Emmnauel Adebayor spoke exclusively to Arsenal.com ahead before he left for Wednesday's game at Dynamo Kyiv. Here's what he had to say.
Firstly, what did you make of Group G when it was drawn?
I think a lot of people think it’s going to be an easy one but I don’t think so. I don’t think it is going to be easy to pass through. We know that playing in Ukraine is going to be very difficult especially because their players are playing in front of their fans and will be doing everything to win the game. But we are Arsenal. We just have to believe in ourselves and, if we can, play our football. If we can stay patient, score the goals then, in the end, we’ll win the game. That’s what we’re going there for.
A good start will be crucial if you are going to get through to the next stage?
It’ll be especially crucial because we are away in the first game. We have all our confidence back in the Premier League and we’re trying to build on it in Kiev but it won’t be easy. It’ll be very difficult and I believe that the squad are ready for it. So as you say, a crucial win on Wednesday will get our confidence back more and make it a little bit better for the next stage.
Is your personal confidence high after Saturday? You had not scored in the League but you ended up with a hat-trick?
Yeah, my confidence has always been high because I’ve had a few chances. I hit the post against Fulham and I set-up three goals against Newcastle. I know if I keep working hard for the team and we keep on playing the football for the team, you always have a chance to score. Those are the things that I always put in my head and it made the goals that went in on Saturday against Blackburn easy. So yeah I’m very happy and for sure my confidence is higher than before.
You joined Arsenal in January 2006 but you could not play in the Champions League for Arsenal that year and they got to the Final. Is your desire extra strong because you missed out?
Of course, that is what I have said to myself. We have every chance to win the Champions League with Arsenal. I couldn’t play back then because I was cup-tied and in my head it was difficult. But now I have a chance to play so there’s an argument for me to be more hungry than most of my team-mates. But I think I’m not the only one. Cesc lost in the Final aswell and Kolo lost in the Final aswell so to be honest I think all these players would like to win it in their career. These are the things that we’re going to pin together as brothers and help each other on the pitch and off the pitch and try to achieve something this season. I don’t know whether we’re going to win the Champions League or the Premier League but we have to achieve something because we have the quality within the squad. We just have to believe in the squad and believe in ourselves to do it.
Also you were on the bench for Monaco when they lost to Porto in the 2005 Final so, in one way, the Champions League has been a difficult tournament for you personally so far?
Yeah I’ve told most of my family this. I had the chance to be in the Final with Monaco but I was on the bench and I could see all these special things going in the Final. After the World Cup and European Championships, the Champions League is the highest level of competition so these are the things that give you the highest motivation. I know if I have the chance to win something like the Champions League with a team like Arsenal I will be very happy and very glad.
Are Arsenal better equipped to win Champions League than previous years?
I don’t know. At the moment the most important thing is keep our focus high and, after Wednesday’s game or the first stage, we can talk about whether we have a chance to win it or not.
Arsenal are second with five wins from six games and yet still appear to be slightly overlooked this season. Are you happy to be in background?
I’m always happy. You know better than anyone, last year most of the Premier League and the fans were running away with Arsenal but we only finished third. We nearly won the Champions League, we nearly won the Premier League. This season it is all established again - Man United, Chelsea, Liverpool. We just need to keep going and playing our football. At the moment we are winning and that is the most important thing. We’ll see at the end of the season what people write again.
You took a long time to score in the Champions League but now you are on a run of goals in Europe. What have you done to put that right?
For me as a footballer the most important thing is to work hard for the team and I think up until now I’ve been doing that quite well. As you say during all of last season I never scored. Only in the Quarter-Final against Milan and Liverpool home and away I scored. For me the most important thing is keep on going, keep on working hard for the team. I don’t know whether I am going to score on Wednesday or not but if the team win that is going to be more important than if I score. If I score and we win it’s going to be even better but at the moment the most important thing is we have to win. It could be Theo Walcott or Emmanuel Eboue or Kolo Toure whoever scores it doesn’t matter, the most important thing is that we bring the three points back to London.
Finally just how tough a week is this for Arsenal?
It’s big, it’s the first time we’re going to play three times away in one week. We’ve won at Blackburn so we have to play away again. We know it’s important to win especially when you play the first leg of the Champions League away and then we travel to Bolton so yeah anyway we are just taking game after game. We go to Kiev. Let’s win that game then we can talk easily about the game at Bolton.Copyright 2015 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 16 Sep 2008