Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Pleat So Proud of Tottenham's Trio

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Pleat So Proud of Tottenham's Trio

Article excerpt

Byline: ADRIAN CURTIS

DAVID PLEAT believes Jermain Defoe has booked his World Cup place as one of the country's main international strikers following his sensational performance for England against Poland.

The legacy of Pleat's Tottenham was strongly in evidence in Katowice on Wednesday night, with goalkeeper Paul Robinson and centre-half Ledley King also playing leading roles in the 2-1 victory.

The World Cup qualifier was the first time since March 1987 that Spurs have had three players starting for England.

Then, Glenn Hoddle, Steve Hodge and Chris Waddle played against Scotland.

Pleat, who left his job as Spurs director of football in the summer before the arrival of Jacques Santini and Frank Arnesen, believes the selection of Robinson, Defoe and King was a testament to his belief in youth and his ability to spot a bargain.

Robinson, at [pounds sterling]1.5million, and Defoe, at [pounds sterling]7m, will surely turn out to be the club's best transfer coups for years and likely to give them a handy sell-on price, if that occasion ever arises.

So Pleat was understandably beaming with pride at the selection of the Tottenham three and more than optimistic about their respective international futures.

He said: "Wednesday was a good night for England fans, particularly if they also support Tottenham. With three of Sven-Goran Eriksson's starting XI at White Hart Lane - one youth-team product in Ledley King and two players I brought to the club, Jermain Defoe and Paul Robinson - they had reason to feel proud, particularly given the performance of the players.

"The last time I saw Jermain was at the end of last season.

I'd just left Spurs, and he was waiting to find out if he would make the England squad for Euro 2004. It was never a risk bringing him to Spurs. He's such an excellent finisher and his scoring record, back to his time in Charlton's youth setup, is fantastic. …

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