Tactical headache for Redknapp
Spurs boss Harry Redknapp admits he has been given a tactical headache by Rafael van der Vaart.
Last Updated: 03/10/10 4:06pm
Spurs boss Harry Redknapp admits he has been given a tactical headache by the arrival of star signing Rafael van der Vaart.
The Dutchman has become the latest darling of White Hart Lane after smashing four goals in three home games since arriving from Real Madrid.
Redknapp has been delighted by the impact of Van der Vaart, who is already making his £8million transfer fee look like a snip.
But playing the 27-year-old on the right wing with a licence to roam, in a team also containing two strikers and attacking midfielders Luka Modric and Gareth Bale, has left Spurs vulnerable to being punished on the counter-attack.
Redknapp said: "It's a difficult one to find the right balance.
"It's not easy - to play with two strikers is almost impossible because Rafa doesn't play wide right.
"He floats around really and comes off the line and plays where he wants almost. And then you're very open."
Russian striker Roman Pavlyuchenko was hauled off at the break in the Premier League clash against Aston Villa as Redknapp aimed to find a winning formula.
The move allowed Van der Vaart to tuck behind lone striker Peter Crouch and it paid dividends with the Dutchman securing Spurs' 2-1 success.
Redknapp added: "You're not going to get two strikers in your team with Rafa and Gareth Bale on the left - it's not possible.
"You have to change the shape of your whole team. You would have to play with a diamond or you would have to play certainly with three midfield players and Rafa playing behind two strikers if you want to get two in.
"The way we started the Villa game - like the way we played against Twente - it's an attacking team that is very open to the counter-attack."