AVB heaps praise on Defoe
Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas heaped praise on Jermain
Defoe after the forward’s brace in the 3-1 win at Reading on
Villas-Boas went in to Sunday’s game under pressure having
failed to deliver a victory in his first three contests, but the
34-year-old left the Madejski with a broad smile after watching his
team claim a comfortable success.
The architect of the victory was Defoe.
The 29-year-old got on the end of Kyle Walker’s cross to put
Spurs ahead and added another in the second half after Gareth Bale
had made it 2-0.
Defoe’s future at White Hart Lane had been the subject of
speculation over the summer, but the former West Ham man has now
scored five goals for club and country so far this term.
“I’m extremely happy for him,” Villas-Boas said.
“He is such a prolific striker for club and country. It’s
amazing how he sniffs out goal-scoring opportunities and makes the
most of them.
“I know there were questions being raised about him being played
up front on his own. On his own or with Emmanuel Adebayor alongside
him, I think Jermain can continue to produce these kind of
“He has confidence as a striker and we are very grateful we can
use this confidence at this moment.”
Spurs looked clueless at times in their 1-1 draw against Norwich
last time out, but on this occasion they produced some of the
football that set pulses racing during the reign of Villas-Boas’
predecessor Harry Redknapp.
Aaron Lennon, Bale, Walker and Kyle Naughton all produced chaos
down the flanks and Mousa Dembele put in an exceptional shift in
the midfield to suggest that Spurs may not miss Luka Modric as much
as they had thought.
Defoe’s final goal, a slotted finish after a mazy run from the
halfway line, has to be a contender for goal of the month.
Villas-Boas was delighted to see his team playing such
enterprising football after the disappointment of the last three
games in which Spurs looked timid at times.
“I’m extremely happy with the performance,” he said.
“The players showed tremendous commitment, responsibility and
“They understood that we have been working so hard and they
deserved to get this first win so the way they came into the game
with that focus of wanting to put things in their place was very
pleasing to see.
“They kicked out the anxiety and played in such a confident and
concentrated way that they were able to express their talents and
have fun in the game.”
Tottenham’s winless streak had seen a number of critics line up
to criticise the Portuguese, who is looking to restore his
reputation in English football after his failed reign at
Redknapp, who secured two top-four finishes during his time at
Spurs, appears at odds with the type of management employed by
Villas-Boas, declaring in an interview: “These days you’re getting
70-page dossiers on this and that. Bull**** can baffle brains at
Villas-Boas brushed off the comments, saying: “In the end it’s
not about the manager, it’s about the players.
“Different kinds of managers have different leadership styles
and the way they go about his business.”
Defoe believes the club are finally showing their true
“New managers come into football clubs and sometimes it takes
time,” he told Sky Sports 1.
“People just think instantly they’re going to be unbelievable,
but sometimes it takes time.
“I’m sure today the fans are happy and everyone that’s been
doubting us they can hopefully look at us and see that we can do
well this season.
“Our season will start now.”
Defoe could have added a third to complete his hat-trick but he
was content with the three points nevertheless.
“It would have been nice to have got the match ball, but to
score two and help my team win is fantastic,” he added.
Reading are still looking for their first win and may be in for
a long season if this sub-par effort was anything to go by.
Spurs goalkeeper Brad Friedel remained a spectator throughout
the contest, with his only action of note coming in the last minute
when he picked Hal Robson-Kanu’s consolation out of his net.
Royals manager Brian McDermott conceded his side had been
“The second goal killed us really. We came up against a
top-class side today and they played well. They deserved to win,”
“We have to move on very, very quickly – you have to do that in
“It’s a learning curve for all of us. We know we’re playing
against a team of world-class individuals, and today they have
played well and we didn’t cause them enough problems.”