As Jermain Defoe continues to move up the list on Tottenham’s all-time goal scoring record, this blog will follow his progress in the coming months. This season, having been given the opportunity of a regular starting place in the Spurs team, Defoe has repaid manager, Andre Villas-Boas’ faith in him by scoring consistently. He has already overtaken two Tottenham favourites on the club’s all-time scoring record and has a Tottenham ‘Legend’ in his sights.
Four goals in three games in seven days has taken Defoe closer to his next target.
Jermain Defoe’s Current Total of Goals for Tottenham: 132 (up-dated 26th December)
Last season Jermain Defoe came on in the 60th minute of Tottenham’s last game of the season at home to Fulham. Within three minutes he had scored to finish the season on 17 goals. That goal, Spurs’ last of the season, was his 20th as a substitute in the Premier League, a record. It confirmed his position in many managers’ eyes, including Harry Redknapp, as a player who could come off the bench in the final minutes of a game and score a match turning goal. Defoe has had to accept that situation with Tottenham and England for a number of seasons. He didn’t complain or cause any problems but he was not happy with the situation.
During the summer, as Tottenham trawled Europe and beyond in search of a striker, there was speculation that Defoe would leave White Hart Lane. Defoe, himself, admitted that he would have to consider his position as at his age he was wanting to play as much as possible. After the Fulham game, Defoe said,
“I’ve never said I want to leave, all I’ve said is I want to play. I’ll go to the Euros and see what happens. The most important thing for me is being happy and scoring – that’s when I’m happiest.”
New Season, New Manager, New Opportunity
At the start of this season, Tottenham’s lack of senior, experienced strikers created an opportunity for Defoe. Andre Villas-Boas for his first match in charge had no other option but to select Defoe and the striker scored Tottenham’s first goal of the season, an equaliser in a game Spurs went on to lose 1 – 2. The completion of the signing of Emmanuel Adebayor led many to expect Defoe to return to the substitute’s role. Adebayor lacked fitness so Defoe continued in the team and kept up his scoring record with two at Reading. Continuing injury worries with Adebayor has led to Defoe retaining his position as he has continued to score, the goals against West Ham bringing his total for the season to ten.
May, 2012 v Fulham (h) PL – Goal No. 118 (10th on Tottenham Record)
20th October, 2012 v Chelsea (h) PL - Goal No. 123 (9th – passing Robbie Keane)
8th November, 2012 v Maribor (h) EL - Goal No. 126 (8th – overtaking Teddy Sheringham*)
[*The third goal of Defoe's hat-trick against Maribor in the Europa League took him past Teddy Sheringham]
25th November, 2012 v West Ham United (h) PL – Goals No. 127 & 128
1st December, 2012 v Fulham (a) PL – Goals No. 129 & 130
6th December, 2012 v Panathinaikos (h) EL – Goal No. 131**
[**Defoe now has 16 in European competitions for Spurs, second behind Martin Chivers on 22]
26th December, 2012 v Aston Villa (a) PL – Goal No. 132 [400th League appearance]
Current Total: 132
Next Target: Alan Gilzean – 133
Alan Gilzean who was present at White Hart Lane for the match against West Ham, is next in Defoe’s sights. Gilzean scored 133 goals for Tottenham in his ten seasons with the club from 1964 to 1974, winning the FA Cup, League Cup (twice) and the UEFA Cup. Gilzean developed a great goal scoring partnership with first, Jimmy Greaves and later with Martin Chivers and Martin Peters. He was given a warm reception by Tottenham supporters on returning to the club for the first time in many years.
Defoe has scored 132 goals in his two spells with Tottenham – 64 in the first in 177 games and now 68 in the second although it has taken him only 147 games to score them in the second period at White Hart Lane.
This season, the goal against Chelsea was also the 200th goal of Defoe’s club career.