Last week, UEFA published details of Tottenham’s squad for the group stages of the Europa League and the only notable absentees from the senior side were Brad Friedel and Rafael van der Vaart.

The news seems to have taken a while to filter through to VDV as the player has now stated his annoyance and being left out.

“I still think it’s a peculiar situation,” said the Dutchman.

“Spurs could at least have consulted me. Anyway it’s up to the point of no return. I will be focusing on the game against Liverpool.

“I’m pretty convinced I will be fit by then thanks to Dick van Toorn.”

Manager Harry Redknapp has made no secret of his feelings towards the Europa League and above all, the Premiership is the club’s priority. Given VDV’s injury issues therefore, has the boss made the right decision to leave him out of the opening rounds of this tournament?



  1. Van der Vart as good as he is needs to shut his mouth and concentrate on Liverpool. Why would we play him in Europe when we have kids and fringe players that are desperate for playing time. based on the fact he has the stamina of a VW camper, maybe he should spend his time doing some endurance training rather than writing crap about the club on his ‘official’ site. He should know following the Modric saga that no-one is bigger than the club. pipe down and get fit! COYS

  2. These sort of decisions are made as a group not just by the manager but all sorts of people chip in.
    Second as I understand it the squads are named again in January once the group stages are done. So all VDV misses are a few group games against teams where we would prefer to play young players anyway.
    Not sure what the fuss is about.

  3. ‘Arry was possibly right to leave him out of the squad (we have bigger fish to fry) but totally wrong not to have at least told VDV first. I would say the manager should have a discussion with a senior player before taking such action, I can see why VDV is peeved.

  4. If the initial diadnosis of his injury was 6 weeks then it was right to leave him out. The league is the priority this season although this is a tournament that we can realistically look at winning

  5. Exactly what has been said above:
    a) He is not too peeved about it.
    b) He was meant to be injured for much of it, and even if he does get fit for it, he may as well save himself for the more important games.

    Just an overblown story

  6. I am curious as to who will make way for VDV against Liverpool? I think he will be on the bench. He has not impressed so far this season and just walking off the pitch against City is crap. Injury or no injury you play on until the boss tells you to come off even if you can only just stand there at least you are an extra body for the other team to have to mark. He has a bit of an attitude issue! IMHO.

  7. YES!

    However, the problem is, VDV appears the type of player who just loves playing football, loves playing for the shirt and the fans and just wants to get out on the pitch and give his all whenever he’s fit to do so in whatever game/opposition is out there.

    I agree with Harry on this occasion (i wont say that often), but they could have told him personally before they finalised the squad.

  8. The only thing that I think that was wrong was that it would appear that Harry didn’t advise VDV about his decision prior to making the squad public. I think that common politeness should have prevailed, especially after all the unsettlement to the team relating to the Modric affair.

  9. Some people here are absolutely clueless. It’s ridiculous to leave him out, even if he isn’t going to play the majority of the games you have to have him in the squad as a contingency plan in case we need to win the last game or something to qualify.

    Redknapp should at least have told him his reasons rather than not bothering, he’s an absolute joke (didn’t know Sandro had signed a new contract either) and as a manager how he can be so detached from the club is amazing. Muppet.

  10. Yes. Vdv is a luxury and tbh hinders the team by being shoehorned into the team. Apart from a few goals he does nothing for spurs, i would rather see dos santos given a chance in the hole if playing 451.
    If vdv was an icecream he would be licking himself allday!

  11. I think most people have said what I feel – VdV needs to stay fit, train harder, last longer in games, and talk less ……… we would be justified in telling him to shut his gob, if only we could persuade ‘Arry to do the same thing!!!

  12. Totally agree with guvnor…great player but so hard to select as he drifts out of games on a regular. Real knew what they were doing. Top scorer yes, but he seems to want to do everything which can be so annoying if playing on the same team. I remember bell ends that used to be like that years ago but I was 15 then so no room for that carry on at this level.

  13. Yid18 – the Europa games are not important at the moment, after the awful start and the injuries that we have at the club do you really think it would make sense to even include his as a back up plan. not a chance. he is not Rooney,Ronaldo,Messi,Xavi,etc so why should he be consulted? think you ll find the views on here are a frustration at the players lack of stamina and inability to fit into systems. these are the reasons he never settles at clubs. hope that clears things up for you!! COYS

  14. Totally agree with the exclusion – he’s hardly fit for any length of time…. couldn’t VdV spoken to the manager first before blittering on to the press ? – I presume the management went on the initial diagnosis – seemed so serious that he had to walk off the pitch leaving 10 men on the pitch !!!! Priorities ?

  15. Yes, he’s not going to play in the competition whether he likes it or not, he is needed for the league to try and gain 4th place which is the only thing that matters.

  16. This is just another example of how desperate the media are to manufacture a story. It really is a storm in a teacup but no doubt it will be blown up by The Daily Mail or Strandard so that “Rafa is desperate to leave Spurs in January”. Sure Harry should have told him, but as most of your writers suggest his fitness is not 100% and his great talent needs careful management. Probably Harry was reading his own press clippings at the time!!!! 🙂

    • Champions league thats why mate. I would rather get in the top 4 than win the fa cup for example.
      If it wasnt for man city and chelsea we would be regular top4 but i genuinely think we could finish 3rd.

  17. Agree entirely – If he can stay fit for more than 5 minutes we might have a chance at a top 4 finish. We need him fit for the league games not some meaningless UEFA games that Harry sees as a waste of time anyway. Harry wants to keep the squad players fresh and match sharp and tese games are vital. We already have 8 or 9 players down now so take a chill pill, swallow your ego and put the team first for once,

  18. Hes off next summer, hes to slow, we cant play him on the right because he has no pace, if we play him behind a striker we lack something upfront, hes no good in central midfield either, the best way to use him is in a 4-3-3, but it would still mean dropping Lennon which is no bad thing seeing as hes a little bit off form at present.
    With regards to the Liverpool game, why does VDV asume hes starting when hes just tore his hamstring?
    The team has just won, leave it alone, if defoe or Adebayor has a shocker then consider bringing him on but he just isnt good or fit enough to start every game for us, it showed last season with the amount of injurys he picked up and his lack of steam after 65mins!

  19. I don’t suppose VDV consulted Harry when he picked himself for the Liverpool game either….arrogant, over-rated, self-promoting tw*t that he is.

  20. It is a stupid question to ask! Of course VdV should be let out of the Thursday Europa League match! I think even a fully fit VdV would have been left out, as we all know where the team’s priorities lie. Europa League is a killer for any team with Champions’ League ambitions for the following season and Harry R knows this better than most, hence the inclusion of our youngsters to save the first team for Premiership duty.

  21. He was a our top scorer last season. He played a key pass , assisted or scored a goal every 31 minutes he played. Netted 3 against the Goons and is an exciting, passionate player to watch. He is disappointed to be left out of our Europa league squad, which again highlights his passion and yet he is the bad guy in some of your eyes. Perhaps if he was happy to pick up his wages while injured or content to stay at home while the squad travel to illustrious teams such as PAOK, Rubin Kazan and Shamrock Rovers you would be happy. The fact that wants to play this sorry lot makes me happy. Give me VdV over “I wanna play for Chelsea” Modric or mercenary Adebayor any day.

    • This. I wouldn’t risk him in the Europa league either, but – even if it is a bit arrogant – it’s a great attitude to have because he obviously wants to play every game and the news shouldn’t have come out of the blue for him. I don’t get the hate here because we’d have been stuffed without him last season.

  22. VDV is fragile. He needs to come to term with that. Not sure about his stamina either.

    “Washing dirty linen in public”, may be his biggest flaw. Mr Levy will nip that in the bud ASAP.


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