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Defoe 'best finisher in England'

Jermain Defoe celebrates scoring for Tottenham
Defoe has scored 11 Premier League goals this season

Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp believes Jermain Defoe has booked his place in Fabio Capello's 2010 World Cup squad after a five-goal burst against Wigan.

The striker's stunning salvo in the 9-1 win was the best haul for a player in a Premier League match for a decade.

Redknapp said: "He's an amazing finisher. Wayne Rooney's fantastic - a complete all-round player - but as a finisher, Defoe is the best out there.

"I'm sure he'll go to the World Cup. Fabio will see the goals he's scored."

Defoe's goals all came in a rampaging second-half performance at White Hart Lane.

The strikes vaulted him to the top of the Premier League goalscoring charts, a timely reminder for Capello, who has not made Defoe an automatic pick.

I was looking for more - Defoe

The 27-year-old forward, who suffered World Cup heartache when missing out in favour of Theo Walcott under Sven-Goran Eriksson in 2006, made a compelling case for inclusion this time.

And his manager highlighted his improved strength as an important factor as Defoe matched Alan Shearer's five-goal total for Newcastle against Sheffield Wednesday in 1999.

Redknapp stated: "He's got stronger this season and is using his upper body strength a bit more and holding people off and Capello will be impressed."

Peter Crouch, Aaron Lennon and Niko Kranjcar also scored against Wigan, while David Bentley's free-kick went in after hitting the bar and rebounding off Wigan goalkeeper Chris Kirkland.

Defoe put his shooting boots on after a last-minute change of footwear in the warm-up.

"I had a funny feeling before the game," revealed Defoe. "Adidas gave me a pair of green boots and I tried them on before the game but [development coach] Clive Allen said I couldn't wear them, so I changed them. They were pinkish silver ones in the end and I go and score five."

Mick and Tottenham Hotspur

Defoe paid tribute to Lennon for his assists and added: "Azza made the difference. He's so direct. When you've got someone with that pace in the team, he's so direct it's just easy for everyone.

"He gets the ball, you just leave him in a one on one and get in the box. Two fantastic crosses, which I made sure my movement was right for, and I got on the end of them and scored."

Spurs are back into the Champions League places in the Premier League in fourth spot, level on points with rivals Arsenal, who lost to Sunderland on Saturday but who are in third place on goal difference.

"Winning games brings confidence but we can't get complacent. We must go to the next game, which is Villa away, and try to get three points again," commented Defoe.

It was also Defoe's second hat-trick of the Premier League campaign and came after he had missed three games for stamping against Portsmouth on 17 October.

Redknapp added: "The England manager will have watched the red card against Pompey and Defoe can't react that way but he's come back strong. When he concentrates and plays his football, he can be unstoppable."

Redknapp praises 'top-class' Spurs

Defoe notched his final goal after 87 minutes and joins Shearer and Andy Cole as the third player to score five times in a Premier League fixture.

"Even when I got the fifth I wanted another and another," said Defoe.

"I was still looking for more. I think you have to be that way. I was definitely in the zone.

"Now it is important for me to keep my head and to go back to training and focus on the next game."

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Premier League results

22 Nov 2009 23:59 UK

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Bolton 0-2 Blackburn R
Stoke 1-0 Portsmouth R
Tottenham 9-1 Wigan R

Premier League table snapshot

As it stood on 22 Nov 2009 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Chelsea 13 25 33
2 Man Utd 13 14 28
3 Arsenal 12 21 25
4 Tottenham 13 14 25
5 Aston Villa 13 8 22
6 Man City 12 7 21
7 Liverpool 13 9 20
8 Sunderland 13 2 20
9 Stoke 13 -2 19
10 Burnley 13 -10 17
11 Blackburn 12 -9 16
12 Fulham 12 -1 15
13 Birmingham 13 -3 15
14 Everton 12 -5 15
15 Wigan 13 -17 14
16 Hull 13 -15 12
17 West Ham 13 -4 11
18 Bolton 12 -11 11
19 Wolverhampton 13 -14 10
20 Portsmouth 13 -9 7

see also
Wigan players set to refund fans
24 Nov 09 |  Wigan
Lee Dixon's tactical view
23 Nov 09 |  Premier League
Tottenham 9-1 Wigan
22 Nov 09 |  Premier League
Martinez embarrassed after defeat
22 Nov 09 |  Wigan
Sunday football as it happened
22 Nov 09 |  Football
Sunday's football photos
22 Nov 09 |  Football


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