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Is Jermain Defoe up to the Task?

Is Jermain Defoe up to the Task?

There is always much debate surrounding the merits of Jermain Defoe. Twitter is awash with comments about him being a flat track bully and is nothing more than an impact sub. While I agree with some of the criticism levelled at him, I don’t think Defoe has had enough opportunities at Tottenham to judge him without some level of doubt. If given the chance to lead the line for a full season, would he be able to produce sufficient quality performances and ultimately goals?

Defoe scored the winning goal for England last night and was well backed by the betting public to get on the score sheet. Sportsbook reviews and more sports information on Defoe’s chances of scoring against the Toon Army this weekend tell us he is amongst the favourites to net again. However, I’m sure a large proportion of the Spurs faithful wouldn’t dream of backing him to get the winner away from White Hart Lane.

While some aspects of his personal life are questionable, Defoe has suffered multiple personal tragedies over the last few years but he has continued to be a model professional where Tottenham are concerned. Jermain has never quite hit the heights expected of him earlier in his career and at 29 years of age, it’s now or never as far as fulfilling this promise is concerned. With Spurs light on strikers currently, Defoe has the perfect opportunity to prove all the doubters wrong and become AVB’s main man. It will be interesting to see whether Villas Boas gives him the opportunities that Redknapp did not.

I accept that some of his all round play is lacking, but what Jermain Defoe is all about is goals. If he’s finding the back of the net with enough regularity, the rest quite simply won’t matter. Given a decent run in the side this season, I’m confident that the man who is arguably the best finisher in the Premier League can play a key role in helping Tottenham to achieve great things.

Toon Army Preview

Toon Army Preview

As we haven’t even managed a point at St James Park since 2004, I’m not exactly brimming with confidence. However, Spurs haven’t been there as title contenders in that period so hopefully we can put things right tomorrow!

Steven Pienaar looks likely to play some part but Wilson Palacios and Benoit Assou-Ekotto are doubtful after picking up injuries in training this week. Newcastle are still without the free scoring Andy Carroll which must be a positive as far as Tottenham’s chances are concerned but the Magpies have still been in good form with two wins and a draw in his absence.

You never really know what to expect from Newcastle at St James Park. One game they look like world beaters, the next they appear distinctly average. Pardew’s appointment seems to have been a positive one overall after the initial backlash against him.

This is the type of game Spurs cannot afford to lose if they are to maintain their challenge for a top 4 finish again this season and with the way they have been performing on the road of late, I think they can
take at least a point from their trip north.

I’ll go for a 1-1 draw, Newcastle to score first and Pienaar to equalise for Tottenham on his debut.

Listen to Newcastle v Spurs on Absolute Radio extra – on DAB Digital Radio, 1215AM and online in the UK from 1.30pm as programming kicks off with Russ Williams for pre-match build up, followed by full live commentary from Jim Proudfoot at 3pm, while Arsenal legend and Ian Wright takes care of post match analysis at 5pm featuring player and manager interviews, fan phone ins and a healthy supply of banter. Tune in for the full Danny Simpson interview. For more go to

Too much for the Toon Army

Too much for the Toon Army

It was more hard work than it needed to be, but victory over Newcastle has really cemented Tottenham’s position and kept us on course for 7th place.

Darren Bent’s slightly scrappy goal was the difference as far as the score line was concerned, but there was a definite gulf in quality and Spurs should have killed the game off in the first half. I’m not complaining though, I’d be happy to win 1-0 every week and it’s a very healthy habit we are getting into.

Credit to Newcastle, they battled hard 2nd half and if they can put in that kind of effort in their remaining home games, they will give themselves a chance of staying up.

I feel for Alan Shearer as he is in a real tough position with regards to team selection. Mark Viduka is arguably the most gifted player they have, he can make things happen but yesterday he looked shattered within a couple of minutes of being introduced into the game. Obafemi Martins suddenly felt his groin when he missed Newcastle’s best chance of the game but he can give them something special when in the mood. Does he take a punt on these two or go with the less talented but more able Andy Carroll?

Things can change very quickly in football. During Ramos’ last few games in charge, I could honestly not see where Tottenham’s next 3 points were coming from and I really did fear for our Premiership lives. Just a few month’s later and we are one of the most formidable sides in the league and pushing for European football. After seeing Tom Huddlestone get stuck in yesterday and make a good tackle I honestly believe anything is possible!

With five games left things are looking rosy for Spurs. The two home games look very winnable and on current form we are more than capable of getting something from Utd, Everton and Liverpool. I’m even relishing the trip to Man Utd on Saturday and I never in a million years thought I’d be saying that after the Carling up Final.

Sending Newcastle and Shearer to the Championship

Sending Newcastle and Shearer to the Championship

Obafemi Martins’ pile driver of a goal at the Lane a couple of seasons back still haunts me. I thought we would win that game comfortably but the inconsistent African came up with some magic to ruin that Sunday for me. I can see this Sunday being a different story.

I have a lot of time for Newcastle, especially their fans but I really fear for their Premiership status this season. The arrival of their messiah Alan Shearer is a move borne out of desperation rather than planning.

Shearer is clever. He didn’t fancy the job in the middle of the season because he knew the side was full of average, lazy and injury prone players who would have needed a serious kick up the backside and possibly even some headlocks the likes of which we’d not seen since Keiron Dyer was part of the Toon. By taking the job at this late stage of the season, he has nothing to lose. Save Newcastle from relegation and he’s untouchable for life. If they do get relegated, he’s lost no face because he didn’t have time to do a proper job and can walk away before next season if things behind the scenes aren’t the way he wants them.

If I was a Newcastle fan I would have been very happy with Joe Kinnear and the job he did under difficult circumstances. I don’t believe that any other manager would have had the club in a better position with the resources he had at his disposal.

Supporting Spurs I can identify with some of the issues the Newcastle fans have faced over the last ten years or so, false dawns etc but having Bobby Robson at the helm and the first reign of Keegan must have been amazing.

Harry has a strong squad to pick from for Sunday’s encounter with Alan Hutton now fit, David Bentley staking a claim for first team action with two goals against Arsenal reserves and Wilson Palacios returning from his one game ban.

Like with West Ham last week, I just think the current Tottenham side will have too much for the Toon Army at White Hart Lane. I realise they will be playing out their skins for both Premiership survival and to avoid the wrath of Sir Alan but they just don’t have the quality to take all 3pts. Had the game been at St James’ Park I would have been worried but current form points to a comfortable Spurs victory.