Redknapp demands Defoe goals

Defoe was a regular starter for the club last season, scoring 24

goals in the process, but he has only scored nine in 20 starts this

term. The England man has suffered from injuries and a drastic loss

of form that saw him go without a Premier League goal until March’s

3-3 draw at Wolves. The 28-year-old admitted this week in a

televised interview that he had become “frustrated” at his lack of

first-team action, leading to suggestions that he could leave White

Hart Lane this summer. Redknapp said on Friday that he wants Defoe

to remain at Spurs, but delivered a stinging rebuke to the

striker’s suggestion that he has not been playing the number of

matches that he deserves. “He hasn’t played well enough to play

regularly, that’s the top and bottom of it. There is no other

reason,” Redknapp said. “No-one has more faith in him than I do. He

is a fantastic player but his form this year has not been anywhere

near it has been in the past. “He has to let the football do the

talking really on the pitch. If he does it on the pitch then I will

pick him.” Redknapp also took umbrage with Defoe’s claims that

playing in the Europa League would be a “distraction” if Spurs

finish above Liverpool to qualify for Europe’s second club

competition. “He can have Thursdays off then,” Redknapp joked.

“Maybe he is busy on Thursdays so we will have to organise

ourselves around that one.” Spurs have been linked with a number of

strikers recently and they also launched audacious bids to sign

Sergio Aguero and Giuseppe Rossi in January. Roman Pavlyuchenko,

Peter Crouch and Defoe have all been poor in comparison to Rafael

van der Vaart, who has notched 15 goals since his £8million

move from Real Madrid. Redknapp admits Spurs have relied far too

much on the Dutchman, but is convinced that Defoe can rediscover

the kind of form that persuaded him to part with £15million to

sign him two years ago. Redknapp said: “Rafa (Van der Vaart) is our

leading goalscorer and he’s a link player, a second striker, he’s

not an out and out finisher. “He has still managed to be way ahead

of the rest in terms of scoring goals but Defoe will come back next

year.” Sebastien Bassong is another player who has voiced his

displeasure at his failure to hold down a first-team place this

year. The defender, who is behind Michael Dawson, William Gallas

and fit-again Ledley King in the pecking order, said he wanted to

leave Spurs on Friday and Redknapp admits he would let the

Cameroonian go. “Seb has been unlucky for us this year,” Redknapp

said. “I brought William Gallas in and he and Michael have done

well this year. It has been difficult for him. He might be a lad

who needs to move to play regularly. He could play anywhere. He is

a top player.” Spurs will seal Europa League qualification if they

beat Birmingham at White Hart Lane on Sunday. As Spurs need a win

to guarantee fifth place, Redknapp admits it will be a day of mixed

emotions. “Sunday is going to be a tough day,” Redknapp added. “I

wouldn’t want to be jumping up and down if we score. I have

feelings for all the managers that are involved. They don’t deserve

it. None of them have underachieved.”