By Richard Clarke
Emmanuel Adebayor has revealed that Thierry Henry is helping to keep him motivated for the title run-in.
The Togolese striker scored his 19th Premier League goal of the campaign on Monday night as Arsenal beat Blackburn 2-0 to go five points clear at the top of the table.
It is a far cry from the pre-season predictions of doom and gloom; much of which was based on Henry's departure to Barcelona. Since then Adebayor has filled his shooting boots with aplomb but the Frenchman is still having an influence.
"Thierry to me is like a big brother," said the 23-year-old in the tunnel less than an hour after the match. "He already sent a message to me after the game to congratulate me.
"He talked to me a lot during the summer when he was leaving, he calls me and we have a lot of chats. He believes in my strength and my quality so I just want to thank him a lot because he helped me out a lot.
"A lot of times he sends me messages saying that I may have scored 15 or 16 but I know you can score more if you concentrate in every game.
"That is what I'm trying to do. I'm trying to listen to the advice and at the moment it's working so I'm very happy. I think Thierry keeps in touch with a lot of people [here]."
Monday's victory put a little daylight between Arsenal and the chasing pair. However, if anything, it only adds to the pressure on Wenger's side. As the questions to Adebayor demonstrated.
"I don't know about it being our title to lose," he replied to one. "The feeling I have is that we have a good squad, we want to win it and we can achieve it. So we just have to keep doing our job and enjoy ourselves on the pitch.
"Five points [clear] is very good and we are very happy. Like we always said, the title is really something this year but we know Man United can always come from behind somewhere. We just want to keep our focus and keep what we are doing at the moment.
"We are enjoying ourselves on the pitch," he concluded. "We can talk about whether we win the title at the end of the season."Copyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 12 Feb 2008