Defoe underlines desire to spearhead unlikely title hunt
West Bromwich Albion 1 Tottenham Hotspur 3
Monday 28 November 2011
Jermain Defoe admits he struggles to stop frustration turning to anger in his efforts to convince Harry Redknapp that he should be at the forefront of Tottenham's ambitions as dark horses for the Premier League title.
The 29-year-old striker marked his first Tottenham start in eight weeks with a fine goal as Redknapp's side made it nine wins in their last 10 Premier League games to stay third, but did so aware that he played only because Rafael van der Vaart was ruled out with a hamstring injury. He is worried, too, about his international career after being omitted from Fabio Capello's latest squads and confided afterwards that keeping his head is as much a battle as keeping his form.
"It's been frustrating because I haven't got any patience," he said. "I love scoring goals – even in training.
"So it's difficult if you are not playing but you know that if your head goes, then you aren't going to give your best. If you are playing and you are angry then you are not concentrating."
It has not helped that Defoe considers himself to be in optimum physical shape after working since the summer with French fitness guru Tiberius Darau, who used to help Arsenal's players. "The way I feel now, compared to last season, is totally different. I feel really explosive and know I'm going to get into positions to score goals."
Redknapp's preference for Van der Vaart to partner Emmanuel Adebayor has led to speculation about a January move for Defoe but Redknapp reiterated his insistence that Defoe will stay, with Roman Pavlyuchenko more likely to leave White Hart Lane. "Pav might want to go in the window and then you've only got two strikers – so we are not in a position where we could let Jermain go even if he wanted to move," Redknapp said.
"I know he isn't happy because he wants to play. But I knew he was sharp and ready today and hopefully he will continue so that when Rafa's fit I have a problem. It's up to him."
Tottenham trailed after poor defending allowed Youssouf Mulumbu to head Albion in front.
An equaliser before half-time, when Adebayor followed up his own saved penalty, perhaps flattered Redknapp's team but, with Scott Parker again outstanding, they stepped up in the second half and while 81 minutes had gone before Defoe, with a typically explosive run and immaculate finish, put them in front with his fifth goal in as many Premier League starts, it was always coming, as was a second for Adebayor, his seventh in 10 starts.
Scorers: West Bromwich Albion Mulumbu 10. Tottenham Hotspur Adebayor 25, 90, Defoe 81.
Substitutes: WBA Cox 6 (Gera, 21), Odemwingie (Long, 72), Tchoyi (Thomas, 87). Tottenham Livermore (Sandro, 80).
Booked: WBA Mulumbu, Brunt. Tottenham Sandro.
Man of the match Parker. Match rating 8/10.
Possession: WBA 41% Tottenham 59%.
Attempts on target: WBA 5 Tottenham 14.
Referee L Probert (Wiltshire). Attendance 24,801.
Latest in Sport
Chelsea vs Manchester United player ratings: Match-winner Eden Hazard leads the way, but Radamel Falcao endures game to forget
Chelsea 1 Manchester United 0: Eight things we learnt as Blues step closer to the Premier League title
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: Where are the tickets for the fight?
Chelsea transfer news: Jose Mourinho plays down news signings Nathan and Yoshinori Muto but talks up Ruben Loftus-Cheek
Arsenal transfer news: Mikel Arteta needs 'five minutes' to sign new contract and remain with the Gunners
- 2 Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 3 Professional big game hunter Ian Gibson crushed to death by elephant during hunt
- 4 Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate