Rafael van der Vaart has admitted that he was fuming with Andre Villas-Boas when the former Tottenham head coach informed him that he would be an understudy to Gylfi Sigurdsson.
Few players have won the Spurs fan base over as quickly as Van der Vaart did, with the Dutchman becoming a fan favourite almost instantly following his deadline day switch from Real Madrid in the summer of 2010.
The midfielder mesmerized the White Hart Lane faithful with his silky left foot and frequently popped up with important goals, while one could also see from his celebrations just what the Tottenham shirt meant to him.
However, following an impressive couple of seasons at the club, Van der Vaart was one of the casualties of the club’s decision to replace Harry Redknapp with Villas-Boas in the summer of 2012.
The former Spurs star has revealed that he made it clear to the Tottenham hierarchy that he wanted to return to Hamburg as soon as the Portuguese coach told him that he would not be an automatic starter.
Van der Vaart is not a fan of Andre Villas-Boas
Van der Vaart told NOS Studio Football (as relayed by Soccer News) “He [Villas-Boas] didn’t want me anymore. He had brought in Gylfi Sigurdsson and thought he was better, so I wanted to go back to HSV.
“I then called Daniel Levy: ‘sort it out, I’ll be there tomorrow’. The transfer did not go through. Then I got a call in my bed at night that HSV were on the plane to pick me up. That’s how things go.”
The former Netherlands international admitted that Villas-Boas’ decision came as a shock, given how well he had done during his two years at Spurs.
He added: “I had two good years and Villas-Boas says on his first day: ‘You are my second number 10’. Well, I could kill him. I thought he was such an idiot. The coach that doesn’t pick you quickly becomes an idiot, but this was really unprecedented.”
Spurs Web Opinion
It is a shame that Van de Vaart’s Spurs career came to an end as quickly as it did. I am sure that if the Dutchman could go back in time, he would probably opt to stay at Tottenham and fight for his place.
However, football was changing at the time and Villas-Boas was part of a new breed of coaches who valued players’ work off the ball just as much as what they could on it, and Van der Vaart certainly did not offer much out of possession.
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