These players are central to their clubs fortunes but they always manage to live in the twilight zone with their questionable commitment and/ or their behavioral issues. In between they throw up tantalizing glimpses of their undoubted potential.
On one of the biggest encounters in club history, the Togolese striker was AWOL against Man Utd in both legs of the CL semi-final, enhancing long held suspicions that his commitment to his club is skin deep. Milan should take note. One of the most infuriating thing about Adebayor: For all his size and strength, the striker plays like the incredible shrinking man. He is terrible at playing with his back to goal and is easily dispossessed of the ball. Unless this improves he is not one of the best strikers in the world, as he likes to brag. He still remains Arsenal's most productive goal scorer because RVP can't buy himself an injury free season.
It remains a coin toss as to what keeps the Cote D'Ivoirian prima donna purring. The right manager? But even that may not be enough as Guus Hiddink found out in the CL semi-final against Barca as Drogba went Ovreboard. Drogba's form has been one of the keys to Chelsea's late season revival but his temperament is more tightly wound than one of Roger Federer's racquet strings. Drogba could have won them the game but his affinity for remaining parallel more than perpendicular robbed Chelsea of a much needed second goal. As it turned out it was Iniesta who cornered all the glory and Barca that goes to the CL final.
Greed lured the Brazilian to a club he probably did not know existed after Chelsea failed in its bid. The most expensive signing in club history was heralded as a player that City could build around and yet in the months past, Mark Hughes finally had to resort to benching him to get a pulse on the field. He has shown a bit more ambition in the last few games after a huge gap from scoring his last goal in December. In between he became more well known for his off field behaviour including charges of statutory rape. Robinho's commitment on the field remains a huge concern. His up and down performance have Hughes squarely in the management's firing squad.
What can you say about the granite faced Egyptian? He had the Wigan fans salivating and the rest of the Premiership on tenterhooks every time he took the field. Wigan began its season as if a mule had kicked its behind and the mule was Zaki. Virtually unstoppable with treadmills for legs, Zaki was on a tear when he suddenly disappeared after national team duty in late March. Was it a hamstring injury, a lack of quality shisha cafes, or the miserable winter? It was all a mystery. Steve Bruce had had enough. He resurfaced again working his way back into Bruce's favour only for his season to be cut short with a knee injury.
The target of Man Utd's unrequited love finally made it to Old Trafford after what appears to be an Italian Job on Spurs. When not on his game, even a cardboard cutout shows more alacrity. The nadir came when Berbs did some fancy exaggerated footwork before lazily slugging it straight to Tim Howard in the FA Cup semi-final. The quintessential Berbs conundrum: He makes goal scoring effortless, if he can be bothered to show up at all. Man Utd fans work themselves into a frenzy in wonderment. That he has not been a target of sustained wrath is because, despite him, the club remains on target to win the Premiership.