Jermain Defoe: Why He Must Start This Weekend vs. West Ham
With the stunning form of Jermain Defoe, it’s only a matter of time before Andre Villas-Boas has to start him in a Premier League game.
The facts speak for themselves.
Defoe’s strike against Anzhi was his seventh goal of the season. The rest of the Spurs combined have just one more goal (eight) in six Premier League games thus far.
And yet the England international continues to be overlooked in the Premier League, sitting patiently on the bench watching his replacement, Roberto Soldado, struggle to make a significant impact.
Much was made of his £27 million summer transfer from Valencia, but the forward has yet to score from open play and has failed to hit the back of the net in his last four games.
There is no arguing the quality of Soldado. But a striker is judged by goals, and the pressure is mounting for the Spaniard to start producing. If he fails to score at home to West Ham this weekend and Defoe again misses out, the bandwagon will be well and truly rolling.
Of course there is an argument for both strikers to start together in a 4-4-2 formation, but Villas-Boas prefers the lone striker with a supplement of midfield attacking options.
Despite the lack of team goals so far, Spurs still lie third in the table, just two points behind leaders Arsenal.
That may have a lot to do with the manager’s reluctance to change a winning side.
Added to that, the personal pride in “dropping” one of your biggest summer signings for someone you already had in your squad may attract outward criticism.
But Villas-Boas and Daniel Levy are both shrewd men. They know results on the pitch are what matter, regardless of personnel.
Yes, Defoe has scored against inferior opposition in the Europa League, but you can only score against what’s put in front of you.
Add to that his hunger to make England’s World Cup squad for Brazil 2014, and you have a man on a mission.
It's only a matter of time before the club’s leading scorer gets his chance to shine on the big stage once more.
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