Good morning and welcome to the breakfast show.
The quotes below hit the back pages of the Sun yesterday and drew some pretty predictable thoughts from me. But first, over to Van der Vaart…
“I have definitely had a series of irritations. You want to play in the position where you do best. But if I have to chase after an attacking full-back every time, I can’t play my own game to my best ability.
“Sunday was not the first time I have played out wide and I was given the freedom to move infield. But you could see from the goal I scored that my strength lies in the centre of midfield.
“It proves that I am more dangerous when I am close to the goal than when I play out on the wing. I do what the manager asks me to but I hope this won’t be a regular occurrence. In my opinion he made a mistake in making his comments about my most recent injury.
“He took me off because he did not want to take any risks with me. I can understand that but I am convinced I could have played for 90 minutes. I was amazed to be taken off. I felt I’d played a great game. I scored and also three times put team-mates in one-on-ones with Arsenal’s keeper.
But I could perhaps understand it from a tactical viewpoint. Arsenal’s left-back was continually moving upfield and I’m not the type of player who consistently runs after opponents.”
Nothing there I can really disagree with in that. He’s right.
The dangers here though are screamingly obvious. Speaking out in the press against your manager can never be described as inspired. This can of course, be viewed as a sauce for the goose, sauce for the gander moment. I can’t think of anyone in football who is more media friendly than our Aitch after all, including those working as full time pundits.
But you must scratch your head and ponder why this can’t be resolved ‘in house.’ There’s nothing controversial there, other than the fact it reveals that Rafa is as depressed by his manager’s infatuation with Defoe as everyone else is.
3MP was torn still suckling from Arry’s breast (what a deeply upsetting image, I apologize) despite the inarguable fact that he was rubbish. I define rubbish in this instance as being hired as a goalscorer and failing to score any.
Defoe will have to be removed by specialist surgeons.
The entirety of last season was spent hoping someone would score. And while we waited Rafa was juggled about as he doesn’t play the lone striker role. Now Adebayor has landed we are still juggling.
The NorfLandinDarby™ was partly dogged by Defoe’s selection over Sandro and my fear is that Arry won’t be changing his mind anytime soon. Van der Vaart has his faults but on balance he’s a classy character who routinely assists and scores goals. His name ought to be one of the first on the team sheet.
If Defoe really is – as we are surely being led to believe – ‘pulling up trees’ in training, then it down to him to then force his way past lesser players. If there aren’t any then he either has to work harder or bide his time. But you cannot have a situation where he’s hogging a place to little purpose.
We’ve been here before though, haven’t we? PSB was fielded endlessly to the mind numbing sorrow of all those unfortunate enough to be watching.
Will Arry see sense, or will this serve as a catalyst for one the best players we’ve signed in my lifetime to be sold off sooner rather than later?