Crystal Palace striker Emmanuel Adebayor admits that Emmanuel Adebayor has a “bad reputation”.
The 31-year-old last week joined Palace as a free agent and made his debut as a substitute in Tuesday evening’s 2-1 home Barclays Premier League defeat by Bournemouth.
He missed a fine chance to equalise in stoppage time when snatching at a close-range chance in a way that suggested he remains short of sharpness.
But the Togolese forward is already feeling settled with the Eagles and, amid wider concerns Pardew has taken a risk in signing a player with his divisive reputation, Adebayor is well aware what his new boss expects.
“He said I have to be a leader,” the former Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham frontman said. “Which means I have to set an example. Which means I have to come on time in training, do my job professionally and that is what I am doing.
“There is a bad reputation about Adebayor. But if you ask every single manager that I work under, maybe (only) one or two would say I am a bad apple in the dressing room. I am always smiling with everyone.
“The players have made it easy for me. The lads have made life easy for me.
“It is a good squad with good players and I can guarantee that the squad in the dressing room is one of the best. It makes life easier for me.
“I do not have anything to prove. I just want to enjoy my football. I have been there and done it.
“The fans already love me, so I have to do my best. I always have a smile on my face.
“I have not played a full game since May but I think have played more than these guys in the Premier League. It is quite easy to organise a game in Africa. I just had to call some of my friends and tell them I was in the mood to play football. Then we would play a proper game with proper professionals.”