Football

Tottenham Hotspur Vs Liverpool, Sun 18 Sep 2011

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Tottenham defender Kyle Walker has hailed the impact of "soft giant" Emmanuel Adebayor.

Spurs' search for a goalscoring target man came to an end earlier this month when they signed Adebayor on loan from Manchester City.

The 27-year-old was a controversial signing, and not just because of his previous three seasons at Spurs' bitter north London rivals Tottenham.

Adebayor also arrived at White Hart Lane with a reputation for having a fiery temperament that at times could be hard to deal with.

The Togo striker had a heated on-field spat with team-mate Nicklas Bendtner during his time at Arsenal and also publicly fell out with City boss Roberto Mancini, hastening his loan move to Real Madrid last year and subsequent switch to Tottenham.

Adebayor's skills on the pitch have never been in question - that was evident last week when he scored on his debut - and Walker moved to play down concerns over the striker's temperament this week, saying: "Is he as fierce as he looks? No. He is a soft giant, I think.

"We have seen throughout the years what a good player he is. He scores goals and he is a good guy.

"I have had a few conversations with him. He speaks really good English and he is good to have around."

After drawing 0-0 with PAOK Salonika in their opening Europa League Group A game in midweek, Spurs return to Barclays Premier League action tomorrow when they take on Liverpool at White Hart Lane.

After a disappointing opening-day draw against Sunderland, Kenny Dalglish's new-look side looked in supreme form as they swept past Arsenal and Bolton before last weekend's shock defeat at Stoke.

Walker, who was the only player to take part in the games at Molineux and PAOK, thinks the Reds will be looking to bounce back immediately but is sure that Spurs' quality will give them the edge.

"It's a big game on Sunday," the full-back said.

"Liverpool will be looking to prove a point after what happened at Stoke and they will come right at us but hopefully we can get the result."

Injuries to Michael Dawson and William Gallas mean that Ledley King is likely to start in defence alongside Younes Kaboul.

Midfielder Charlie Adam is satisfied with the start to his Liverpool career but knows he has to keep on improving to maintain his place in the side.

The Scotland international has started every match this season - including the Carling Cup victory at Exeter - but last weekend's defeat at Stoke was probably his poorest performance of the five.

Competition for midfield places is strong and about to get stronger with the impending return of captain Steven Gerrard, who has been sidelined for six months after a groin operation in March.

And Adam, a #6.75million signing from relegated Blackpool in the summer, hopes he can go on impressing manager Kenny Dalglish to keep his place.

"I'm happy with my form so far but obviously you want to do better," he said.

"The manager makes that decision on whether he thinks you are doing well and deserve to stay in the team.

"He gives you the confidence when it's needed and a rollicking when it's not.

"I'm happy so far but I think the results maybe could have been a bit better in terms of a couple more points but we have had a good start.

"We had a disappointing result at Stoke but overall I think we have done okay and can get better."

The 1-0 reverse at the Britannia Stadium was the Reds' first of the season and they face another tough away game at Tottenham.

Spurs tried to snatch Adam from under Liverpool's noses last January with a late bid. Neither club was able to succeed but, with the 25-year-old having his heart set on Anfield, he completed his move six months later.

Harry Redknapp saw the situation reversed in the summer with Chelsea relentlessly pursuing Luka Modric but failing to tempt Spurs to part with their prized asset.

And with the creative Croatian set to feature tomorrow alongside the likes of Rafael van der Vaart and Gareth Bale - all of whom were rested for Thursday's goalless Europa League tie against PAOK in Greece - Adam knows they are in for a similar test to last season when Tottenham beat them home and away to pip them to fifth place.

"I played against them for Blackpool last season and at times they were unplayable but we've got good players here and hopefully we can cause them problems," Adam told liverpoolfc.tv.

"You always expect to see Tottenham challenging for the top positions because of the quality they have in the squad."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

Topics:
Charlie Adam
Emmanuel Adebayor
Younes Kaboul
Football
Michael Dawson
Ledley King
League Cup
Premier League
Kenny Dalglish
Steven Gerrard
Luka Modric
Rafael Van der Vaart
Gareth Bale
Nicklas Bendtner
Kyle Walker
William Gallas
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