Spurs need to tighten defense

TOTTENHAM Hotspur are firing from all cylinders at the moment. They have won six of their last seven Premier League games convincingly to prove that this could be their year to break into the big-four. But, let’s not be quick to draw conclusions. Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp does not need to be reminded that his team has to produce these sort of results week-in, week-out.
Dr. Joseph Kamugisha
Dr. Joseph Kamugisha

TOTTENHAM Hotspur are firing from all cylinders at the moment. They have won six of their last seven Premier League games convincingly to prove that this could be their year to break into the big-four.

But, let’s not be quick to draw conclusions. Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp does not need to be reminded that his team has to produce these sort of results week-in, week-out.

Two seasons ago, Spurs defied the odds to seal a Champions League slot and are better placed to know that they need to strengthen their defense to stand a chance this season. While they have been as good as Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea going forward, the defense remains shaky.

While the left and right backs have been solid, the central defence has left a lot to be desired. The likes of William Gallas, Michael Dawson, Sebastian Bassong and Youns Kaboul have not been as tight as they are supposed to.

Particularly, they have looked vulnerable during set-pieces.

That said, Tottenham midfielder Scott Parker is already being touted as the buy of the season.

The midfielder cost a relatively small sum of £5million (approx. Rwf4.7 billion) from West Ham in the summer but is already a revelation at the club.

It might not be the most glamorous of jobs but as a holding player, a ‘water carrier’, someone playing the ‘Makelele’ role, there are few who compare.

Few players in their Tottenham career ever get to rank among the greats of the club’s 1960s side which became pioneers of English football.

Bill Nicholson’s team were the first to win the league and cup double in the 20th century and followed it up two years later in 1963 by becoming the first British side to win a European trophy.

Containing the legendary Dave Mackay they have been the benchmark for every Spurs team since.

So for Harry Redknapp to compare Scott Parker, a player he signed only two months ago, as good as the no-nonsense Scot caught many off guard.

But after another man-of-the-match performance on Sunday in the 3-1 win against QPR, Parker left supporters and Redknapp purring with delight at another stunning display.

Not even Fabio Capello could ignore him and has made him a regular in the England side this year (having not won a cap since 2006) where he has proven he can mix it at international level too.

At 31, it has been a long time coming but it finally looks like Parker is getting the limelight he has deserved for club and country in what is likely to be his last few years at the peak of his powers.

For England he is surely on the plane to his first major championships at Euro 2012 and can still harbour dreams of playing in the following World Cup.

At Tottenham he has already made a lasting impression with the fans, a standing ovation after he was replaced against QPR confirming that.

They will argue he has been the league’s best value for money signing this season.

Redknapp, who played in the same era as Mackay, couldn’t help but make the comparison.

Ends

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