Let's be honest, here. Jermain Defoe is somewhat known for running his mouth to the press, and sometimes it plays directly into the footballing media's hands. Our super-sub striker was quoted in a recent ITV article admitting that he needs more first team football at Spurs if wants to have any chance to make the England World Cup squad next summer in Brazil. But because this is the English football media, the underlying sub-narrative to the article is "Defoe is unhappy with the lack of first-team opportunities at Tottenham Hotspur." The article even draws a (ridiculous) allusion to Bale's unhappiness with the Real Madrid transfer as evidence that Defoe might not be a happy camper.
This is all astonishingly dumb, but it's Tuesday and a slow news day, so let's take a look at what Defoe actually said:
"I want to play games because it's a World Cup year. Having gone to a World Cup, it's something you want to experience again as a player...
It's frustrating when you have worked really hard in pre-season. A boxer trains for eight weeks before a fight and then on fight night he wants to be ready and perform, but he actually wants take part.
I went away, worked hard and made sure I was fit. I felt sharp and stronger than ever so it's difficult when you are in and out of the team...
It's important for me to stay cool and keep focused... When players go mad they take their eye off the ball and it's difficult to come back from that because when you are angry you can't perform.
There have been times when I have been angry and you are in training and you don't feel great, but at the same time it's important for me to keep sharp because if someone gets injured then you are in, so you have to be ready."
Wait, so let me get this straight: if you want to make your country's World Cup squad you actually have to PLAY FOOTBALL? And Jermain Defoe wants to play for England next summer? Shocking! Of course he does -- I can think of exactly zero English players who wouldn't be thrilled to represent their country at the World Cup in Brazil. (Well, okay, maybe Rooney.)
However, the subtext of Defoe not being happy with his Tottenham role is a real stretch. Sure, every footballer wants to play every game, but Defoe is on record as saying last summer that Spurs needed to sign more strikers to be competitive in the league. I suppose what he meant by that was that Spurs needed to sign strikers that were worse than him. (Nile Ranger is currently playing for Swindon Town. Just sayin'.)
Also, dare I say it, it's not yet a given that England even qualifies for the World Cup next summer. In order to do so or move on to the UEFA playoffs, they'll likely need at least four points from their last two group matches at home to Poland and Montenegro. Not an unlikely scenario by any stretch, but not a foregone conclusion either.
tl;dr – the English media sucks and Defoe probably needs to shut up. Also, #AVBOUT.