Jermain Defoe has put in the hard work needed to kick off Spurs' Barclays Premier League campaign, and after a "stop-start" season last year, the striker feels his sharpest yet.
Last term's injury woes are now a thing of the past. In fact, Defoe has put in his own dedicated pre-pre-season to get match ready – there is no let up for the England striker who is ready to perform at his best all season.
Speaking about last year, when the 28-year-old still managed to net his 100th goal for Spurs despite a major ankle problem, Defoe said: "It was the first season where I've had injuries and it's been so up and down.
"It was really stop-start and I couldn't get going, couldn't get into the rhythm that I normally get into. That's why I'm looking forward to this season and to get off to a good start."
Defoe will have to wait to make his impact this season though, after Saturday's match with Everton, who finished just two places below the north London club last year, was cancelled. The trip to champions Manchester United will now serve as the club's opener, and Spurs face a gruelling Europa League schedule in the midweek throughout the campaign. Defoe is ready for the exhausting schedule though.
"I always feel sharp in pre-season because the work we do is hard anyway, I always put the effort in.
"Even before the start of the season I was away in the South of France for 10 days, working hard before we came back.
"In the game at the weekend against Bilbao I felt really sharp and to be honest, that's the sharpest I've felt for a long time."
Defoe was indeed sharp. He found the net just a few minutes after England teammate Peter Crouch had leveled to seal a 2-1 win against La Liga side Athletic Bilbao in the last friendly of a won five, drawn one, lost two pre-season campaign.
"I remember the season before last when we went to China and played West Ham and Hull, I felt sharp in that pre-season but last season I didn't really get much of a pre-season because of the World Cup.
"It was important for me to get a good pre-season this time around, to get five or six weeks to prepare, I've done that and now I'm ready."
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