Jermain Defoe has hailed the effect new manager Andre Villas-Boas has had on the club, claiming the former Chelsea boss has assembled not only the most talented Tottenham squad he has been part of but the happiest too.
Defoe, who has played under a host of different managers and over 250 league games in two different spells for the north Londoners, made particular reference to the derby win against Arsenal to prove his point.
“I’ve been here for many years now and in my opinion, in terms of team spirit, this is the best it has been.
“The buzz around the training ground is fantastic. Everyone is putting their work in and even the players who are injured are working really hard to get back.
“I have to say I think this is the best squad since I’ve been here. I was having a joke with Scott Parker yesterday and I was saying that sometimes when you have a knock and you can’t train, you just have to try and stay on it.
“If you are injured, someone else will come in and do well because this is such a good team to play in now. To stay in this team, you have to play well and take your chance and everyone is buzzing at the minute.
“You could see the way we played against Arsenal on Sunday. The intensity of the way we moved the ball around was spot on. We got the goals and it was a big win.
“Arsenal are still a great team, so you can’t write them off, but we feel like we have good competition for places here now and it is a great time to be at this club. For us, the sky is the limit.”
Under Villas-Boas, Defoe has become Spurs’ first-choice striker, something the England international has been very grateful for having struggled to maintain a starting berth last season under former boss Harry Redknapp.
“The boss has done a lot for me,” Defoe added. “The main thing was giving me the opportunity to play minutes on the pitch. That helps, especially being a forward and when you are scoring goals, it’s even better.”
Defoe has scored 14 goals in all competitions so far this season and is expected to play a key part in Thursday’s Europa League first-leg last-16 tie against Inter Milan having returned to the fold from injury in the 2-1 victory over their nearest rivals Arsenal at the weekend.
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