Saturday, 9 June 2012

Could do Better

We've gone from having three proven Premier League and international strikers to being left with just one; Jermain Defoe.

Defoe is a bit of an enigma, he's in the top 10 all time goal scorers for Spurs, yet many supporters don't seem to rate him, or write him off when he gets caught offside for what seems like the thirtieth time in a match.

I've seen plenty of our fans say we could do better than 'JD' and that he should be improved upon, but one thing none of us can deny, is his love for Tottenham Hotspur. It's refreshing to see a player take the Club to heart in the way he has, much like Michael Dawson has.

Lets look at the stats; he scored 11 Premier League goals this season from 25 appearances, not a bad record. Even better when you consider he only started 11 games and came off the bench on 14 occasions. 3 goals in the FA Cup and a further 3 in the Europa League gives him an impressive 17 goals in all competitions from 22 starts and 18 substitute appearances.

Overall for Spurs, Defoe has scored 118 goals in 298 appearances, yet we still tend to question him at every given opportunity. The main problems most have with Defoe is his undeniable greed. We saw Gareth Bale berating him after he chose to shoot, and miss, rather than play the simple ball to the Welshman for what was a much easier chance. Defoe just shrugged. He's spoken many time of his relationship with ex-Arsenal striker Ian Wright and how the most important thing he taught Jermain was to always hit the target, something he seems to take to fair on occasions and just shoots for the sake of it. But then, you don't score if you don't shoot right?

Defoe, as our only senior striker, is sure to stay next season, especially given the tragic death of his father this week, he's bound to be keen to stay close to home and not risk uprooting his family and moving away.

But where do we go from here? Harry Kane and Cameron Lancaster both made first team debuts this season; Kane impressing in Europe and then on loan at Millwall, while Lancaster made a solitary appearance as a sub' against Wigan. Lancaster is sure to be sent out on loan next season to gain first team experience and it remains to be seen if he is seen as part of the future of the Club, or was it simply needs must at the time.

Kane scored an impressive 9 goals in 27 appearances after joining Millwall in January and caught the eye of many Spurs fans with his impressive finishing and work rate he was reported to be showing in the Championship. Kane's future is uncertain, he could end up back in the Championship on loan, or ideally for Spurs, at a lower end of the table PL club next season.

He could, of course, stay with Spurs for the first part of the season and be heavily involved in our Europa League campaign again if Harry chooses to use the competition as a way to blend our youngsters in with the first team again. I'd like to see him get some game time again, probably in the Championship as he doesn't look quite ready for the Premier League and it would be a shame to watch him sit on someones bench all season.

Adebayor has told the twitter-verse his representatives are in discussions with Spurs, so a deal will hopefully happen. I was very impressed with Adebayor after he joined on loan from Man. City. I'd watched him for years score goals against us and wasn't sure he would be accepted at Spurs, but after watching him chase down every Villa defender during our 2-0 win at White Hart Lane in November I knew he would be just fine.

His finishing leaves something to be desired, but a record of 17 goals in 33 appearances in the league begs to differ. But he's not just a goalscorer, add to his 17 goals, 11 assists, and you've got the perfect front man to play as a lone striker. But not all Spurs fans are as accepting. His indifference in front of goal, as well as a tendency to go missing from games saw some supporters label him, like Defoe, as not good enough, 'could do better'.

Better? I struggled to find anyone, within our alledged price range, that would be a marked improvement on these two. Not to mention the allegedly released Louis Saha, who most fans never took to, but I saw as a player who wouldn't need to play every week, but could still come off the bench and score a goal out of nothing, see Bolton at WHL in the FA Cup. He almost had a touch of the Berbatov's about him, but most fans were quick to write him off.

Loic Remy has been touted, along with most other strikers in Europe that have batted their eyelashes at the Premier League. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar is most fans choice, but I believe his wages to be beyond our limit; he earns a reported £90K per week at Schalke. His scoring record, however, is superb; 248 in 377 appearances. If Levy is going to show ambition this summer, he's a signing that would mark a real statement of intent, but paying those sorts of wages could have a negative effect on the Club overall, with current players looking for parity with their own contracts.

Steven Fletcher, of Wolves, has been mentioned too, and while he might not excite fans in the same way Huntelaar might, he's a proven Premier League striker that has managed double figures in the PL in consecutive season despite playing in a struggling side. Who knows what he could achieve in a strong, positive team. Like Saha, he's unlikely to be first choice, which he may be happy with, but probably won't kick us on to the next level.

Dimtar Berbatov is likely to leave Man. United this summer, and personally, I would love him back at the Lane. He was a breath of fresh air at Spurs and formed a fantastic partnership with Robbie Keane during his time here. Wages again could be a stumbling block, along with many fans contempt for the Bulgarian after he forced a move to United in the summer of '09.

Demba Ba is a favourite of mine as I've said before, I'd like him at Spurs. His Newcastle and Senegal team mate Papiss Cisse is an excellent striker too, but we seem to have missed out there and he seems keen to stay at The Magpies.

Llorente has been linked with us again, seems to happen every few months now. A strong European Championship could add to his fee so we may miss out there too, if he even is a target that is.

I'm hoping to be pleasantly surprised by a relatively unknown striker during the Euros that we'll hopefully try and get, but I wouldn't put my money on it.

Lets just hope we don't start September with Fraizer Campbell on loan and another returning striker none of us wanted. Rasiak?

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