I feel sorry for Niko
Amidst more rumours of an interest from Fiorentina today, Kranjcar's agent has stated that Niko's future lies rests entirely with the club.
This whole business with using Niko as nothing more than a bench warmer has baffled me since day one. The 2009/2010 season was a great debut at Tottenham for Kranjcar - He arrived still only 24/25 years old, for £2.5million, in a club full of friends and international teammates, and in his first year landed 37 appearances and 8 goals (despite most appearances being as a sub).
A great bit of business by anyone's standard, and someone I was fully expecting to be here for the long haul. Then this season he's been given nothing. Quite literally nothing. Even after the 2 stunning goals he made for himself in the final minutes of a match he was rewarded with..... another spot on the bench.
Understandably he was never going to get as many games this season as his 2 positions were filled with Van der Vaart and Bale, two exceptional players, but even when these two were tired, injured, or simply not playing well, Niko was overlooked.
You learn an awful lot about a player, and his loyalties, when he's sat on the bench. Pavy's threatened to move twice, and Defoe was complaining rather than just accepting his continuous poor performances. Niko however barely said a word, and appeared to just be getting on with the job.
Tottenham and Niko Kranjcar should have been a great match - He knows the manager, his long time friends and international teammates are here, and we play a direct style of football that suits him very well. He doesn't demand to be in the first team every week either, despite being a talented player, and that alone is an incredibly useful commodity in football.
Fans all over the country have a great respect for the professionals who are willing to sit on the bench, without complaint, yet can still deliver the goods when called upon. I thought Niko Kranjcar was going to be our own Ole Gunnar Solskjær.
Written by oi.you.there