Jermain Defoe shows more in 23 minutes than Adebayor does in 358

Jermain Defoe

Jermain Defoe showed Tottenham just what they have been missing with his cameo performance in the North London Derby.

Andre Villas-Boas confirmed after the North London Derby that the injured Emmanuel Adebayor could be fit for the Inter Milan match on Thursday, but he will be tempted not to use him.

And not just for concerns over preserving his fitness, but because Jermain Defoe is back and looking lively.

The Englishman came on with 23 minutes of the match remaining and almost extended Tottenham's lead on two occasions with his directness.

The first was an excellent run which saw him play a pinpoint pass to Gylfi Sigurdsson, who looked destined to score until his poor control forced him into trying to square a cross which was cut out.

The second saw him take a shot from just outside the area which went narrowly wide, a position where he has scored from countless times before only for his rustiness to ensure on this occasion he missed the target.

It was one more shot than the man he replaced, Emmanuel Adebayor, contributed all game.

Adebayor was a presence who Arsenal's defence played close attention to all game, and his off ball movement helped pull the Gunners around.

He didn't do a terrible job, but his largely lacklustre efforts were highlighted by Defoe's livewire cameo.

Adebayor has played 358 minutes of football for Tottenham since returning from the African Nations Cup, without scoring a single goal, or even threatening to.

Defoe appeared more of a goal threat in his 23 minutes than Adebayor has the entire time he has been available.

The Togo striker would have wanted to stake a real claim for the number one spot when Defoe was out injured but hasn't been able to crack it.

AVB now has to decide how to balance his strikers going forwards. Defoe will clearly be first choice, but should he play against Inter Milan?

He will hope to, but his manager would surely prefer to play him up top away to Liverpool next weekend, and will be wary of whether he is capable of starting two matches in four days.

Either way after a month without him, they will be pretty glad they have the option.

Were you impressed by Defoe? Who should play up front against Inter and Liverpool?

image: © pahudson

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