Spurs, ActuallyBy: Robert Reed | July 18th, 2012
VDV 4 AVB. It’s touching, isn’t it? Think how great that would look carved into a tree.
Truly one of the great love stories of our time or, alternatively, two people who thought they would be well shot of each other by now find themselves lumbered for the rest of the season and are making nice.
I’m glad to see that Andre is looking sharp. He saw the writing on the wall a week or so ago (admittedly with the benefit of having an idea of developments at boardroom level) and suddenly out of the blue started waxing lyrical about how great it would be to have Rafa around. In fact he stated that he was ‘absolutely counting’ on Van der Vaart this season. Counting on his not behaving like a dick if he doesn’t play would be my guess.
Rafa himself has been a bit slower on the uptake. Thanks to Levy’s pathological inability to be screwed on the price of anything; be it Luka Modric to Real or having to pay for a sweet chilli dip in McDonald’s when the others are free; he is not swanning off to Germany after all. What the hell is there for him anyway, except for a gorgeous, tanned (there’s a photo around here someplace) Mrs.VDV? Isn’t David Bentley pretty enough for him? I know he spends more on makeup.
Yes Rafa has in turn been making all the right noises. He has heard great things about Villas Boas, wants to win the title with Spurs and never wanted to leave in the first place. All that Hamburg stuff was just paper talk!
I can’t help thinking though that in spite of their touching odes to each other neither man has a great deal of optimism about how this will work out.
I’m glad that our manager is making an effort and showing that, despite rumours to the contrary, his man management skills are very much in evidence and he is getting a difficult player onside, but is he really going to be relying on VDV come kick off?
Everybody seems to be of the opinion that Spurs will play a 4-3-3 formation next season. How on Earth would Rafa fit into that? OK he can sort of play right wing with his main flaw in that position being his reluctance to defend and playing right forward would make that less of a handicap, but we all know that Rafa plays one position in any team and one position only; the free role.
He will not stay right and he will not drop deep to give us five men in midfield when on the defensive, which is what makes the formation so effective. He will instead ensure we have a flat four by hanging around near the forward hoping to get a ball through so he can score and be the hero. He knows it will get him dropped as it did at Real Madrid with Mourinho who plays the same formation, but it is in his nature.
In fact, let me do a Roy Hodgson now and make you all stand there and hear me recite the whole tale of the frog and the scorpion in the retarded belief that A; you haven’t heard it a thousand times and B; it is a ‘funny story’. England training must be a laugh a minute now.
VDV will not fit into AVB’s chosen formation (especially if he is to accommodate Sigurdsson as well) but, definitely, the Dutchman would be a fantastic player to bring off the bench. That unknown quantity to completely change the game by giving us an entirely different attacking ethos; that new ethos being play a ten men formation plus a skillful little guy running round setting things up and trying to score. He could be the ultimate game changing substitute, the best in the Premier League.
That would indeed be great, but we do all know the problem with that; Rafa will not accept anything short of starting virtually every game.
Maybe I am just being too cynical though; this might be the real thing. Their eyes could have just met across a crowded training ground and maybe sparks flew. Rafa may feel he will do anything he is told to do to to get into Andre’s team, and Andre may feel that he will do anything he has to to get Rafa into a formation even less suited to him than Harry’s 4-4-2.
On the other hand, they may just both be talking bollocks.
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