Jermain Defoe Continues to Show He Can Be One of the Best

illya mclellanSenior Analyst ISeptember 16, 2008

After the weekend it was evident again that some strikers in the league have found their feet, and others have not had the bounce or the spin quite go for them yet.

Jermain Defoe is one who has been impressive so far and this season looks, on current evidence, to be a real chance for him to finally exorcise the demons of his time at Tottenham.

While he did play some good football at Spurs, he was also used in conjunction with Mido and Keane and his game confidence and continuity suffered as a result. The arrival of Darren Bent put the rumour mill in action and then, even after saying he was willing to fight for a place, he was sold to Portsmouth.

This on reflection looks to be something that has revitalised the pint-sized marksman, and restored his place as one of the players to beware of when pre-game tactical analysis is made.

Being reunited with his former West Ham boss, Harry Redknapp, is something he looks to be enjoying and the faith that Redknapp has in him has been rewarded. Most notably in the weekend's game against Middlesbrough and in his start away at Everton when he was in doubt because of a virus.

In the past at Spurs, this weekend's game would have been a good example of when Defoe would have been sent to the bench by Martin Jol in favour of one of his contemporaries. Redknapp kept him on the field for Portsmouth, however, and Defoe duly slotted two and was unlucky not to complete a hat-trick, if it had not been for some fine keeping by youngster Ross Turnbull in the Boro goal.

At 25-years-old he has many years left in which to move into new realms of footballing folklore, as he hones his craft to new levels.

With great pace, good control, and a striker's instinct for the location of the goal from anywhere around the box, he is an exciting player to watch and still one for the future even though it seems he has been around so long.

His two goals at the weekend were more evidence of the skill he possesses, with both chances coming with work for him to do to make the finish. The first showed his timing and accuracy, and the second underlined his control and again the accuracy.

It seems that if he can maintain this form he will be back in with a solid chance of representing England as a first choice squad member.

While he has been there or thereabouts he was overlooked by Eriksson in Germany for the World Cup, which was a cause of great disappointment to him.

He has since then been used sparingly in internationals. Capello recently took him into the squad again so it will be interesting to see if he can stake his claim.

It is a great thing to see a quality player return to the new season and demonstrate why he is watched with such admiration and awe by so many. With a long career ahead of him I think it will be a case of when, not if, he becomes worthy of being noted alongside  the worlds best strikers.