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I've said a million times now. Do. Not. Bench. Jermain. Defoe.
It kind of annoys me how many people and websites have credited Harry Redknapp with the "masterstroke" of subbing off Rafael van der Vaart for Jermain Defoe. That wasn't a masterstroke; Defoe should've started the game!
Van der Vaart is a great player, but with each game it becomes clear that he is incompatible with what Tottenham needs to be successful. The facts are very clear on this: When he starts, Emmanuel Adebayor does not score, and our margin of victory is never greater than one.
On the other hand, when Defoe starts, not only does he score, but so does Adebayor, and on a whole, Tottenham as a team look significantly more convincing. Luka Modric can control play as he does best, Scott Parker can spray passes across the field, etc; everything goes as planned.
Van der Vaart does too much, and its especially frustrating for Tottenham because he does what other players can do very well. On top of that, he refuses to play defense, which is one area that Tottenham still struggle with (more on that later).
Van der Vaart can be an excellent super sub, or right midfielder if he straightens his act out and starts playing defense. But he should not start ahead of Defoe. He may be the better player, but Defoe is without a doubt the better fit for Tottenham, especially when Adebayor is fit.
The sooner Redknapp realizes this, the sooner we can win these mid-table games on a regular basis. If he continues to struggle with this concept, our challenge for the top four could seriously be derailed.