“It’s the strongest I’ve been for a while – probably the strongest I’ve felt in my whole career.” A buoyant Jermain Defoe post match at St James Park after scoring his 5th goal in 9 games.
The lead up to the game was dominated by the ongoing debate amongst Spurs fan on who should partner Adebayor up front Jermain Defoe or
Rafael Van Der Vaart.
Spurs find themselves in the enviable position of having three forwards in goal scoring form. It leaves Harry Redknapp with the conundrum of how best to utilize them for the benefit of the team.
Comparing the two players is as absurd as comparing apples with oranges as they are two totally different footballers with different skill
sets who will both be key to Spurs achieving Champions League qualification again.
Many have already extolled the virtues’ of the Dutch maestro. Highlighting the contribution of the lilywhites goal scoring dynamo Jermain
Defoe is long overdue
An insipid first half attacking display from Spurs against Newcastle was transformed by the introduction of Jermain Defoe,when he replaced a disappointing VDV who was anonymous in the first half.
It took him just five minutes to score with a trade mark finish; controlling the ball, turning and getting his short off in one swift movement.
Harry Redknapp after the game admitted he should have started Defoe. “It was a great finish from Jermain, and if I’d been really clever I might have started him, and we might have won. “
Brad Friedel was of a similar opinion: “When JD came on he played really well. He gave us a spark and it was another great finish.”
Despite starting the season in great goal scoring form he still has his detractors amongst some spurs fans who seem obsessed with pointing out his weaknesses rather appreciating a healthy goal return and a burgeoning partnership with Emmanuel Adebayor.
People can blind you with statistics about how many touches a player makes in the pitch in a certain area but the most important statistic for any striker is how many times they put the ball in the back of the net!
“That’s what you get judged on as a striker, scoring goals, and I’m playing well,” JD post match.
“When you get into a rhythm like this then you want to play. If you’re playing well then I believe that you should play.”
A goal return of five goals in nine games is not too shabby in anybody’s book and should warrant a starting berth for Spurs.
Spurs best team display of the season was the 4-0 demolition of “King Kenny’s” media darlings Liverpool. Built on the foundation of the central midfield partnership of Scott Parker and Luka Modric and the fluid embryonic strike partnership of Jermain Defoe and Emmanuel Adebayor, who were both on the score sheet, a game incidentally which VDV did not start.
Both players linked really well and stretched the Liverpool defence all game. Given an extended run out together Adebayor and Defoe will both score 15+ goals apiece and propel Spurs to a champion’s leagues position.
If VDV has to be shoe-horned into the starting eleven, which Redknapp seems inclined to continue to do, it has to be in the right midfield position, so as to keep Spurs best player Luka Modric in his best position centre midfield and not break up the goal scoring partnership of Defoe and Adebayor.
A major contributory factor of Spurs best ever season in the premiership, 2009/10,finishing fourth and securing a Champions League place was JD’s 18 goals!
He signaled his intent when he scored the 3rd hat-trick of his career in a 5–1 away victory over Hull City in the second game of the season.
The highlight of the season for JD on a personal level was his five goal haul against Wigan in the 9-1 demolition. This included the second fastest hat-trick in Premier League history, which was scored in seven minutes.
In doing so, Defoe became only the third player to score five goals in one Premier League match after Alan Shearer and Andy Cole. Dimitar Berbatov has subsequently managed to equal this feat.
He finished the season with a goal tally of 24 goals in all competitions. A similar goal return this season and Spurs will again achieve a champions league place.
With Wayne Rooney suspended for the group stage of Euro 12 a place on the plane to Poland and Ukraine is up for grabs for an English striker on form. Extra motivation if needed for Defoe to continuing playing at the top of his game for Spurs and England.
It’s ironic that JD’s good start to the 2010–11 season was curtailed while on international duty scoring his first international hat-trick which was the first hat-trick at the new Wembley against Bulgaria, where he picked up an injury.
Defoe has stated in interviews that the way he is playing at the moment with renewed sharpness that he feels he should be playing.
It’s a sentiment shared by a lot of Spurs fans. On current form he warrants selection ahead of VDV. JD is a consummate professional with a genuine affinity to the club and fans. You’ll find no diva style histrionics if not selected.
Come Sunday evening I fully expect to be singing the popular refrain: “Jermain Defoe he’s a Yiddo” after another brace for the lilywhites. COYS.