After Saturday’s 0-0 draw with West Ham, much was made of Rafael van der Vaart and the fact that he walked straight down the tunnel after being replaced by Roman Pavlyuchenko.

Harry Redknapp had this to say after the incident: “I didn’t like that at all, if you are part of a team I think you should stay and watch the game. I will speak to him about it.

“He is a good lad, I just wanted to make a substitution.”

Meanwhile the Daily Mail has for some reason asked: ‘Just what is wrong with Rafael van der Vaart?’

Seemingly forgetting that players are allowed a dip in form and the odd injury, the story includes the following comments.

‘After such a promising start, Van der Vaart’s form has cooled. He has played a full 90 minutes for Tottenham only eight times in 26 appearances. A hamstring injury in late November, a calf problem in February and numerous tweaks and strains mean the 28-year-old is a perpetual doubtful starter.

You wonder how long Redknapp will persist with the 4-5-1 formation that is built around the Dutchman, playing in the middle behind a lone striker.

There is pressure on Van der Vaart to deliver again as two of Spurs three strikers are left to smoulder on the bench.’

So is there any justification in the Mail’s piece, or is this just an attempt to create a story where there really isn’t one to be found?



  1. no justification, he has scored loads of goals put in some magical performances and this is only his first season. I do however believe that with time VDV and Modric will combine as well as Xavi and iniesta. Exciting times are ahead COYS

  2. So everyone else is allowed a dip in form when returning from injury – but apparently not VdV. Is the Daily Mail right? When has the Daily Mail ever been right? I wouldn’t wipe my A***nal with that rag!

  3. the pressure is put all on him to score because the strikers are incapable of doing so. If we had a top striker knocking them in VDV would be free to create and chip in with goals here and there.

  4. We all know He (VDV) can find the net and is very competent in doing so, we lack a player that can play off him in a 4-5-1 formation, what is there at the moment does not instill confidence in playing the aforementioned formation and the standard 4-4-2 has paid great dividends for us this season as it did so last season.

    Why not resort back to the prosperous 4-4-2 with VDV playing beside Pavlychenko, and leave Modders to drop deep and create from the middle, we have to look at Modders as the engine and build around Luka.

  5. Everything’s full-on, that’s the problem. Stick consumerism in the pot = any old story will do. In all fairness there is something here to be noted and it probably was in The Times/Guardian, etc. Nothing more, nothing less. I even shield my eyes from the red-tops when they’re on display. Unless I’m feeling horny. They’re nothing more than poor porn.

  6. Fernando Torres has been excused for about 2 years because of injury. Sorry but van der Vaart is a very good player. He’s not scored for a while, but I wouldn’t say scoring is his forte as such. He’s a good finisher inside the box, but he works for the team and his passing is never usually off target. He’s walked down the tunnel twice in a row now. The first time he went to get a rub down to prevent his injury flaring up again. Wouldn’t surprise me if the same thing happened again. Also, while I’m excusing van der Vaart from every angle, who has the ability to link up with Defoe? Defoe’s been paired with Keane, Berbatov, Bent, Mido, Rasiak (ha), Crouch, Pavlyuchenko and van der Vaart in his time at Spurs (feel free to fill the gaps if I’ve missed someone), and he’s not formed a decent partnership with anyone. Not ever. van der Vaart looks like a worse player as a result, because he can’t feed the predictably offside runs of Defoe, and he’ll never get set up by him, so the goals and assists go down the pan.

    • Too true. I like the fact that we’ve got Defoe in reserve but lets face it, four years ago when we had a worse team but a better strike force he was third choice striker. Now that Fergie has told him he’s not a guaranteed striker I’m almost tempted to wish Berba back to us!

  7. Hi. First, let me state that I am a big fan of VDV but I do believe that there is a problem for us fitting him into the team. I think that Madrid found similar problems as well. Last season, we were scoring for fun with all our strikers contributing. This season, our four main strikers have scored less than 10 league goals BETWEEN them, so clearly something is not working and the only real difference is that we play a different system to accommodate VDV. No player is bigger than the team and I really believe that we need to either find a place for VDV in a 4-4-2 system or consider other less palatable options. We have two flying wingers that most teams would love but with only one striker to mark, their worth is negated. If, as is very possible, we miss out on a Champions League place or worse, Europe all together, the reason will be due to us not scoring enough goals to beat the likes of West Ham, Wigan, Wolves etc. Our goal difference last season over Man City was worth an extra point but that situation is reversed this season. For the good of our club and for the future development of the team and to maintain the growth that exists, we need to act now and not wait until we lick our wounds in the close season of summer dreaming and lamenting of what might have been. Spurs forever first and always.

      • I understand your point, but we cannot just blame the form of our strikers on our formation! We create and play better football as a 4-4-1-1- did you see how many chances we created against West Ham and we couldnt score once- Did you see how many chances Defoe missed???? We dont even need a proper 4-5-1 striker we just need someone who does not miss chances and puts the ball into the back of the net!!! I dont like what van der Vaart did but i can understand his fustration- Defoe misses all his chances and gets to play 90min whilst van der Vaart has a better chance of putting the ball into the net than Defoe has! By the way Pav looked good when he came on- him and Kranjcar need to play more!COYS!!!

  8. The real question is not VDV but the Daily Mail. When has any story in that paper with a Spurs focus been anything but negative and destructive?

  9. Beefy, I agree with you. I am a fan of Spurs but not a fan of VdV, however. He disbalances the team and he like a free roaming role as well. He scores goals mostly with Crouch but Crouch never scores when playing with VdV. VdV is not a playmaker, quite the opposite – he wants to be in MF and be a goalscorer. We have our lone striker isolated when he plays with VdV and we got only 1 win in the total of 5 PL games VdV started with Crouch. Surprisingly, the best frontline per stats is Crouch + Pav with 4 wins out of 4 games, followed by VdV + Pav. I would only use VdV as an impact sub from the bench but he won’t be happy about that. Unless we start playing Pav + Defoe or Pav + Crouch starting next game, we can forget about finishing 4th. Finally, read the latest VdV interview where he complains how he was not allowed to train with the squad at Real. He is not a team player and his personal results are always more important than team results. Defoe is the same and we should never ever again combine these two.

  10. Tbh its obvious that defoe is the weak link he misses way to many oppertunities to be named a clinical finisher. why not revert to the 4-4-2 which got us 4th in the premier league? Why is it that YET again our top goal scoring striker is on the bench i mean seriously i dont have the patience for this sometimes. Harry give up some ppl are beyond help.

  11. Its clear Harry has his favourites and not-so-favourites and because of this we will suffer this year. Defoe is not doing it and hasn’t for so long…..misses chance after chance but still keeps his place. Pav, albeit not great, has scored 7 PL goals – thats 5 more than Defoe has but seems to get overlooked for JD at more or less every opportunity….WHY??
    Krankjaer is better than Pienaar aswell, and Kyle Walker is better than Corluka and Hutton put together…..but we let another PL club reap the benefit while we play 2 average right backs week-in week-out….WHY?
    No Champions League next year will almost certainly mean either Modric, Bale, VDV or Lennon will leave the club, and seeing as Harry is VERY interested in the England job why should he care who oes or stays??
    SORT IT OUT TOTTENHAM, the points we have wasted against 2nd rate opposition will haunt us………possibly forever

  12. Rafa is a quality player, but much like Keane used to, he gets frustrated and goes looking for the ball, isolating the striker. The strikers are the problem, not Rafa. If we had a player in the Berbatov mould it we wouldn’t be talking about it. Berba would have broken dear old Clive’s record in this Spurs team. Pav is the closest to Berba we have out of the three strikers we have left. The fact that he is the top scoring striker this year if proof that he is most suited to this system of play. Look at how his performances changed last year when he had that run in the team and he scored nine or ten goals in about six or seven games. Harry has given everyone their chance except Pav and Kranjcar. Niko would have scored the goals Rafa did this year if he’d been playing in the hole. I think a forward line of Pav and Niko could fire us back into fourth.

  13. I have said for a long time that to play VdV means we have no balance. He either has to alternate as an AM with Modders or we could drop both full backs and play Gallas, Daws and King/Kabba at the back with Lennon and Bale as wing backs. A midfield trio of Sandro/Thuddz, Modders and VdV and Defoe and Crouch/Pav up front. Very, very attacking team but I don’t think there’s too many that could live with us like that. Lennon has got a lot better at tracking back and Bale can run all day so I think this could work, it would just mean sacrificing a defender to fit VdV in to a front 6 of Bale, VdV, Lennon, Modders, Defoe and Pav.

  14. THIS IS NOT FAIR!!!!! blaming VDV for our strikers not scoring… What… He’snot alowed to Get injured… We need an intelligent, talented striker… That’s it….. Bojan, Aguero, Hulk, LiLo… AND Kranjcar is NOT better than Pienaar… BUT if Bale goes to left-back as planned we need a TOP left sided player… MY SPURS dream team:
    K.Walker Dawson Gallas G.Bale

    ………. ..Sandro Modric

    Lennon…….VDV……….MATA (Valencia)

    ………..Lisandro Lopez

    • Bale at Left Back?????, great idea, let’s turn a brilliant LSMid, into a mediocre 2nd choice left back, good thinking Batman!

  15. Love the spurs dream team – but something tells me we won’t get away with 12 players on the pitch!

    Re VDV – he needs a good alround striker next to him – crouch and defoe are too one dimensional – pav is the best option, but Harry for some reason doesn’t want to give him a chance to play along side VDV in order to create an understanding.

    • Its “Lissandro Lopez”…he’s ONE player, NOT “Lissandro” and “Lopez” ! DOH…………………………………………………………………………………………….

  16. VDV will come good, all players have a dip and while he is being a little childish of late a lot of that is probably frustration at his own form.

  17. All i can say is i’ve watched Jason Dozzell play for us in the VdV role! So i ill never complain about having a 100% commited (see recent articles about the family at Spurs), Dutch world cup finalist, Ex Real Madrid superstar playing. Even if he is struggrling for form after an injury.

    Lets not forget he i used to playing a much slow less combative and competative brand of football and is struggling to get to grips with the frequent occurance of 4 or 5 game in 12 days.

    In regards to Redknapp, cut the guy some slack. We are begining to get on his nerves, would you be happy if he left and we got Geroge Graham back? He’s won the Prem!!!
    Seriously, in the not too distant past i got accustom to us being in the middle ofthe table, so much so that my eyes automaticly go there when i look at the table. We need to grow slowly and quietly, we are an emerging force lets try and keep our feet on the ground. Otherwise we could become expectant and arogant like our red nieghbours!


  18. Hi all! Please dont tell me we blaming van de vaart for our slump in form. Harry made a comment when defoe came back for injury. he said something like, we would have had more goals had he not been injured. Thats crap. We were 3rd and still in with a chance to win the premiership till defoe came back. Defoe is the one who is not a team player. We will win games as

  19. Problem was that Harry couldn’t/wouldn’t buy a striker capable of playing in a 4-4-1-1 with VDV. That’s what’s got to be addressed in the summer. (Again). BUT, there’s still got to be the option of 4-4-2 as dictated by injuries/specific games.
    Still think Pav’s capable of coming good; Crouchie terrifies every European defence and is your 4-4-2 standby; and we need 1 or 2 good intelligent strikers capable of playing either role.
    And sadly I don;t think Defoe fits the bill.
    Oh…and Daily Mail ? Bollox.

  20. should have kept Abdel Tarrabt, just got voted player of the year in championship we could have played him as lone striker, skill, can hold the ball, can finish, if he had played up front on sat against west ham we would have won easy. I know he was too selfish when at spurs but it was because he was trying too hard to impress, the lad has lots of skill, he is stronger now, and he is one player that will come back to haunt us, wait and see next year when QPR come up. That las will be a superstar.

    • Adel was never going to cut it at spurs- our crime would have been to not put in a sell on clause for him. We gave him to QPR for peanuts, but he has talent, and it excels in championship, but more is needed in premierhsip.

  21. VDV has been playing alongside top strikers all his career… When defoe was out he was happy with crouch up front, scoring goals getting assists.. Then defoe came back.. Someone with no ability.. He was upset because he got subbed off instead of that moron defoe who has no ability. Believe me, defoe will cost us top 4

  22. How dare you criticise VDV!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Absoulte wankers, he has dragged this team through certain games this season, when Flamini nearly broke Charlies leg who squared up to Milan???? VDV
    We need his passion plus his goals and determination.
    Now piss off and play with ya lego twats

  23. the fact is when vdv signed it was his goals that got us up the he has not scored lately we have slumped.he covered over our poor strikers and gave the team hes stopped getting the goals and nobody has taken over the scoreing we started to slip.we rely too much on this talented player and paid the price.

  24. JD should have been replaced on Saturday & not VDV.JD had but one thing in mind, to get just one goal to make his 100th. Getting 3 points was not that crucial.

  25. just the usual arrogant anti spurs stance from the the daily mail….some reds in the office nodoubt……on the game with west ham….??….vaart should have stayed on the pitch….defoe misfiring was the problem….


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