On Saturday afternoon at Craven Cottage, a brace for Defoe took him to four goals in a week and his tally for the season up to 9. Aside from the goals, Defoe had a relatively quiet game, making just 14 passes in the entire 90 minutes. Defoe is a player who splits opinion amongst Spurs fans – on the one hand he is a player who scores regularly, on the other his involvement is minimal if he is not scoring the goals.
Some would argue that is what a striker is paid to do – score the goals. However, in the modern game a striker is expected to show more – especially if they are playing the lone striker role. With Adebayor facing a 3 match suspension Defoe knew that he would get the chance to shine as a lone front man and in terms of goals he certainly delivered.
In this article I have compared the goal scoring contribution of Defoe to the top scorers within the league, as well as the main strikers for Chelsea and Arsenal who are likely to be competing with Tottenham for 3rd/4th place. This just focuses on their attacking contribution and ignores what they bring to the team in terms of link up play and creativity.
*please note, these stats were taken before the Newcastle vs. Wigan game.
With Adebayor being out of the team with fitness issues, injury and then suspension, Defoe has had his chance to shine as the lone front man. He has taken that chance scoring 9 goals in the process and is just behind Suarez, Michu and Van Persie having spent less time on the pitch.
If we look at the minute per goals stat Defoe has scored a goal every one and a half games on average. Only Michu and Van Persie are able to better this rate. Giroud and Torres are well off this pace with the latter especially experiencing a really poor season scoring just 4 goals despite playing every game so far. His minutes on the pitch are only just behind Suarez who is evidently the most relied upon striker for his team playing pretty much every single minute to date. Liverpool is sure to miss Suarez while he is suspended at the weekend.
While his shooting accuracy is only just above 50% and behind that of most of the others looked at, when it comes to actually scoring the chances, he is just behind RVP, Michu and Fellaini but from a higher number of shots.
When the chance is a clear cut chance Defoe is likely to take it. He has a 63% clear cut chance conversion which is only behind Tevez (a very impressive 83%) and Michu (67%).
With Adebayor back from suspension at the weekend, it will be interesting to see who AVB decides to start against Everton. Personally I feel Adebayor is more suited to playing the role as a lone striker. He is able to hold the ball up and offers more to the team in term of linking the play. He drops deep to pick up the ball and generally gets more involved in the game.
Having said that, with Defoe on form it would be very difficult to drop him – he has scored the goals that have helped propel the team into 4th place, equal on points with 3rd placed Chelsea. Last time both were available, they both started against Arsenal and it was working – until Adebayor’s reckless challenge saw him sent off.
It wouldn’t be a surprise to see AVB start with them both on Sunday, especially in the absence of Bale. Adebayor has demonstrated the ability to drop deep and spends a lot of time operating from the left.
It is an interesting dilemma for AVB and an in form Defoe is as lethal as anyone.
All of the stats from this article have been taken from the Opta Stats Centre at EPLIndex.com – Subscribe Now (Includes author privileges!) Check out our new Top Stats feature on the Stats Centre which allows you to compare all players in the league & read about new additions to the stats centre.