Paul Parker

Team spirit key for Spurs

Paul Parker

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One of this weekend's stand-out displays was from Tottenham as they came
from behind to beat West Ham at Upton Park.

Jermain Defoe and Aaron Lennon may well have grabbed the
goals, but the three points were won with a real team performance from Harry
Redknapp's
side.

Unlike some Spurs teams of the past, this one is not entirely based on
talented individuals. Sure, they boast the likes of Luka Modric and Defoe, but
their real strength at the moment comes from a sense of togetherness and a good
work ethic - attributes very much associated with Redknapp's teams over the years.

But a manager can only do so much off the field -
nothing works quite as well in bringing a squad together as winning games, and
creating a bond with your fellow team-mates is far easier when your team is
successful.

Defoe in particular is reaping the benefits of
Redknapp's brand of man management
as well as Spurs' early season form.
He notched his fourth of the season at the weekend and Harry can take a lot of
credit for the England striker's recent form.

Defoe has always been a lethal finisher, but he needs to
play regularly to prove that. Harry is clearly a big fan of his, and having
played him from the start of the season, his faith in him is now being rewarded.

If he maintains this kind of form, Defoe has to start
alongside Wayne Rooney for England in next month's World Cup qualifier against Croatia. Pace always causes problems
at international level, and Defoe has bags of it.

That's why
Gary Lineker and Michael Owen have been so successful at that level - they had a
real change of pace.

But the difference between those two and Defoe is that
Defoe is technically superior and is more adept at bringing other players into
the game.

If he is given the opportunity to capitalise on his
electric form, I firmly believe he can establish himself as an England
regular.

- -

While Spurs are flying high, at the other end of the
table Everton are really struggling.

But there is no crisis just yet, and once Joleon Lescott
finally makes his move to Manchester City, David Moyes will be able to get his
house back in order and once again focus on the season
ahead.

Like Redknapp, Moyes has built his side on a feeling of
togetherness. But Lescott's attitude
towards his future at Everton served to temporarily break that down - and their
opening two results of the season have proved it.

Over the past few weeks, all his team-mates have been
able to see is Lescott's greed, and
not his commitment to the Everton cause. The sooner Lescott is gone, the sooner
a true sense of camaraderie can return to Goodison Park and when that happens, we will start
to see the old Everton once again.

It's a shame
because Lescott has everything to be grateful to Everton for. It is that club, and David Moyes, who have
brought him on to become an England international, yet there does not appear to
be any sense of gratitude or loyalty in the way he has engineered this
move.

- - -

Everton's
conquerors at the weekend, Burnley, can be
extremely pleased with the way the past seven days have turned out.

Victory over Manchester United was followed by a 1-0 win
over Everton to give the Clarets two big scalps and prove how difficult it will
be for any team to go to Turf Moor and get something this
season.

The obvious comparison to make is with Phil
Brown's Hull City last season, who started impressively
only to fade horribly in the second half the
campaign.

But I don't
think Owen Coyle will allow his team go down the same road as Brown did last
time around.

Then, the Tigers boss found himself distracted by the
lure of the media and seemed to spend too much time appearing on television,
when he should have been concentrating on his own club.

That had an unsettling effect on his team, but Coyle is
not the same type of manager and Burnley are
unlikely to fall to the same fate.

Most of Coyle's talking this season will be to his team, not to
the media. and that can
only help his club's bid to stay in
the Premier League.

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