Harry Redknapp has told his midfield star Rafael van der Vaart that he needs to get fitter. The Dutchman has become an instant folk hero at White Hart Lane, scoring in all six of the home games he has appeared in this season – but Redknapp believes more can come once the former Real Madrid midfielder ups his fitness levels.
According to The Independent, Redknapp said: “I think he runs out of steam, still. He’s got to get fitter and adapt to playing 90 minutes in the Premier League. He’s a fantastic player but I think he does just run out of steam a little bit at the moment.”
Pav injury latest.
While on the fitness front, Roman Pavlyuchenko is thought to be “winning his fitness battle” in order to return to the Spurs team to face Blackburn Rovers on Saturday, according to ESPN. The Russian only managed 45 minutes of Tuesday’s clash with Sunderland before being substituted with a reported back injury, but scans have revealed that the player suffered a muscle spasm.
When questioned of his chances of playing against Belgium on November 17, the 28-year-old said: “I’m walking gingerly, but I’m being intensively treated with acupuncture and massages. I hope that, after a couple of days, everything will return to normal. Then nothing will stop me from coming to the national team for the game against Belgium. But I can only say that with confidence closer to the weekend.”
Modric wants protection.
Luka Modric has joined the growing army of football stars requesting greater protection. His statement comes following a rash challenge by Sunderland midfielder Lee Cattermole in the two sides’ bruising battle on Tuesday night.
The midfielder received bruising from the challenge, but was lucky not to escape more serious injury. Cattermole was cautioned, but he has already seen red twice this season. Modric said: “There is big swelling on my knee and he should have had a red card, but the referee decided differently and that’s it. End of story. Always when you see tackles like that you are a bit upset. If they are not punished properly, then even more so, but what can you do?”