Tottenham: Resting Defoe Will Bring Out The Striker's Goalscoring Touch Again

The pint-sized hitman has now gone 379 minutes without netting for Spurs and starting the striker from the bench at Elland Road will surely benefit the player and the club.
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The pint-sized hitman has now gone 379 minutes without netting for Spurs and starting the striker from the bench at Elland Road will surely benefit the player and the club.


“It's lucky for Spurs when the year ends in one” is how the famous Chas n Dave song reads. It's no surprise for Tottenham Hotspur seeing as they've picked up five of their eight FA Cup victories in a year ending with one since their first win of the famous trophy back in 1901.

It's now been over 20 years since the club picked up silverware in the competition, but regularly remains high on the agenda for any manager at White Hart Lane, regardless of the capability of the player's at their disposal.

Spurs came close to securing a place in the final of the FA Cup last year, only to be denied by Chelsea in the semi-final 5-1 thumping at the hands of the Blues during the Harry Redknapp barren spell towards the end of his tenure in north London.

There are many supporters that are still eager to lift the trophy for the ninth time and you can't blame them. The glory of the cup, a trip to Wembley, to have their name etched into the history books; it isn't a shock that fans want to win the competition this season.

However, a potential banana skin awaits them in the fourth round – a tough trip to Leeds United. The two teams haven't met since the 2009/10 season at the same stage of the FA Cup, in a replay at Elland Road, in which Spurs came out 3-1 victors in a game that all but provided the platform for Gareth Bale to showcase capabilities.

The Whites may be 11th in the Championship, but are only six points off the play-off's and despite the ongoing speculation surrounding the future of Luciano Becchio; it won't be an easy trip to Spurs to make.

Nevertheless, the players available to head coach Andre Villas-Boas should be enough to see off the threat of Neil Warnock's side. However, now could well be a good time for the 35-year-old to rest a number of key player's, or least start them from the bench.


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One member of the starting XI that has earned his time on the sidelines is striker Jermain Defoe. While rumours of a possible injury have been ill-founded, his 30 games already this year means he's likely to be suffering from burnout.

It's no surprise, in that case, to see that Defoe hasn't netted since the 4-0 win over Aston Villa last month; a run of 379 minutes without a goal. As it is at present, the 30-year-old is expected to make the most appearances of a season since he arrived for his second stint at the club in 2009.

While Defoe is currently the only out-and-out striker available to Villas-Boas, what with Emmanuel Adebayor on international duty for the African Cup of Nations, the amount of playing time currently under his belt means a rest could well benefit the club and the player.

That would leave Clint Dempsey to play as the front-man at Elland Road, should Villas-Boas opt to rest the player. The American may've taken his time to adjust to life at White Hart Lane, but has now netted four times in the last five games.

The 29-year-old isn't necessarily a striker, but has the capability of fulfilling the role if needs must. With a potentially difficult trip to Norwich City on Wednesday night also on the horizon, regardless of their defeat to Luton Town on Saturday afternoon, starting Defoe from the bench may be a wise option for Spurs.

It's vital, however, that Villas-Boas doesn't underestimate Leeds in any capacity. Elland Road is often a difficult stadium to visit and you can be sure the fans will be up for the encounter and securing a place in the hat for the fifth round.

Yet, resting Defoe may well see him rediscover his goalscoring touch, having played the full 90 minutes during six of his last seven games in all competitions. Furthermore, an introduction from the bench against a tiring Leeds defence could well see him net a vital goal and one that could take Spurs into the next round of the cup.