Harry Redknapp has responded to the Dutchman’s comments about team selection and substitutions by acknowledging that he has some decisions to make. There are options for the Spurs manager, including the question of whether to move VDV out of the club altogether but for now, Harry has hinted at a straight choice between Rafa and Jermain Defoe.

Over the issue of playing Van der Vaart on the right, Harry said in the Sun: “Rafa can’t run back and chase the full-back. Against the better teams it is a problem. Rafa’s best position is in the middle, playing just behind the front man. The only problem is that Jermain Defoe plays there too and Jermain is playing very, very well at the moment.”

So the manager acknowledged that he may have a choice to make but at the same time he suggested that VDV should just get on with his football.

“So, I guess I have got a decision to make, haven’t I?” Harry continued. “I suppose it’s now between Rafa and Jermain over who plays in the team. Rafa is a terrific footballer. He has great skill. But if you’re in the team and asked to do a job, really, you should just do it.”

If it does come down to a choice between Defoe or Van der Vaart, which way should Redknapp go?



  1. VdV, easy! Especially against the better sides where Defoe looks out way out of his depth. Defoe can always show us what we’re missing when VdV goes off for the last half-hour.

  2. JD. I feel that VdV can offer more as an impact sub than Defoe. Defoe and Ade seem to be striking up a great partnership and Defoe looks more hungry this season.

    • wrong way round mate.

      start vdv up with ade.
      vdv links up well with him, and u still play 4 across the middle off the ball.
      defoe comin off the bench to sniff a goal when cb’s are tired.
      its bloody obvious.

  3. One is world class the other has been frustrating the fuck out of me for years. don’t be a fool Harry, i’d sooner keep Rafa at the club.

  4. Defoe has to become more accustomed to the role but I’ve always wanted to see him there. The position is well-known by Vdv and he plays well in the big-uns. Good to have the competition, though.

  5. Surely it depends on who we are playing. For example it was a real risk against Arsenal to play both and we nearly came a cropper. I would have played VDV and left JD on the bench for that one. Against Wolves it would be the other way round. So horses for courses

    We need to keep them both and rotate according to opposition

  6. one is a player who has never played at the top level, for obvious reasons and the other has. one saved our season lasts eason and one didn’t… one knows the art of scoring and the offside rule and the other, well…..

    VDV all day any day

    • “One is a player who has never played at the top level”? You mean like at a world cup, playing for one of the top countries in the knock out stages? With England struggling, how many starts did it take him to get a goal at the WC? When England were struggling for goals, Rooney and chums looking poor, Defoe came in and scored on his first start. I would play VdV, but I just dont get the people continuously putting Defoe down. Numerous international managers have picked him, so it’s not just a case of Harry liking him/.

  7. VDV it isn’t even a sensible question. Against the big boys Defoe is hopeless. If you want to rotate to keep everyone happy then give Defoe starts against Wigan at home etc. For any testing games its VDV. We havent even tried vdv in behind adebayor yet 9unless I missed it). The reason 4,3,1,1 failed last year was because of our useless strikers, not because of VDV. I think the partnership could be magical. Harry said Defoe is playing well, WTF games has he been watching?

  8. tough one, but JD does look sharper, and back to the form from last years Wigan game and England call up right before he got injured. It is frustrating how much natural talent he has and how its not backed up with a footballing brain however..VDV has an ego the size of the Olympic stadium, (and plenty to back it up), Harry should have put him in the Europa squad so he got a few more games and maybe shut him up a bit…Simple answer is, dunno, it does come down to certain games, but for me, with a fit and firing Bale and Lennon, JD just pips it…

  9. Defoe has definitely improved his link-up play with the midfield. We had some great attempts at goal by players set up by JD over the past few games. However, overall, VDV is more of a quality player who can also pitch in and score goals.

    VDV for me; JD still has a major role to play though.

  10. VDV…. how can anyone compare ??? with JD is a poacher and VDV is attacking midfielder.. JD gets the ball and does ANYTHING in his power to get a shoot on goal. VDV link up attack and midfield better than most when played in his natural position. so for me this is EASY question… JD on the bench to come on if we need ” something else” in the last 30-20 minutes.

  11. neither..this is or best team….Friedal, Walker, Kaboul, King, Ekotto…..Sandro, Parker…..Lennon, Modders, Bale…..Adebeyor……simply by a long way this is or most balanced, most compact, most threatening 11………..

  12. Rafael vdv is one of 3 world class players that we have. JD suits the bench and smaller games.
    I think sours should convert to 4-2-3-1. Many teams have had succes in this formation and I think it suits our squad and vdv in particular.
    Walker Kaboul King BAE
    ……Parker Sandro
    Rafa VdV Modric Bale

    We are fortunate to have JD to come on after the hour mark.
    Let’s hope Harry can see the sence in this and particularly in VdV who will excell in this position,as will Modric

    • you have massively missed the point.

      rafa should not play on the right wing pal.

      Ive got a feelin we may have played vdv behind ade with 4 in mid against wigan at some point..
      im sure harry will want to stick with 442 at home as much as he can, and fair enough..but u cant play rafa in this unless ustick him up top.

      I would like to see harry start 451 away from home every game. bit more solid to start,. stick the likes of sandro/pienaar/parker in there,.. if its goin well u bring on one more of the likes of bale/modric/lennon/kranc and smash it in 442..

      This is a bit of a strange article, as these players are nothing alike and in 2 completely different classes.. Wrong agument has been raised, id guess the author may have gleaned his tactical knwledge from arry’s manual!

      borris out

      borris out.

  13. Ridiculous question!
    A truly world class, goal scoring, creative passionate player or a gormless, selfish, always off-side, one dimensional, immature, under-achiever.
    Been here far too long and his inability to step up is dragging us down.
    Berbatov had enough of him too.

  14. I don’t understand the question.
    Do you ask Spurs supporters if they prefer a striker who scores a goal every 500 minutes of play or an AM who scores a goal every 194 minutes of play?
    What’s the purpose of such a question?
    Do you want to find out if Spurs supporters are sharp or slow-witted?

    • very good parallel you’ve drawn here.. I cannot believe how piss awful the english media has now become, life is sad as an english man. The types of questions and headlines we are given to discuss demonstrates your point perfectly… this mono brain cell culture is enough to make you chew your own arm off.


  15. VDV isn’t world class

    he’s good, but has faults.

    he’s no winger, that’s clear.
    he’s not clever enough to be a great playmaker like modric
    he’s not prolific enough anymore to be a top class second striker (yes i know he was our top scorer last season, but that’s saying very little- 13 league goals is hardly a decent front man’s return)
    he’s not fast enough to track back or fit enough to be consistent

    he’s a decent choice when we play 4-5-1, but for 4-4-2 i’d have a fit lennon and defoe, both of whom offer more between them

    • Your off your willy son.. Modric got 2 assists in nearly 2 seasons? ‘Not a play maker like modric’ he got our most assists last season? Scored more than defoe, scored a quarter of all our goals.. Won us important matches, vs the scum away, a goal vs inter etc..Defoe is a passenger, how long since he scored in a ‘big game’.. Let’s be honest, and not a consolation goal either.. Vdv is different class

  16. More assist, more goals.. Much more of a threat combined with experience, complete no brainer.. Given a free role in the middle of the park he tears away at teams.. Defoe? Love the lad but would rather Rafa.. Defoe has done well in the last few games but for how long?

  17. Silly thinking defoe can even compare to rafa.. Many bark when he puts a foot wrong in a game when defoe has been doing it for the last 25 matches, only in the last few where he has come decent.. Then rafa pulls a rabbit out the bag, whether an assist or goal (near enough every game) and everyone shuts up.. Rafa all day.. When he left spurs where did he go? Pompey? Tells you something..

  18. Same thing as when it was Keano or Defoe. I went for Keano for the same reason I’d go for VdV. They have the vision and footballing brain JD can never hope to have. As for Jermain “playing very very well at the moment”, how many goals has he scored so far? VdV, like Keano, links up play very very well from a central position. Just ask Ade whom would he rather have in support. For width on the right, I’d like to see Walker in front of Corluka. Harry’s already converted one full back into one heck of a winger. He could do the same on the opposite flank.

  19. I agree this question is stupid, VDV is miles better.

    If Defoe was asked to play right midfield he couldnt do it and would be moaning to the press too.

    Harrys blind loyalty to him is ridiculous, yes he has started the season well but unfortunately if Rafa is fit then Defoe is benched end of.

    One thing I would say though is Rafa needs to stay higher up the field sometimes he gets in Lukas way by dropping too deep.

    Modric right midfield, he gets more freedom there and Sandro and Parker must start games currently

  20. VDV 33 league appearances, 15 goals and 9 assists.. Playing with Crouch and Defoe.. That is incredible.. Defoe? 4 league goals in 22 odd games.. VDV is on another level, I love Defoe, but its the truth. When Defoe left, he went to portsmouth..

    Anyway, redknapp will always play defoe with the incredible team we got which is a burden on VDV and our build up play..

  21. I have a similar view. I think Defoe is a bit one dimensional. All he does is scores goals and hasn’t done that very well in his career. I think VdV is a different level. But maybe for some games it should be Modric in that position with Lennon back in the team. This in my eyes would give us a bit more flexibility in the team and allow us to change systems depending on the game. Here is my view: http://fansinthestands.co.uk/2011/10/10/defoe-or-van-der-vaart-or-neither/

    Great to get your opinions on it.

  22. Of course there is no contest – vision has kept this team alive when playing the good teams and we need all of it we can get (yes the stats count, but only a fool would argue against Mod based on stats – the only time he sucked was against RMA).
    Harry has more optimism than most fans, who don’t understand that being capable in front of the goal is a knack that some players have – and Defoe used to have it, I have some empathy for Harry who wants to threaten the best teams with a belief that we are capable of being an attacking juggernaut. And yeah, it would be great if Defoe pitched in. Bit his propensity for bad touches and selfishness will out sooner than his return to goal scoring.
    Too many – including Harry – are too concerned about what VDV can contribute to defense if he plays outside or roams – in a team system, he can retreat to a more central location instead of having to track down flank players. Think a little more creatively and put your best 11 out there.
    I’m more concerned about getting more out of Lennon. Cheers


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