Loyalty is a wonderful thing. This admirable virtue cements marriages and bonds lifelong friendships. It is also frequently misplaced.
If Harry Redknapp had as much faith in Roman Pavlyuchenko as he showed the shot shy Jermain Defoe, Tottenham would probably have beaten West Ham on Saturday. An inspirational display from Luka Modric merited as much.
Instead, the Russian sub was brought on (far too late) with just 20 minutes remaining and caused havoc around the West Ham penalty area while Redknapp favourite JD proceeded to fritter away chance after chance. Every striker has matches like this, it‘s part of the game, but the likeable Defoe seems to have little but these days.
Apparently, Jermain has been watching DVDs of Jimmy Greaves to improve his goal tally; presumably this was ‘The Best of Saint and Greavsie’ or a drunken home video from a 1979 Greaves family barbecue where the finishing related to pints.
The recurring criticism of Darren Bent was that he contributed nothing apart from scoring. Oh for that problem now. Bent’s relationship with Redknapp deteriorated after the manager famously ridiculed the striker for missing a simple headed goal in a 1-1 stalemate with Portsmouth. The criticism was myopically selective when you consider Defoe’s continued profligacy and Bent’s outstanding career goal record.
How many of Defoe’s chances today would Sandra Redknapp have converted, I wonder, Harry? We’ll never know because Redknapp, a wonderful manager in every other respect, has a worrying blind spot when it comes to the misfiring Defoe.
Yeah. Sandra would have buried them.