ADEBAYOR KEEN TO BANISH BLUES
Tottenham striker Emmanuel Adebayor is determined to exact revenge on Chelsea for ruining his only Wembley appearance three years ago.
Adebayor will lead the line for Spurs at Wembley on Sunday as the north London club look to move one step closer to lifting their first FA Cup in 21 years by beating Chelsea in their semi-final.
Having spent five years on the books of Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham it is surprising that Adebayor has not yet won a single competition in England - the only piece of silverware he has to his name is a winner's medal from the 2011 Copa del Rey triumph with Real Madrid.
For a striker who has been a part of the fibre of English football for so long, it is also surprising that Adebayor has only made one appearance at Wembley so far in his career - Arsenal's 2-1 defeat in the 2009 FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea.
The loss, which came in Adebayor's final season at Arsenal, still rankles with the 28-year-old and he hopes to put that right.
"My only appearance at Wembley so far was that 2-1 loss so my memories are not good," Adebayor said.
"But this is a new game and we want to win. Football is all about winning medals and they are the moments in life that you can look back on with pride.
"I want to win the FA Cup so I can show my medal to my kids and say 'look what daddy won!'
"I didn't win anything with Arsenal, I didn't win anything with Manchester City, so I want to win the FA Cup with Tottenham. To do that would be special, a dream for me.
"Tottenham haven't won a trophy since 2008 and so it would be great to win silverware again. We are two wins away from achieving that."
Having seen Chelsea win 11 trophies since 1991 compared to Tottenham's two, Harry Redknapp is determined that his men can step up and lose their 'nearly-men' tag this season.
Their form going in to Sunday's clash could hardly be worse, however. Spurs have won just one of their last eight Barclays Premier League games and Redknapp also has an injury crisis to contend with having lost Younes Kaboul and Niko Kranjcar this week.
But Tottenham just edged a 0-0 draw at Stamford Bridge last month and lead the Blues in the table by two points, making Adebayor confident of victory.
"It will be a tough game against Chelsea," he said.
"We know them well as a team but I believe we can beat them. They are not vulnerable, but certainly beatable and if we believe in ourselves, we can win."
Wembley is a place that holds mixed emotions for Redknapp. The 65-year-old won the FA Cup with Portsmouth in 2008 but made an unsuccessful return the following year when his Spurs team lost to Pompey in the semi-final.
That shock defeat gave Redknapp a sleepless night - "I had to send a car out to get me some sleeping pills," he said.
Very much from the old school of football, Redknapp used to cherish watching a Wembley final on his nine-inch television, and admits playing the semi-finals at the home of English football is a strange experience for him.
He said: "It will always be strange not having the semis on two neutral grounds, but it's a great day out for the fans."
Having been reluctant to rotate his squad throughout the season, Redknapp's XI have looked like a team running out of steam recently.
Scott Parker, who is fit to play after missing Monday's defeat against Norwich, last week complained about the rigours of a long season, but Redknapp has called on the team to put in one last push to win the cup and finish in the top four.
"I'm sure they're feeling a bit tired now but at the end of the day we have a maximum of seven games," Redknapp added.
"Every one is a cup final so we have to give it everything and push to the end of the season to make sure we get what we want."
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