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Macintosh: Prem Heroes and Villains

Premier League about an hour ago
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Jul 26, 2006

Defoe's striking ambition

With his diamond earings and bright orange boots, Tottenham's Jermain Defoe could be mistaken for just another modern day 'bling bling' footballer, with more money than sense.

Refreshingly for Tottenham and football fans in general, Defoe is a rare breed - a young man with old fashioned values. Moreover, he's a footballer that loves nothing more than playing the game.

The most impressive thing that strikes you when you meet the man known as 'JD' to his team-mates, is his single mindedness. Despite the recent frustration of missing out on a place in England's World Cup squad, his thoughts are focused on the here and now.

'I have forgotten about that now', says Defoe reflecting on Sven Goran Erikkson's snub. 'I just want to look forward, I want to enjoy my football and that's what I'm doing at the moment. If I'm playing and scoring goals then I'm happy'.

The prospect of seeing a ruthless, sharp Jermain Defoe fit and raring to go must delight Spurs fans as will seeing the other striking options they take into the new Premiership campaign.

Defoe for one has a lot of time for his fellow front men, Dimitar Berbatov and Robbie Keane. 'Berbatov is a great player and because his movement is so good, to play with him seems really easy.

'I've been playing with Robbie (Keane) for the last few years, he's good at dropping off, getting the ball and making things happen'.

One of Martin Jol's major headaches during the last campaign was deciding on his best front pairing. Interestingly the Dutch manager has opted to start all three of his strikers in the two friendlies the club have played since returning from their French training camp.

Defoe can see a logic in the 4-3-3 formation and is excited by the possibility of playing that system in the future. 'Me and Berbatov up front and Robbie (Keane) just behind semms to be working really well to be honest. We've got strikers that want to play and score goals. If he (Martin Jol) could fit all three of us in it would be good'.

Key to Tottenham's success this season will be keeping their talented, young nucleus of English talent together. Defoe's former West Ham team mate and current colleague Michael Carrick was in outstanding form last season and this has attracted keen interest from Manchester United.

'You don't want to lose you best players' says Defoe. 'Michael (Carrick) was unbelievable for us and he's great at what he does, he's one of the best around'.

Has 'JD' made any efforts to make his team-mate and close friend stay? 'Yeah, I'm trying to injure him so he can't go anywhere' jokes Defoe. 'Michael is happy here, we are all mates and I hope he stays.'

It isn't only Alex Ferguson that is a keen admirer of the progress being made by the White Hart Lane club. Similar praise is coming from across the Premiership according to Defoe.

'Steven Gerrard was mentioning the clubs he thought would do well this season and he mentioned Tottenham. We know we are a club going places and other teams and other players know we are a team going places too'.

Defoe is optimistic that Spurs can make a push to towards the top four this season. 'We just missed out on the Champions League last season and hopefully this season we can do it. The manager has lots of belief in us, we are a young squad and he's a great coach'.

Spurs get a taste of Champions League life when they welcome Inter Milan to White Hart Lane this Sunday. Despite coming up against one the biggest clubs in world football, rest assured single-minded Defoe won't be letting the opposition faze him.

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