Van der Vaart risks Harry wrath
Rafael van der Vaart hopes he will not be asked to play on the wing regularly and has questioned Harry Redknapp's judgement.
Last Updated: 05/10/11 8:29am
Rafael van der Vaart hopes he will not be asked to play on the wing regularly and does not believe Harry Redknapp should have spoken about his recent injury.
The Dutchman lined up on the right flank against Arsenal in Sunday's north London derby and admits he did not enjoy the defensive side of the job.
He believes he is more effective in a central role further forward, where he can more frequently take up positions like he did for Tottenham's opening goal on Sunday.
Van der Vaart insists he will continue to play anywhere for the side but has made his feelings quite clear about Redknapp's current strategy.
"I have definitely had a series of irritations. You want to play in the position where you do best," he said in The Sun.
"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."
Van der Vaart was also unhappy that Redknapp decided to substitute him in the 63rd minute and bring on Sandro to reinforce the midfield.
Redknapp has stated that he regularly takes Van der Vaart off because there is a 'weakness in his hamstrings', a remark the 28-year-old wishes the manager had kept to himself.
"In my opinion he made a mistake in making his comments about my most recent injury," said Van der Vaart.
"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."
Van der Vaart has also criticised Arsenal for taking their defeat on Sunday with bad grace, following suggestions that his goal should not have stood and that he should have received a second yellow card for celebrating with the crowd.
"They are bad losers. No, it was not handball - I took the ball on my chest," he said.
"And have you seen how close the crowd is to our pitch? Where else should I run?