Sandro - Coming Of Age At Tottenham

When Sandro Ranieri Guimaraes Cordeiro arrived, he was a passenger and struggled to match the intensity of what was going on around him. Not any more.

At the start of the season Tom Huddlestone was fit and firing and Sandro watched a lot of matches from the sidelines. He has benefited from observing the game from afar and he deserves credit for that because, at 21, he’s still adapting to the Premier League. On Wednesday, against AC Milan. he came of age. His positioning and sense of danger were so impressive and even some experienced defenders lacking that kind of awareness.

He sat in front of Michael Dawson and William Gallas to cut out the final pass into Pato and Robinho and he did it to great effect, making vital interceptions and always staying on his feet in the tackle. Wilson Palacios has a real appetite and bite in the middle of the park but sometimes he gets carried away and picks up silly yellow cards.

When Sandro won the ball he had the presence of mind to stride out and use a simple pass to get Tottenham going. He was always in a supportive position to outlay to Luka Modric. He understood the role he was meant to play and carried it out well. He didn’t vacate that middle of the park, even though the Milan full backs were pushing high up the pitch, which gave their midfielders a lot of possession.

Tottenham needed someone who was careful and clever to deny them. At times it was tough but he did it better than anyone in a Spurs shirt. He did not panic in possession and fed others around him. His energy is terrific from box to box. His all-round game was smart, accurate and tactically spot-on. He hasn’t yet got Huddlestone’s sweeping left and right-foot passes but considering the way he’s developed in six months, give him 12 more and he’ll be a force to reckon with.

In the match against AC Milan, goalkeeper, Heurelho Gomes, and the central defenders, William Gallas and Michael Dawson, excelled for Spurs. But the defensive midfielder Sandro was arguably the star. "Sandro was immense. He's a young player with a big future," said Harry Redknapp after he watched his team reach the Champions League quarter-finals at the expense of Milan.

It looks like Redknapp's gamble has paid off very well. When he last took the risk of signing a player without watching him play in person, the legend of Marco Boogers was born. Redknapp has always compared sandro to the legendary Brazilian Socrates and that convinced him to sign Sandro from Internacional. Who knows? Maybe sandro is another legend in the making.

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