Inside Lane: It’s time for Spurs strikers to step up now
PUBLISHED: 07:00 29 March 2013 | UPDATED: 14:07 29 March 2013
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Tottenham blogger George Lacey discusses Spurs’ forward line as the Lilywhites prepare for the climax to their campaign.
Spurs have relied so heavily on Gareth Bale’s exploits in recent months that I begin to wonder if the lack of goals from our strikers, Emmanuel Adebayor and Jermain Defoe, will be significant in the quest for a top-four finish this season.
Bale has scored 10 goals in his last 10 league appearances, helping Spurs to remain in the Champions League qualification places. But can he continue the form that has made him the favourite to land the PFA Player of the Year award for a second time, and keep sparing the forwards’ blushes?
Signing Emmanuel Adebayor on a permanent basis seemed like a no-brainer in the summer, given his form last season, but he hasn’t found that level this campaign. His frustrating season has yielded just two league goals in 18 games and just four in all competitions, which leaves a lot to be desired.
That has been coupled with a seemingly half-hearted approach to shutting down opponents and working hard for the team, and he rarely finds himself in goalscoring opportunities – all issues that have caused unrest on the terraces at the Lane.
The only other recognised striker, Jermain Defoe, started the Premier League campaign in positive goalscoring form, netting five times in his first eight Premier League games. However, his last goal in a Spurs shirt came in the Boxing Day clash at Villa Park, and his goal drought has now stretched to nine games for his club.
He is yet to score for the Lilywhites since the ankle injury sustained against West Brom on February 3, and the recent two league defeats against Liverpool and Fulham have mounted pressure on the team.
The good news is that Defoe hit a double for England in their 8-0 thrashing of San Marino on Friday and, although the quality of the opposition was poor to say the least, Andre Villas-Boas will be hoping that the brace gives him the confidence to start hitting the net for Spurs now.
We all do, because I believe Defoe’s form in particular will prove pivotal to Tottenham’s chances of Champions League qualification.
With eight league fixtures left to play, there is still time for Defoe and Adebayor to be heroes, easing the pressure on Bale’s shoulders by chipping in with goals at just the right time and firing Tottenham into the Champions League.
Follow me on Twitter @Georgie_Lacey