Football FanCast columnist ‘The New Voice of Football’ wonders if Spurs’ toothless display in front of goal on Saturday, will send Redknapp to the January sales.
Despite Harry Redknapp putting Saturday’s defeat to Stoke down to being ‘one of those days’, it must have worried him that Tottenham appeared toothless in front of goal in the absence of the suspended Jermain Defoe. Yes, Steve Simonsen had a good game, while standing in for Thomas Sorensen in the Potters goal, but all his saves were ones you would expect a keeper in the Premier League to make.
The truth of the matter is that without their most predatory striker in the shape of the missing Defoe, the Tottenham attack simply misfired. Something severely punished by Tony Pulis’ side, who performed a perfect smash and grab in leaving White Hart Lane with all three points, having managed to find the back of the net with their only shot on target.
A defeat in a game dominated by Spurs should give no cause to panic, but Redknapp must have pondered the need to go out and buy another striker, who is prolific after watching the glut of chances wasted by the forwards available in Defoe’s absence.
Now don’t get me wrong, Peter Crouch is an excellent striker, but to compare him to Defoe would be like chalk and cheese. While Robbie Keane also has many good attributes, but like Crouch is a differing type to Defoe, who is a selfish, greedy forward, one that expects to score at least once every time he plays. Jermain does the plain basics of his job well, which is to put the ball in the back of the net as often as possible. Keane provides the trickery, while Crouch provides the ability to hold the ball up as well as being a serious threat in the air, but Defoe is the serious goal threat, the striker, who always looks like he will score.
Tottenham had hoped Roman Pavlyuchenko would prove to be a striker, who gave a good return in terms of goals, but this has not been the case so far in just over a year in North London. The Russian able to produce with monotonous regularity in the Carling Cup last term, but yet to find his real shooting boots in the Premier League and looks set to depart England in the New Year when the transfer window reopens.
Should Pavlyuchenko leave in search of Pastures new, then Redknapp could be forced into the transfer market to replace him. However, the striker he brings in should be one in the mould of Defoe, a player who just lives for scoring goals. Someone a little selfish, whose single-minded approach to delivering, will see his team reap the rewards in due course.
Spurs are currently creating enough chances to see off most teams. This was even evident in the losses to Chelsea and United; however, it will not have been missed by Harry that having created the number of opportunities Tottenham did on Saturday. It should not matter how committed the defending was or what sort of inspired day the keeper had, one or more of those chances should have seen the net bulge.
Pretty football is fine, but it has to have an end product and bringing another proven goalscorer into White Hart Lane in January, could prove the difference between a foray into the Champions or Europa League next season. Tottenham got away with it this weekend, with the other teams around them also faltering, but this won’t happen always, which is why an out-and-out striker must top Redknapp’s winter wish list. Unless they want to start emulating that other club in North London!