Forward failure

Previous season review articles:

In our defence

Midfield majesty

 

Onwards now with penetrating the penalty box of pessimism where our goal shy forwards sleep.

 

Defoe

Patches of form is JD’s signature. He scores goals in spurts but then goes missing for a while. He lashes the ball into the back of the net, a regular trait much like his inability to beat the offside trap. He’s a player you always expect to see improved but doesn’t quite get there, although this season there was a suggestion he would surprise us. Alas, he was struck down by injury and that was that. It’s easy to forget about the big chunk of the season he was sidelined and just criticise him for his form post- return. He’s struggled to reclaim that blistering zip and had it all compounded by falling behind in the queue to start up top in Lilywhite.

I’m going to be brutally honest. I think on form and fit, JD will score goals. Even in spurts, he will hit 20 if he avoids injury. However, if Levy and Harry plug the hole we have up front in terms of balls deep world class quality to compliment the likes of vdV and Modric...then a sacrifice will have to be made. JD will be benched. He won’t be first choice and he’ll want to be and will therefore have to look elsewhere. I don’t think he’s going to change his ways. He’s not a bad player. We just need something that little bit extra special.

Seems we have players at Tottenham that are neither first choice or strong enough to lead the frontline. And that’s a weakness.

He’s scored plenty for us (you might have missed the t-shirt) so I hope he shows the desire to stay and fight, but his words recently suggest otherwise. In a confident side, with a confident Defoe...fireworks.

 

Crouch

Much maligned. Scored some vital goals for us at key moments. Assisted Rafa on the odd occasion too. But it’s like bringing a sex doll to bed to help you get in the mood when your partner is lying naked next to you. There’s no need for it. It’s a distraction. It’s not a necessity even though you could get some use out of it. If there was no Crouch they’d be no hoof and knock-down. It’s those key moments that allowed many to tolerate his lack of impact domestically (lack of goal return). It’s not his fault, he’s built the way he’s built and he’s had success at former clubs. But much like a team has to be setup in the right way for Darren Bent to run onto the ball off the last defender, you have to use Crouch as an outlet meaning it’s fine if he’s a backup/impact sub but not so good if he’s the one leading from the front. Dynamic he’s not.

Those vital goals, in the CL. Appreciated by all. But we need something far more robust. Someone who kicks the ball with venom and isn’t just an obvious Plan B to launch balls at.

 

Pavlyuchenko

Remind me, did we sign him in the aftermath of Zenit dicking us about with the Arshavin saga? We paid around £14M for a player that joined us off the back of the Russian season. He seemed to be permanently injured and forever with his translator. He wasn’t convincing and was far too apologetic in body language on the ball and off it. For the money spent he hasn’t displayed the qualities we expected from him when he arrived. There’s an argument that perhaps had he started more games he’d have found a rhythm and settled far quicker. Perhaps, but he’s far too erratic for me.

He’s obviously a classy player. Some of the goals he’s scored have been majestic, technically superb and instinctive. And yet he ghosts in and out of a game at times like a lost Sunday league player who has turned up in a professional league by accident. He’s a luxury. I think Harry knows that and I don’t believe him when he starts claiming he’s the best finisher at the club. I think the crux is that even though he might be, he’ll never be consistent enough and he’s obviously not doing enough to claim that first team start (unless Harry is still controlled by favouritism).

Pav does have the class, like I said. But it’s always too little too late. Scored some vital goals last season. Scored some great goals this season. That’s about it.

 

 

I guess, ideally, we’d replace all three players with two top drawer forwards and a young third choice striker for the future. Personally think Defoe will stay and Crouch and Pav will go. Which means we’ll sign our ‘world class’ forward and will simply need to invest in some youth to make sure we have ample cover.

At the end of this epically long day we didn’t score enough goals. Not to completely blame the front men as we lacked cohesiveness with the tinkering, but there were several games when you were left holding your head in your hands. Either we’ve had one of those days all season long or we just admit we need to up our game and make the required changes for the good of this team and its progress.

 

Up next:

Prem and the Cups 

The Progression of Harry Redknapp’s Tottenham (including a 'arry review)

Summertime High Jinxs