Spurs striker: Why it’s no problem for me to play the lone role
Jermain Defoe insists he is fully capable of playing the lone striker role for Tottenham this season after his brace at Reading.
Defoe struck his fourth and fifth goals of the fledgling campaign at the Madejski Stadium yesterday, following his effort against Newcastle on the opening day of the Premier League season and his two strikes for England.
The 29-year-old kept Emmanuel Adebayor out of the side for the second league game in a row - and he justified his selection with a stellar display, scoring in each half in a comfortable 3-1 win over the Royals.
Critics maintain that the diminutive Defoe is ill-suited to leading the line alone – but the Lilywhites forward is adamant that he can continue to thrive on his own.
“I’ve played as a lone striker before, I played there a couple of years ago for England so it’s not a problem,” he said. “I’ve just got to adapt.
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“If we control the game and we’ve got possession of the ball then it makes it a lot easier, and we did that against Reading so it was good.
“I think if your movement’s good and you’re sharp around the box then it’s not difficult. If the service is good in the middle as well then it’s no problem. I’m playing with great players so I know that if I move I’ll get the ball, and it’s just down to me to finish.
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“I’ve played the system before so it’s something I’m enjoying. The No10 who plays behind me - Gylfi [Sigurdsson] played there this time – stays close to me. At times, even though it’s a lone striker up front, it’s like having two strikers up there.
“The movement was good and we had a lot of chances - it could have been a lot more but we got the three points.”
Defoe’s own form has left him full of confidence – and he is hoping that Andre Villas-Boas’ first victory with Tottenham will have a similar effect on the rest of the squad.
“I think any forward will tell you that when you’re scoring goals you’re buzzing,” he said. “You just look forward to the next game, you never want that final whistle to go.
“Hopefully this will kickstart our season. We’ve got some great players and a great manager so it all looks really good.
“It was important to win this game. If you look at the other games, conceding late goals, the lads have been a little bit down and I think it was a good performance and a well-deserved win.
“Maybe the international break’s done everyone a favour, because everyone goes away and you forget about your club for a bit and then you come back and regroup - and maybe that helped us a bit.
“Everyone came in and was just raring to go, really looking forward to the game. Everyone looked sharp in training and we had a feeling that everything would click. Hopefully we’ll go on a good run now.”
Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs