Van The Man Worth His Weight In Gold

Spurs fans could be forgiven for thinking that Harry Redknapp  has signed a super-hero for them as Rafael van der Vaart put in another man-of-the-match performance to inspire his team to come from behind against Aston Villa.

In little over just one month, van der Vaart has almost become the most important player in the Tottenham Hotspur dressing room. An obvious bargain at just £8 million, the Dutch playmaker has been in incredible form for Spurs since joining from Real Madrid. Having contributed four goals and three assists from just six games, van der Vaart has captured the attention of almost everyone watching the English Premier League. However, it is the manner of his performances that have really made him stand out from the crowd.

His movement off the ball is simply sensational and have an incredible habit of creating a couple of yards of space for him and his team mates. When he is allowed time and space to play his superb technique and vision mean that he is almost guaranteed to put the ball into an area of the pitch that will damage the opposition.

At Ajax he made a name for himself, when replacing Jari Litmanen in their famous 3-1-3-3 formation, as a playmaker and goal-scorer. From there he moved to Hamburg then Real Madrid but most often than not he found himself playing wide as a traditional central midfielder. Since moving to Spurs his manager, Harry Redknapp, has usually deployed him as a supporting forward. It is a very similar role to one he enjoyed so much success with at Ajax and it has reaped dividends.

From his very first match against West Brom it was obvious that Spurs had signed a player who could make a real difference. His skill was never in doubt but most football fans wondered if Redknapp had signed a dud who was past his best. But the way van der Vaart has hit the ground running has really caught everyone’s attention. This very week has been a literal rollercoaster for Spurs' hero from Heemskerk. From missing a penalty and scoring a goal against FC Twente before getting sent off for two rash challenges to inspiring a come back against Aston Villa, van der Vaart has been brilliant.

The match against FC Twente was one of huge importance for the Dutchman. For many in his homeland, who had questioned his ability and desire to play at the highest level, it was a chance to see their former hero first hand against the current Dutch champions. To say that van der Vaart was fired up for the FC Twente match would be something of an understatement. But there was method in his madness. He desperately wanted to show the Dutch public that he was still a force to be reckoned with.

His performance that night was a prime example of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde as van der Vaart opened up the fragile FC Twente defence time and time again with precision passes, and if it were not for an inspired performance by Mihalov in the Twente goal the game could have been a land-slide. Some time later and the roller-coaster ride for the Dutchman was complete as he received a second yellow card for a ridiculous jumping challenge on the halfway line and his match was over.

While against Villa, he repaid his manager's faith in him by scoring a double that saw his team come from behind against Gerard Houillier's rapidly improving Aston Villa side. It was a week to remember for van der Vaart. First he smoked Twente then he punished the Villains.

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