Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Spurs Need Defoe to Show More Bite in Attack at Wolves

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Spurs Need Defoe to Show More Bite in Attack at Wolves

Article excerpt

Byline: Tom Collomosse Football Correspondent

BLACKPOOL 3 TOTTENHAM 1 TOTTENHAM have 11 days until their next fixture and if last night's match at Bloomfield Road is any guide, they should practise their finishing from dawn until dusk on every single one of them.

Can a team containing attacking talent like Jermain Defoe, Roman Pavlyuchenko, Aaron Lennon and Luka Modric really be so wasteful? Spurs are considered one of the most dangerous attacking forces yet, paradoxically, the lack of a prolific goalscorer could halt their progress this season.

Defoe was brought back to White Hart Lane in January 2009 to fulfil that role and he delivered for the first half of last season. Those assured finishes are now only a memory, however, as Defoe is without a League goal all season.

Harry Redknapp has known the 28-year-old since he brought him into the West Ham team in 2001 and understands what makes him tick. Before Spurs travel to Wolves on March 6, three days before the second leg of their Champions League tie against AC Milan, Redknapp will be desperate to get inside the mind of his principal striker to help him rediscover the self-belief that seemed absent at Blackpool.

Defoe was unlucky with one chance he had, lifting the ball over goalkeeper Richard Kingson only for Craig Cathcart to head the ball off the line, against his bar and away to relative safety.

Just before half-time, Defoe squandered another chance, eight yards from goal after Roman Pavlyuchenko had teed him up. At his most confident, Defoe strikes such opportunities at full power and the ball ends in the net. This time his tentative side-foot was cleared off the line by Alex Baptiste.

The story of Defoe's career suggests it will not be long before he starts scoring regularly but Spurs cannot afford to wait too much longer. Although Redknapp's team remain fourth in the table, victory would have given them a five-point advantage over fifth-placed Chelsea. …

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