Club Focus – Tottenham Hotspur – Wingmen prove their worth to give Redknapp a Merry Christmas

One could say this year has been a success for Harry Redknapp and on a grander scale, Tottenham Hotspur. This Christmas was even more important in context of Spurs’ season and their success over this festive period could entail to be the pinnacle of the London side’s charge on the Premier League for the rest of the domestic season.

So far this season Redknapp has had to rely a lot on his midfielders and the attacking threat they provide, and with Robbie Keane due to leave in January, Peter Crouch mis-firing and Jermaine Defoe and Roman Pavlyuchenko inconsistent in their scoring patterns, the middle-men have proved to be vital in the majority of Tottenham’s forward play. In particular, the goal scoring prowess of Gareth Bale, Aaron Lennon and summer signing Rafael van der Vaart has gone down a treat amongst the White Hart Lane faithful. Van der Vaart in particular has been an inspiration to the Spurs fans and has provided the Whites with goals since the start of the season.

The Dutchman seems to be the man who keeps on giving more and more to Redknapp and the Tottenham supporters both with his goals and all round team play. His return for the Boxing Day match against Aston Villa at Villa Park was a timely boost for the manager, and this was proved with Van der Vaart’s two goals to give his side all three points in a 2-1 victory, a match in which the away side had to play over an hour with 10 men after striker Defoe was sent off for an alleged elbow.

After his Boxing Day achievements, Van der Vaart has now moved his goal tally up to 10, eight of these coming in the Premier League. Harry Redknapp believes the midfielder has a lot more to offer and is capable of hitting the 15-20 goal target come the end of the season. These goals will be key to Tottenham’s attack on the league and the Champions’ League. Along with this will be the goals and speed of both Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon on each wing. Both youngsters have been in outstanding form for Tottenham this season and Redknapp hopes that will continue following their goals which saw another 10-man Tottenham overcome Newcastle at home in a 2-0 victory which saw returning defender Younes Kaboul given a red card.

Redknapp will now look to his side’s next matches at home in a London derby against Mark Hughes’ struggling Fulham side before taking his team to Merseyside for an important match against Everton who will be spirited with the return of Mikel Arteta. One concern for Redknapp will be the suspensions to Defoe and Kaboul, two players who have only recently returned from injuries. With Robbie Keane and Jonathan Woodgate set for the exit door next month, Redknapp will need to keep all his available players fit and fresh for his side’s busy January schedule which includes another showdown against Newcastle, a home tie against Premier League leaders Manchester United and a tricky FA Cup match against League One Londoners Charlton Athletic plus more.

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