You would think sitting 4th in the league and with a cup quarter final looming that Tottenham would be doing their damndest to ensure that all their key players are wrapped up in cotton wool, especially given that injury has already decimated areas of the squad in recent weeks. Unfortunately that train of thought doesn’t exist inside the walls of White Hart Lane and the stupidity of the club’s decision to release Jermain Defoe for England duty astounds me.
I am certain that I wasn’t the only Tottenham fan inside Craven Cottage yesterday cursing the fact that we didn’t have Jermain Defoe starting due to him aggravating his hamstring in the recent and pointless friendly in midweek. I say aggravating as Defoe has had to come off in previous Premier League fixtures, having picked it up on the Somme that was the DW Stadium, and yet we allow him to play and start for England in a game that simply had no bearing on his overall selection in Capello’s squad for South Africa. Defoe has no worries about his England place, which made the decision to allow him to join up with the squad all the more baffling.
I am sure had we gone out of the cup last night then there would have been a greater uproar about whether we should have gambled on starting Defoe or not. The fact is that it should never have come down to this in the first place and with a chance to reach a semi final and some key Premier League fixtures coming up, then the club has to come before country on this occasion, especially in a meaningless friendly. Without Defoe we have nothing upfront and if we have any hope of succeeding this season then his fitness for the club has to be the priority.
Written by Roy James