Defoe woe as Spurs future in doubt

Jermain Defoe
Defoe woe as Spurs future in doubt
Defoe facing uncertain future at White Hart Lane

Jermain Defoe finds himself in the headlines again as his career at Tottenham appears to be looking increasingly uncertain.

The England striker could be sold by Andre Villas-Boas when the transfer window opens again in January after failing to impress the Spurs boss this season. Defoe has started just one league game this season, coming on for seven substitute appearances without scoring a goal.

Yet that is despite becoming the club’s record goalscorer in Europe. His 23rd European goal in the recent game against FC Sheriff saw him rewrite the history books after overtaking Martin Chivers long-standing record.

Yet for many in the game, Defoe remains an enigma.

There is no doubting his ability in front of goal and he is widely regarded as a top striker with a natural ability to put the ball in the net. Why else would the likes of West Ham, Newcastle, QPR and MLS side FC Toronto be ready to pounce in the next few weeks if Tottenham allow him to leave.

He has insisted on Thursday he does not want to leave White Hart Lane for a second time. But in football, what footballers want is sometimes out of their hands.

Yet Defoe admits he is frustrated. He is frustrated at not being given a chance in the Premier League and is frustrated he has not really proved himself to Villas-Boas.

For all his attributes, he has never won anything in the game. And at the age of 31, there is real fears amongst people who support him that he may end his career in the next few years without really fulfilling his potential.

And it is hard to understand why such a talented player has no medals to show for his loyalty to clubs and natural ability.

Yet Defoe, a devout Christian, will not be worrying too much after the heartache he has suffered in his private life has put football firmly into perspective.

On 24 April 2009, his 26-year old half-brother, Jade ‘Gavin’ Defoe, known to many as the grime artist Escobar, died of head injuries following an assault in Leytonstone, London.

And in June last year his father died. Defoe was with the England squad at the European Championships at the time. So when footballers talk about heartache and tragedies in their careers, Defoe can realise it means nothing compared to losing loved ones.

Defoe began his career at Charlton with their academy before a move to West Ham where he emerged as one of the brightest young stars of his generation.

He was loaned out to Bournemouth for much needed first team experience and immediately grabbed the headlines when he scored in ten successive games.

He showed similar qualities when granted his chance by the Hammers. Their relegation in 2002-03 eventually saw him sold the following January to Tottenham where he enjoyed intermittent gluts of goalscoring before eventually losing his place to the partnership of Robbie Keane and Dimitar Berbatov.

A move to Portsmouth in January 2008 proved fruitful in terms of goals before he was then sold back to Spurs twelve months on for a considerable profit.

However, as a result of the timing of his moves between the clubs, he missed out on a 2007-08 FA Cup winner’s medal with Pompey by virtue of being cup-tied which would have handed him his first medal.

But with his future in doubt, he has much to fall back on and he ponders what the remaining years of his career will bring.


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