Club Focus – Tottenham Hotspur – Defoe the key to Spurs’ season, claims Redknapp

The inconsistent form of Tottenham Hotspur’s strikers this season has seen the team not only fail to score the goals to please the fans, but also forced Spurs to rely on their midfield threat to take over the reins as the forwards search for the form Premier League defences know they are capable of.

Peter Crouch has struggled to find the net in England this year, and despite a relatively good record in the Champions’ League, the lanky striker will be looking to regain some domestic form in the final months of the season. The expected departure of Robbie Keane has seen the usually reliable goal scorer deemed surplus to requirements at White Hart Lane. The striker fall drastically out of favour with Harry Redknapp, with the Irish international rarely starting or settling for a place on the bench. Russian striker Roman Pavlyuchenko has had a mixed season with a combination of good runs of performances and goals. However, recent loss of form has raised concerns over the 29-year-old’s consistency and Redknapp will look for Pavlyuchenko to regain some of the form most Spurs fans know he is capable of.

This leaves arguably Tottenham’s most favoured and, arguably, their best attacker in England man Jermain Defoe. Defoe has been plagued with injuries this season and missed a huge chunk at the start of the season on the sidelines. A couple of games later, after his much anticipated return, Defoe picked up a red card in as early as the 27th minute over the Christmas period against Aston Villa. It was at a time where Redknapp needed a fully fit squad as much as possible, but with the fans’ favourite out for another run of games with a ban, Redknapp’s side have continued to struggle with their attack on their opponents’ defensive barricades.

However, speaking to the official Tottenham website, manager Redknapp believes Defoe’s goals in the final half of the season could prove to be extremely precious in their attack on the top four. He said: “He had the injury with England, missed a few months then came back and got sent off. He needs to kick-start his season now. If he can go on a run now and weigh in with 11, 12 goals – which he’s capable of – it could make a big difference for us.

The 2010/11 season has been a frustrating one for the former Portsmouth hit man, only making 12 appearances in a season dominated by injuries and suspensions, but the ability of the pacey striker should never be underestimated. Defoe made a good return to form on Sunday in the FA Cup with a brace against League One side Charlton Athletic, scoring two goals in three second half minutes. Defoe’s return from injury also saw him score a brace away to Dutch champions Twente in the Champions League before Christmas, so Redknapp will be confident in his ability to turn his season around and direct his side into a challenging position come May.

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