A look back at the draw against West Ham

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Jermain Defoe

If arriving at the ground to hear a preview of the Australia v Pakistan cricket World Cup match being played over the tannoy under the stands was a little strange, then the experience of watching Spurs struggle to score and put away a weaker side was a far more familiar one.

Defoe in particular had a game to forget. He is a regular despatcher of goals against his former clubs but on this occasion failed to take two clear cut chances that would that would’ve spared us a frustrating afternoon. To say that things aren’t going for him at the moment is to ignore the fact that his form has been disappointing for a long time now. Since he notched against Wigan on Feb 21st last year he has scored just four times in the league and one of those was a penalty. He has always been all about scoring goals to the exclusion of everything else, it’s his lifeblood. However his confidence is low, his speed seems to have left him and whilst I don’t think you can fault his effort, there’s little end product especially as given his size he adds only the bare minimum in terms of holding the ball up etc.

How he failed to put away the rebound from Lennon’s shot that hit the post in the first half here I’m still not really sure despite having seen it a dozen times now. As the ball comes towards him he seems to twist and take his eyes off it and thus somehow contrive to back heel with his standing foot past the post rather than side foot into the empty net four yards away from him.

That we failed to score wasn’t all his fault of course. He was left on his own a lot of the time as Van der Vaart wandered all over the shop and support from midfield (through the centre) was minimal. We seem to be a team that’s set up to create chances rather than score goals. Harry clearly doesn’t fancy Pav or Krancjar in the grand scheme of things and a lot of the time you can see why. They do however know where the net is and should as a result play more often in my opinion.

Having said all that, I thought we played very well, the best we’ve done for a long time. Twenty six shots on goal with the woodwork being struck three times tells its own story. West Ham had one clear chance when Cole got in behind Dawson and one rocket of an effort from the otherwise anonymous Demba Ba that Gomes finger tipped wide superbly. Bale was relatively subdued on his first game back but it was great to see him. Modric was sublime and, given the chance to make an onfield comparison with Scott Parker made talk of the latter as a potential Footballer of the Year look laughable.

I’m sure Levy and Harry did their best to sign a striker during the winter break but the failure to do is clearly costing us. Two points from three games and the form of the other teams around us mean that a Man City collapse is our best chance now of hitting fourth and even then we have Liverpool (ironically led by two winter transfer window signings) coming up on the rails. We always knew it would be hard and that last season has raised expectations. Not getting the reward from good performances like this doesn’t help obviously especially given the tough away fixtures we have left. A run of wins though and we’ll be back in the hunt for a CL place. Jermain Defoe rediscovering his mojo is one way to make this happen, sooner rather than later would be good.

By MF

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1 COMMENT

  1. If you look at the facts, then the "failure" to sign a striker in January is not costing us. The strikers that were signed in January are hardly scoring themselves. Suarez has a couple, and has looked pretty good, but he is an exception. Plus once Liverpool were interested, he would pick them over us anyway. If you look closer – since January, Drogba, Torres, Anelka, Dzeko, even Berba have scored at a lower rate than Pav, Defoe and Crouch, and some not at all. I can entertain comments that failing to buy striker BEFORE the season has perhaps cost us – yes. But the main reason for us dropping points is injuries due to a tough Champions League campaign – something that we did not have last season. For us to keep up with last season's points totals whilst taking on Ac Milan and Real Madrid is commendable.

    • But looking at the bigger picture, our top scorers are midfielders (being van der vaart and bale) whereas top scorers at other clubs above us are strikers (anelka, van persie, tevez, berbatov, herandez). But completely agree about number of points whilst playing in the Champ's league.

      • Not so long ago, Nasri & Walcott were Arsenal's top scorers, and it did not hurt them – both not "strikers". Now that Van Persie is back, and scoring, they are actually on worse form than before. So strikers scoring is not necessarily the be all and end all. Vdv has played half the season up front, so calling him a "midfielder" is not necessarily true. Anywyay, who cares about what the strikers WERE doing in august? I care about what they are doing NOW, and you will find that a lot of the big strikers are either not scoring in the last 2 months, or are scoring at a lower rate than our bunch right now. I truely believe that people a making too much of this.

  2. Very good article… I also felt that was the best we have played for a long time, just could’nt score. Robert Green the laughing stock of the world cup actually pulled off what i think could be a contender for save of the season, on another day that would have hit the underside of the bar and gone in.

    Going into our last 3 games everyone is thinking yea 9 points Blackpool, Wolves & West Ham, Blackpool for me was a bit of freak game, we should have scored 6, Wolves should have beaten us with a perfectly good goal dissallowed, but on another day we would have beaten West Ham, so that would have been 6 points intstead of 2.

    We are still well and truly in the hunt for 4th coz of the way we are playing… keep the faith COYS !!!!

  3. Tony Rich. well said the voice of reason i will tell you why eight players from struggling teams are in the News of the Worlds team of the week. Its bean well documented by me for the last few seasons what is causing these shock energised results every week. Watching this weekends games has just made me even more certain that Kolo Toure will be let of with a warning because if he gets a big ban he will blow the whistle on why some desperate teams are using illegal energy to win games or get points. This is not hard to spot you can see players chasing the ball with a blank stare on there face and not worried about using energy pressurising in numbers and topping this energy up at half time. We are being tested twice by Ufa and Ukad Now City and Liverpool the real team have bean knocked out of Europe meaning they only have the inept Ukad who i no have bottled the job of stopping teams. So Tony Rich its more than our strikers misfiring think about this if you have a full team who don't tire no matter how much you are on top winning and scoring will be impossible unless you get a referees help with a right or wrong decision. The team above us City have one defender in the dock he got caught because he was on the bench and normally they pick on players who are playing he was still full of energy when he was called to give a sample and this is why he failed . When a friend of mine reported a Top Team who are chasing us for Energy abuse he asked why they have not caught anyone. The answer staggered him when they said they are just under the radar meaning there is not enough of the drug left for them to fail. This you will observe could be why teams are shocking and raising there tempo when Spurs and better teams come calling. All these shocks have one thing in common West Ham had not kept a clean sheet Blackpool also yet West Ham did and Blackpool nearly did with outstanding defending after Half time. Liverpool played Thursday and the commentator said they looked tired they got a dodgy penalty came out after half time and look full of running an won . They are the team who got reported two seasons ago they looked rubbish on Thursday it makes you wonder We have energy in front and behind us so if we get fourth we will have earned it and to achieve this we need this to happen Crouch and Defoe must play upfront and a fit Huddlestone needs to play because he can beat the energy by saving ours with long passes and get behind these energised defences with his passing or a thunderbolt shot and lastly we join in or Ukad stop it and name the offenders Toure was a leak the FA never wanted and are now trying to hide it away because of the bad publicity the hidden truth about shock football even Barca are getting rumours about there energised defending and its justified trust me hunting in three is a big sine.These are why we are struggling in the premiership Harry rotating our strikers for a midfielder and Huddlestones passes we gave the ball away 26 times from passes and Lastly Ukad the Fa and cheats

  4. I love 'arry, but the decision to play Defoe after he'd been up all night grieving the news about his grandparent's death is a terrible one. How could he expect Defoe to produce?

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