Search

Inside Lane: Will lightning striker twice at Spurs?

07:00 07 February 2013

Jermain Defoe (centre) limps off against West Brom

Jermain Defoe (centre) limps off against West Brom

EMPICS Sport

Tottenham blogger Declan Olley questions Tottenham’s lack of forward thinking after last season’s collapse.

When the news filtered through that Tottenham’s deadline day pursuit of Brazilian striker Leandro Damiao was over, I sank low into my chair. I sank even lower on Sunday, when Jermain Defoe hobbled off at West Brom.

I was adamant throughout January that Spurs had to sign a striker. Defoe’s form has dipped – he has goals in his last 12 appearances – while Emmanuel Adebayor had one in eight before his departure to South Africa.

Now, after being knocked out of the Africa Cup of Nations, our Togolese forward has admitted that he is “physically exhausted”.

Add this to Defoe’s injury and head coach Andre Villas-Boas’ “big risk” of opting not to sign a forward looks to have backfired spectacularly. Granted, Tottenham won on Sunday without a recognised striker, but that narrow victory owed much to Goran Popov’s sending-off.

Of course, Tottenham have found themselves in this ‘under-strength striker’ position before – and it didn’t end well.

Having looked odds-on for a top three finish last January, an underwhelming winter window contributed to a dramatic collapse which saw Spurs clinging on to fourth place in the end, only to miss out on Champions League football after Chelsea’s win in Munich. Lessons have not been learned.

The deadline day rush to sign Damiao smacked of a “we tried” attempt. After all, this is a player Tottenham have been tracking for what feels like decades, so surely they should know the ins and outs of the deal by now?

I would, however, argue that the signing of Lewis Holtby is an improvement on last year’s window. In his first two appearances, the German has brought inspiration and creativity to a side that had been crying out for it, and at 22 years old he has a bright future ahead of him at White Hart Lane.

That said, Holtby is not a renowned goalscorer and this is what Spurs needed in addition to the ex-Schalke man. Villas-Boas’ side are the second-lowest scorers in the top six and, with the race for third and fourth growing ever more competitive, the lack of a cutting-edge strike force will severely cost the team.

There were murmured chants from the Spurs end on Sunday that “we should have bought a striker”, and I fear these could grow louder as the season plays out – especially if Adebayor was to join Defoe in the treatment room.

Follow me @declanolley

0 comments

Latest Sport Stories

Yesterday, 12:03
Dawid Malan inT20 action for Middlesex against Essex Eagles. Pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO

Middlesex batsman Dawid Malan feels the county’s Twenty20 fortunes would improve if the tournament were streamlined over a shorter period of time.

Yesterday, 07:00
Hornsey's Chetan Patel (pictured) shared a 50-run partnership with Paul Weekes. Pic: Max Flego

Hornsey batsman Chetan Patel believes his side are back in the promotion race after crushing Brentham by 114 runs for their second successive win in Division Two of the Middlesex County Cricket League.

Harry Kane struck a fine first-half goal for Tottenham

Harry Kane was back amongst the goals with a fine first-half strike in Tottenham’s first public pre-season match, but Tottenham were beaten 2-1 by the MLS All-Stars in Denver, Colorado.

Wed, 19:00
North Middlesex captain Tom Nicoll hit 60 and then took three wickets. Pic: Paolo Minoli

North Middlesex slipped to third in the table, dropping 14 points behind the leaders after falling agonisingly short of a victory at Southgate in the Premier Division of the Middlesex County Cricket League.

Most read sport

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

Competitions

Get your hands on some fresh trainers!

Need some new shoes to head to work or some new heels for a night on the cobbles? London24 has teamed up with online retailer Sole Trader to offer £100 worth of shoes to one lucky reader.

Take in the stunning sites of London from the summit of the O2!

Up at The O2 has teamed up with London24 to give one lucky reader the chance to experience urban mountaineering this summer with an exhilarating 90-minute climb across the roof of one of London’s most iconic landmarks.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder