Inside Lane: A Spurs fan reflects on Jermain Defoe’s Tottenham career

07:40 27 February 2014

Tottenham blogger Mike Williams looks back over Jermain Defoe’s time at White Hart Lane as the striker prepares to complete his move to Toronto FC.

There are not many players who could leave a club as their all-time record European scorer and still have supporters questioning whether he was exactly what was needed – but Jermain Defoe has managed to do exactly that.

When he signed for us back in 2004 from rivals West Ham, he was talked about as the next big thing – the next Ian Wright, some said. But has he delivered to his full potential? There’s no doubting the ability of the England striker but, despite his 143 goals for Spurs, he was often a source of frustration for the White Hart Lane faithful.

There were some superb performances, most notably the five goals against Wigan during the 9-1 hammering in 2009. Yet Defoe has always been renowned for blowing hot and cold, and he has been too inconsistent to be named among the all-time great Premier League strikers. He often started the season in fantastic form but then faded.

Harry Redknapp described Defoe as “the best finisher in the country” but I, like many Spurs fans, disagree. We were often leaving the ground hearing how the opposition goalkeeper had put it a world-class performance – but in reality, it was simply down to our poor finishing.

Despite his limitations, Defoe has rightly always been a crowd favourite at the Lane. He always played with passion, pride and his love for Tottenham – even after leaving for Portsmouth – could never be questioned.

It was a reciprocal relationship and that was demonstrated in September 2008 when Defoe scored a penalty for Pompey against us. Even though we were going through a terrible time on the field, the away supporters still sang Jermain’s name.

In the January window of 2009, the little man returned to “his home” and continued where he had left off before. He continued to score important goals but, after the summer signing of Roberto Soldado and, with Emmanuel Adebayor in front of him in the pecking order, Defoe would have been left with a familiar feeling. In January, he confirmed that he would be leaving us to sign for Toronto FC.

The move will disappoint many fans who will see it as the end of era, and they will hope to see him one last time tonight – but Defoe has already done a lap of honour at the Lane, after the recent game against Everton, and the fans reminded him “You’re Spurs and you know you are”.

That will not change, and he will be welcomed back as a supporter any time.

Follow me on Twitter @mikew191


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hampstead Highgate Express visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hampstead Highgate Express staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hampstead Highgate Express account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Hampstead & Highgate Sports News

Yesterday, 17:15

Joyce Esser struck a hat-trick as Hampstead & Westminster Ladies secured their fourth victory in a row in the Women’s Conference East, beating Harleston Magpies 4-1 and leapfrogging their visitors into the top three places.

Yesterday, 16:20

Highgate Harriers’ quartet of runners held off heavyweight opposition to clinch a surprise victory in the Southern Senior Relay Championships at Wormwood Scrubs.

Yesterday, 16:04

Belsize Park remain second in the London Division Two North West table and unbeaten after scoring six tries in a commanding 40-7 victory at Stockwood Park.

Yesterday, 15:56

Middlesex’s title-winning squad gained the royal seal of approval when they were presented with the County Championship trophy at Buckingham Palace.

Yesterday, 12:05

When the board of the Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust last sat down with Spurs’ hierarchy in September, the subject of domestic silverware came up.

Tue, 15:33

Paddington’s Tin-Tin Ho came agonisingly close to one of the biggest victories of her career before bowing out of the European Championships in Budapest.

Tue, 13:57

Jared Robinson scored Haringey’s seventh and final try in his last game for the club as the Rhinos halted West London’s winning start to the season and jumped into second place in the Herts/Middlesex Division Two table.

Tue, 12:33

Spurs Ladies’ latest hat-trick hero Wendy Martin says the Lilywhites are benefiting from the focus they have put on their attacking play and finishing after they took their remarkable tally to 26 goals in three games.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Most read Hampstead & Highgate sport


Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot


Cosmetics, toiletries, vitamins and more. Boots is the number one choice when it comes to purchasing daily essentials.

If you’re obsessed with Apple or just love a good gadget, this is a prize that will blow you away! An incredible £3,333 to spend on Apple goodies! How would you like to be the proud new owner of the Apple Watch?

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now