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?