Date: 13th January 2014 at 8:21am
Written by:

When I read that Defoe was leaving for Toronto, I felt extremely disappointed (even before he came on and scored against Norwich). Not in him, but in us for selling him.

While you could argue that it was ‘his decision’ the reality is that he would not have felt the need to leave had he had more playing time. Despite him often being frustratingly inconsistent he has been one of the most underrated players we’ve had and has consistently paid the price of us getting ‘new’ strikers. Over the years I feel that had faith been put in him as it was with Rooney or Drogba (even though they were more complete and developed players) he could’ve been one of the top strikers in the league (he’s got a better goal ratio than Rooney I believe and an equivalent one to Drogba).

Anyone who has watched Defoe over the years has seen how far he’s come in terms of the development of his game, the man loves Spurs and whenever he’s been dropped he hasn’t asked for transfer requests (showing humility and understanding that there are deficiencies in his game) but instead he’s always been willing to develop himself to try and get into the team. His deficiencies are known but I believe the majority of them were ironed out over the years (selfishness, weakness, link-up play, etc.) and the most important one (consistency) was (I believe) on its way there too.

Selling Defoe unfortunately seems to be a typical example of us throwing away a good ‘out-of-fashion’ player for a new toy (Soldado). We did it before with him and he returned when our old toys stopped firing/left and we appreciated his value, but I don’t think he’s coming back this time. Defoe’s improved his game massively in the last couple of years and at some times, and yes I’m not exaggerating, has appeared to me have potential to become a genuinely world class striker.

He’s quick, technically very sound and has always been a poacher, but more importantly his body strength, his link-up play and his selfishness have all improved dramatically in the last few years, allowing him for example to develop his game sufficiently to be able to play effectively as a lone striker (something unimaginable a few years ago). He gets a very rough deal for sometimes not being consistent but we’re not Real Madrid (and do we want to be? the way they get on their players’ backs whenever they go through a rough patch is not endearing to me), and for an inconsistent player he certainly has scored quite a bit of goals.

I think he was coming close to finalising his ‘development’ and becoming a very good, and more importantly consistent, striker. This is a stupid decision.

Written by laneno14