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Thursday, 28 July 2016

Do we need a young Van der Vaart or an Eriksen?


The story that former Tottenham midfielder Rafael van der Vaart offered himself to Reading, who are now managed by his good friend Japp Stam, demonstrates why what you do off the ball is just as important as what the fans concentrate on, what you do on the ball.

A younger van der Vaart is perhaps just what Spurs need right now. There is a difference between a secondary striker role and a central attacking midfielder role, although effectively they play the same position. If you think of the Dutchman, you think of goals and goalscoring, when you think of Christain Eriksen you think of someone behind the ball creating.

What we actually need is a combination of the two, we need a second Harry Kane with Eriksen's creativity. Some would say that is Erik Lamela, although Dele Alli didn't do a bad job there for his first season did he.

The issue for Stam though is can van der Vaart contribute off the ball, can he contribute defensively? There are suggestions that that is the problem with Alex Pritchard and why we are letting him go. A talent by the look of it with the ball at his feet, but lazy basically off the ball. Andros Townsend was terrible defensively too, he much preferred to do his own thing rather than what the coach wanted, result, he didn't play, he couldn't be trusted.

“He called us to tell us that he wants to play here. We are now thinking about his proposal. He’s an interesting player with a lot of quality, but he has had many injuries in the past. That we must take into account. It is a difficult decision. 
“I know Rafael well. We have played together in the Dutch national team, but I wonder if he is what we need. Can he be an important player for us? I need players who can give everything on the pitch. Not only with the ball, but also in the defensive aspect.“
What you do with the team going backwards is just as important as what you do when the team is going forwards to a manager, fans sometimes forget that and when assessing a player generally totally overlook it. They'll tell you X player has had a good game when in fact defensively they have been poor.

The one player who has been singled out by fans though is Nacer Chadli, people have got it into their heads he doesn't work defensively, which isn't entirely correct. However once someone is called lazy and an opinion is formed, they rarely change it. Having said that they have had no choice but to over Danny Rose and Kyle Walker. It just shows coaching was what they needed, not simply thrown onto a pitch and expected to learn themselves as they go.

People look at a YouTube video, great to show what they are capable of, but for an attacking midfielder, they never show much defensive work, it isn't glamorous, it doesn't catch the eye.


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