Tottenham Hotspur take on Manchester City this afternoon in one of the most important games of the season so far. With the Premier League conclusion approaching faster and faster both teams need victory to keep alive their respective hopes of Champions League football or indeed of retaining their Championship crown.
Manchester City have recently re-found the kind of form that led them to a first title triumph last season with an unbeaten record since a defeat against Everton while Spurs form has taken a significant dip in recent weeks.
At the centre of Tottenham’s poor form has been something of a mini-injury crisis. The most obvious absentee is Gareth Bale who is expected to return this weekend in some capacity against Roberto Mancini’s men.
Aaron Lennon has also been out injured but Jermain Defoe’s absence has perhaps been the most sorely missed of all. Without his consistent goal threat Spurs have struggled to turn possession into finishing and at the end of the season Andre Villas Boas’ decision not to bring in a new striker during January may be proved as fool-hardy as it appeared on February 1st.
So what Tottenham could do with right now is somebody who can play in that off the striker role similar to Clint Dempsey with aplomb; somebody who has done it at the highest level for many a year.
Someone like Rafael Van Der Vaart?
It was clear from the beginning that the Dutchman was not quite to the fancy of AVB and his high tempo approach.
But not having him involved in the team in anyway seemed an odd decision when he decided to flog him off to Hamburg SV in the summer.
But how they could do with a player as talented as the former Real Madrid man right now considering their recent injury plight?
Now he has shown just what he could have been potentially doing in a Spurs shirt at the tail-end of the season.
With Hamburg struggling financially every position in the league table means a lot to the Bundesliga outfit so a close win against Fortuna Dusseldorf was certainly necessary at the weekend.
With the help of RVDV that is exactly what happened. The Dutchman grabbed a first-half brace to give the side a vital three points in a 2-1 victory.
Here are the goals…
Do you think Spurs should have kept RVDV?
image: © Jan S0L0