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Tuesday 15 November 2011

Redknapp faces tough selection call

Jermain Defoe and Rafael van der Vaart in battle for Tottenham place

Spurs boss Harry Redknapp admits he is struggling to pick both Van der Vaart and Defoe

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp has revealed he will have to choose between Rafael van der Vaart and Jermain Defoe for a place in his team's starting line-up.

Dutchman Van der Vaart played on the right-hand side of midfield in the 2-1 win over Arsenal in the Barclays Premier League, but has said he does not enjoy the defensive side of the role.

Redknapp knows Van der Vaart is more effective in a more central position, but he has been deploying Defoe up front with new signing Emmanuel Adebayor, to great effect.

"Yes, it does seem to be a problem," said Redknapp. "Rafa can't run back and chase the full-back and against the better teams it is a problem.

"Rafa's best position is in the middle, playing just behind the front man. The only problem is that Jermain plays there too and he is playing very, very well at the moment.

"So, I guess I have got a decision to make, haven't I? I suppose it's now between Rafa and Jermain over who plays in the team.

"Rafa is a terrific footballer and he has great skill. But if you're in the team and asked to do a job, then really, you should just do it."

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Key Points

  • Defoe and Van der Vaart vying for starting berth
  • Dutchman prefers central attacking position
  • Redknapp doubts Van der Vaart's defensive qualities