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Leo's London: Harry Redknapp knew Rafael van der Vaart could be trouble

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24 Mar 2011 11:02:39

Leo's London: Harry Redknapp knew Rafael van der Vaart could be trouble

Harry Redknapp didn't exactly have a lot of time to do his homework before he signed Rafael van der Vaart on transfer deadline day. But even though the deal took only a few hours from start to finish, the Tottenham manager will still have known what he was getting into when he pounced on the opportunity to bring in the well-known Dutchman. Van der Vaart's petulant march down the White Hart Lane tunnel when he was substituted against West Ham last weekend should not have come as surprise. The player has said he hopes the fallout from it will soon 'blow over', but he also made it clear he is put out at regularly being substituted. Tantrum: Rafael van der Vaart marched off after being substituted against West Ham last week   More from Leo Spall... Tottenham's rest and relaxation should be the perfect cure for a Champions League hangover16/03/11 Leo's London: Wenger needs to calm down or pressure will transfer to team09/03/11 Leo's London: Rooney off the hook again as Blues get back in the groove02/03/11 Leo's London: Toothless Tottenham show just why Harry wanted hitman23/02/11 Leo's London: Dropping the Drog could come back to bite Ancelotti16/02/11 Leo's London: Enough of the Olympic Stadium saga... Spurs must move on10/02/11 Leo's London: Fabregas' childishness hardly suggest he is the right leader02/02/11 Leo's London: Spurs risk cutting off the lifeblood by locking Lane doors26/01/11 VIEW FULL ARCHIVE  So, could the fact that it has happened twice spell trouble? Van der Vaart joined Spurs as someone who did not make it at one of the biggest clubs in the world, Real Madrid. Their manager, Jose Mourinho - who Redknapp goes head-to-head with next month in the Champions League - was happy to let the forward go. That does not mean Van der Vaart is a dud. He is a talented player and he has already made a great contribution to a spectacular season at Spurs. Yet doubts still lurk in the background about why he has not achieved more in his club career. Why go to Hamburg instead of a bigger club when he left Ajax? Why did he not make it at Real Madrid? Why were Spurs allowed to sign him in a cut price deal? Theories that have been aired before suggest Van der Vaart is only happy when he is a club's biggest star and trouble follows when he does not shine so brightly. It has also been claimed that he is not afraid to confront coaches and has fallen out with a few along the way. Van der Vaart could even be a little big for his boots with respect to Tottenham too. He described the move to White Hart Lane as a 'step down' and admitted he wanted out of Madrid because he felt he was too good for the bench. 'I realised it was not worth fighting any more,' he said. 'Arguing with the coach is useless and it got me nowhere in my days at Ajax, so moving clubs was the best solution.' Van der Vaart does not like the idea of being substituted for Holland either. Just watch how he reacted last September when he was taken off for his country and felt he had become the coach's fall guy. VIDEO: Van der Vaart's reaction to being hauled off for Holland There have been more spectacular substitutions by other prima donnas over the years but Van der Vaart is evidently not afraid to show dissent to his boss and he has made his feelings clear for club and country. If anyone can manage that, Redknapp can. He is a master man-manager but Van der Vaart, not known for his workrate before joining Tottenham, has to keep proving he is worth it.  To Edwin van der Sar, the goalkeeper on the verge of retirement who has kept Manchester United's title tilt on track, go the plaudits. To Arsenal's calamity keeper Manuel Almunia, who has also helped keep United's noses in front, the brickbats. Which leaves Petr Cech, Chelsea's No 1, operating efficiently in the background among the Premier League's top three clubs. Safe hands: Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech (right) is back in top form Maybe everyone expects the best from Cech and, therefore, hardly no-one notices when he delivers. But his form in the last coupe of weeks is among the factors contributing to Chelsea's growing resurgence. Confident and calm behind a defence invigorated by David Luiz, it is clear he has his team-mates' trust. There have been times since Cech's head injury when some have questioned whether his judgment and command of the penalty was as good as it was before. Yet against Manchester City on Sunday and Copenhagen before that, he was imperious, and they are not the only examples.  For Jermain Defoe and Scott Parker football may be a release or a welcome distraction after suffering a death in their families. But for all the money and mischief some players make, no-one could accuse them of being anything other than model professionals when they played through the pain last weekend.   Van der Vaart expects Spurs sub storm to blow over in international breakGoalkeeping crisis? You should have signed me! Cech reveals Arsenal snubWenger tells Premier League to bring in simultaneous kick-offs for run-inMourinho's Real Madrid don't scare us, says Spurs midfielder SandroMad Dog is back! Allen returns to management with struggling Barnet  Explore more:People: Petr Cech, Harry Redknapp, Jermain Defoe, Edwin Van Der Sar, Jose Mourinho Places: Madrid, Copenhagen, The Netherlands


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