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Defoe and Emmanuel Adebayor.
Villas-Boas' preference for 4-2-3-1 had meant up until around Christmas time, Adebayor mostly had to wait his turn to play. Defoe was playing well, and when Adebayor did appear, he was doing little to convince he should be picked ahead of his teammate (he blew a bright start against Arsenal by swiftly getting sent off).
Still, a two-man strikeforce was (reasonably) mooted as a way of giving Tottenham more presence and firepower in the final third. An injury to Clint Dempsey, until then the man most frequently used just off of Defoe, gave Villas-Boas a reason to give it a try.
Adebayor and Defoe had not played together too often in 2011-12, but when they did they generally clicked fairly well (a 3-1 win away at West Bromwich Albion in which both scored the goals particularly springs to mind).
Perhaps Defoe has gotten too use to playing upfront alone, but any hint of chemistry he and Adebayor previously had seems largely to have disappeared this time around.
Over the festive period and into the New Year, their performances together were dispiriting in their plodding predictability. Defoe found the channels and spaces he had previously been maximizing now occupied by his reacquainted strike partner, who unfortunately for Spurs was playing even worse.
The added downside of this was Defoe now had hit a dry spell. Even when Adebayor went off to the African Cup of Nations, otherwise good shifts from Defoe were marked by an absence of any real killer instinct in front of goal—for example in the 1-1 draw with Manchester United.
Compared to his lackluster showings a couple of years earlier 2010-11, Defoe was at least contributing elsewhere to the team. His role in Bale's equalizer against Norwich City exemplified his ability to help out in other places, but without goals Defoe seemed half a player.
An injury against West Brom in early February was the culmination of some fitness issues Defoe had been working around. It also marked the point that Bale stepped up as Spurs' chief goal-getter.
By the time Defoe (temporarily) was fit enough to play again, he was now competing with Adebayor to play with Bale, who had for all intents and purposes taken on a forward role.