seven fewer points than they did under Andre Villas-Boas at the same stage last season.
Villas-Boas was sacked in December last year but Adebayor insists Pochettino is not to blame for the club’s poor form.
“Obviously all managers bring their own philosophies, the way they see football, the way they see games,” Adebayor said.
“But come on, this the third or fourth manager in two or three years so we just have to stop it now being about the manager.
“He’s a good manager and we just have to find a way so that we can try to understand what he wants to tell us and how he wants us to play and put that on the pitch.
“If every player could do what the manager wants then we would win the Champions League but at the moment we are not getting the message.
“To me, he is a good manager and a good man – we just have to get what he is telling us.”