Rafael Van der Vaart has never been the shy, retiring type, but his constant stinging attacks and public criticism of Harry Redknapp’s decisions have started to cross the line. He is beginning to talk himself out of Tottenham, like he has done at other clubs in the past.
Van der Vaart’s latest criticism of Redknapp, came after Harry’s decision to play him on the right wing during Sunday’s win against Arsenal. Although Van der Vaart put Spurs ahead, he was at fault for the equaliser, as he failed to track Alex Song down the flanks, as he set up Aaron Ramsey’s goal. We know Van der Vaart prefers to play a central role, and sure everyone wants to play in their preferred position, but sometimes you just have to take one for the team. His latest comments characterise his selfishness and his laziness, as well as his unwillingness to put the team before his own ego. We see plenty of other players in the Premier League who aren’t playing in their natural positions, but few if any come out and publicly criticise their manager. Redknapp took a risk playing him out there, in order to accommodate him in the side, so he should of just got on with it like a professional, instead of whining about it to the press.
The very public way he has criticised Redknapp both this week, and over his fitness issues and Europe League omission in the past few months, is a worry. These matters should be dealt with in house rather than aired in the public arena. It is embarrassing for the club and manager, and it will be interesting to see how much longer Redknapp puts up with it, as it could be damaging for morale and it is disrespectful to the club and his team-mates. Redknapp is known for his man-management skills, but this might be a bridge too far, even for him.
His latest outbursts seem as though he is trying to stir up controversy, and might be trying to seal a move away from Spurs. His market value has increased after an impressive spell at the club and he knows the big European clubs like AC Milan are sniffing around him. It seems as though his behaviour might just have a hidden agenda behind it, as he tries to force Spurs into a position where selling him would be the best option for the club. His outbursts signal that his future may lie elsewhere come January, and that wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world for Spurs as they simply don’t need a player with his kind of ego.
A lot of teams haven’t fancied him in the past because of his attitude, so it will be interesting to see if anyone wants to take a risk on him, should his ploy to engineer a move away from White Hart Lane be successful.
Lauren Rutter for FootballFanCast.com