ARSENAL striker Emmanuel Adebayor believes trophies are the only way to prove the club is as big as the likes of Manchester United – and that is why he stayed at the Emirates Stadium.
Adebayor looked set to leave the Gunners last summer but signed a new contract with the hope of more huge games like the Champions League quarter-final against Villarreal tonight.
After falling at this stage last season, Adebayor is desperate to hold onto the slender away-goals advantage they have over the Spaniards.
The Togo striker said: “The pressure is there. That is normal. I can understand that. If you want to be a big club, of course you have to win things, which is normal.
“If most of the people say United are a big club in Europe, it is because they won the Premier League and the Champions League. They are the reasons they are big.
“We are ready for that. We did everything last season to achieve things and for me it is a little bit of luck in the quarter-finals of the Champions League against Liverpool last season that knocked us out. This season we have the chance to do it and just have to take our chances.”
Adebayor joined the club in 2006 from Monaco and is yet to earn his first trophy.
After facing Villarreal, Arsene Wenger’s men then have an FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea at the weekend.
He said: “I’ve been here three years and saying we have to win things and achieve things, and now I think it is a real chance to win something because we are in the semi-finals of the FA Cup and quarter-final of the Champions League. We just have to stand up and go for it.
“As a player you always dream about playing in big games. In one week we are going to play all the big games.
“When I was at Monaco I was dreaming about playing against Chelsea, playing against Manchester United and playing in the quarter-final of the Champions League.
“This week I have the chance to play in all these games so I just have to concentrate and I think my team-mates will do the same thing. It is only like that that we can achieve things this season.”
Winning a trophy would be a remarkable turnaround for Arsenal after a season of turmoil, which started with uncertainty over Adebayor’s future.
“I never said I would leave, people said that on my behalf,” Adebayor said. “I’m very happy at Arsenal and that is the reason why I stayed because I know with this team I can achieve things. I know we’ve had a difficult season in the Premier League, but we’re still in the Champions League, still in the FA Cup and that’s fantastic.
“It’s been difficult with all the problems – (Alexander) Hleb going to Barcelona, Matthieu Flamini going to Milan – and everything was struggling a little bit. Are we going to buy or not? All these things, myself going or staying.”
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