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I miss Rafa!

A little piece of me died today. I found myself reading Rafa Van Der Vaar'ts wikipedia page. For some odd reason, I had an immediate twinge of sadness.

I know many people will say that we miss Modric more. But in terms of attitude and a big game mentality, no one comes close to Rafa. As the North London derby gets closer, I am reminded even more of the qualities he brought to Spurs. He always played so well against Arsenal, raising his game as if this fixture meant even more to him. It greatly endeared him to me, and I can't help thinking that the special talent we let go in the summer was not Modric, but VDV and his superior footballing brain.

As I watch Dempsey run around ineffectually and Sigurdsson fall down the pecking order, my heart cries out for the spirit, technique and smile with which Rafa always played. Even when his free kicks and corners were rubbish, he always took responsibility for the ball and tried to initiate moves forward, finding space around the pitch and having the one true measure of a world class player, the ability to be in the right place at the right time in the opposition penalty area.

I know looking back helps know one. But perhaps we will be more appreciative of a special talent the next time we have one. I know I will.

Written by Tactically Challenge




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The journalist

Writer: Tactically Challenge Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday November 13 2012

Time: 8:29AM

Your Comments

Amazing because I was thinking just the same this morning!
T-spur5
I would love to know what transpired with this move. Was it Rafa who wanted to return to Germany, which would be quite understandable and based on his wish, age and an acceptable offer, was it a mutually agreed deal. Was it Levy who wanted to get his money back while he could or was it AVB who felt he didnt have a future because of age, lack of pace or even an opportunity to move a strong character on without getting bad press because it was an understandable move
oxfordspur
So we critisize our current team and ridicule our new manager whilst praising the the players who left the club... I miss the old Spurs fans :(
Mix26
i was thinking almost the same this morning...

But it was MRS VDV that i was thinking about... wehhey..
Yidmarks
I miss Hoddle and Gazza and lineker and Ossie!....but we move on we wouldn't miss them so much if they were easily replaceable....Ox I suspect it was a combination of AVB coming in and Rafa wanting to be at home with his wife....can't really blame him!
shedboy2
There are just fond memories of Rafa, absolutely loves watching the guy play (especially against Arsenal) but that was then and this is now. We have a great squad in a new era, and all though he isn't here to take the ride...i guarantee he will be checking up on us every now and again too! Our team is able to move onwards build on what we have and achieve more. New players will come just as others have left. Just another day in the life of Spurs. God i hope we do the business for him this weekend ha. COYS.
SpursOne2
With you on that one Yidmarks ;-)
oxfordspur
Just looked at the picture that goes with the headline (below the Current poll, and it shows a picture of Benitez. Nothing to do with me, I promise :-)
oxfordspur
I'd rather have 70 minutes of a player of his quality than 90 minutes of static 3 touches and back pass. I had hoped that VDV would play deeper when Modders left. He had the skill and vision for that role with Parker and/or Sandro covering him.
Love totty
I miss Rafa also - said when he left, I would miss his commitment in games against the scum the most. Trying hard to remain positive though, and think we can snatch all 3 on Saturday...any of you going?
Klinsmann_18
VDV ~~ “My place is at Spurs, I want to win the title with this club. Each summer my name appears in the transfer market. “The race for the top four will be a total war from the very first day.” “I have heard excellent reports about AVB. “We have very good attacking and if AVB imposes an offensive system the team could be a real spectacle.”

AVB on Rafa~~ ‘In football you never know. Anything can happen but he’s a player we are counting on,’ said the Portuguese ahead of Spurs’ clash with West Brom tomorrow. He then puzzlingly added: ‘This is football. If I let Rafa go it’s because I’ve allowed him to go. ‘It’s not because someone is forcing me to.’

Almost everything ive seen suggest he was prepared to stay but simply wasnt wanted, so obviously thought, "ok, might as well go back to Germany then" I believe it was a mistake from both Levy and AVB. If we'd replaced him with a top young prospect, then that would be different, but we replaced him with a cheaper, inferior version in Dempsey, who is also 29.
Guyver
People also forget he equaled the clubs record for goals scored in consecutive games last season. 2nd half of the season he wasnt as influential playing mostly on the right in place of the injured Lennon, but 2nd half of the season, nobody was influential. After the busy xmas fixtures, the whole team looked shattered and couldnt recover.
Guyver
Not overly sad he left as I also remember the rubbish corners and awful free kicks. Still was a great player and awesome in the derbies. If he had a yard of pace he would have been the complete player.
T.H.F.Chris
Agree Guyver - Don't really want to slate Dempsey, he is a Spurs player now after all and needs some support! But i wasn't expecting that one to be fair, i was gutted to be honest.
SpursOne2
Guyver- yep, just don't understand the Dempsey move...it's as though there was a collective brain fart and people thought...oh, dempsey is a striker, he ain't.
shedboy2
ah I don't want to slate Dempsey either, he's a player with his a different skill set to Rafa, hopefully he can find his feet soon, but overal he is a downgrade. Only advantage in replacing Rafa with Dempsey is financial and that Dempsey can half cover the striker role, which allowed the board to go yet another transfer window without seriously fixing the striker problem.
Guyver
exactly shedboy, he isnt a proper striker.
Guyver
Love totty, I suggested that last year but was slated for it by those saying he was too slow and not mobile enough to do the Modders role! Financially it made sense I guess and he could never last more thn 60-70 mins, but was not particularly clever to lose 2 of our 3 most skillful players the same summer without an adequate replacement! I still have time and hope for Demps but Siggy is lost on me if I'm honest.
El Jefe
When you look at Dempsey and sig at the moment I actually miss Jamie Ohara!
spursnoob
I miss VDV too :-(
Madaboutspurs
we havent replaced him, Moutinho on deadline day would have made a big difference but we looked light in midfield going in to the season and so it has proved. Without Dembele our midfield is really poor mid table at best ( sandro apart that is )
jimmy-yid
i was all for VDV until around last march/april when he started suggesting that he might return to germany,how his wife and family was missing him. he would only play 50 or 60 mins.he also DEMANDED first team football.no player has a divine right to start a football match.the real nail in the coffin for me was during the euros when he played for 2 or 3 games for holland and lasted 90mins.why couldn't he do this in a spurs shirt.sorry to burst the bubble but real madrid got rid of him for a reason and at £8million or so they didn't value/rate him to highly.don't get me wrong,i'm glad he came but i do think if he stayed he would have made trouble and we would have seen him turn into a bit of a diva/prima donna.it happened at real and with holland......please don't shoot messenger.
g. roberts testes
also during some matches if things weren't going well for him or the team he would get a bit petulant and nasty,comminting silly fouls and berating his team mates......am i the only one who saw this?out of the 3 that were gong to leave,(i.e bale,modders and VDV),i'm glad he left and bale stayed.
g. roberts testes
lets face it..Its was good business sense to let DVD go considering all the fitness issues we had. But he should have replaced him with a like minded and similar player. Am sure it was the plan as the Itco's,Willian,Oscars,Cazorla's etc of these world were being touted. But our inability to get champs league coupled with the fact Levy couldnt go the extra mile made these world class signings difficult. Lets face it Dempsey was a last day panic buy probably towards the bottom of the list of players on our wanted list. Siggs was not a AVB buy and perhaps only Dembele did AVB have some input. Its not AVB fault he has been dumped with a even weaker squad from last season. One who lacks a backbone and one once our wingers are nullified have no center midfield flair or technicality and produce nothing from the centre. Without Dembele on Saturday we might as well give the 3 points to Arsenal now..I can see our Midfield being run ragged come Saturday. Losing that 13pt lead last season has set this club back a few years..Sadly like likes of Everton have now overtaken us. Our performance at City on Saturday was dire but lets face it last season we never went toe to toe with any of the top 4 sides away from home.We seem to play on the back foot..So I wasnt expecting any different with a weaker squad.
freddya
We haven't a lot of character in this team. Bale nature is shy, so is Sandro, Dembele, Dempsey, Siggy, Hudd. No characters that have the little bit of fire in their belly like VDV had. Our current players fail to take the initiative especially when things are not going well. Parker will possibly improve things by example even though he is shy by nature just as King was but these two players shown their fire in their belly through their play as did VDV but VDV was much vocal with it and in his body language. Modric was the same in a more subtle way through his ability to shine like a diamond with his quality on the ball. Sandro is starting to show it through his work rate but at the moment we do lack that leadership and quality both VDV and Modric gave.
thfan
I miss Rafa
yorkshireyid
I think Rafa misses me too
yorkshireyid
thfan - like what you said there. That is another reason for Parker to come in. We all remember being in awe of the story of how Parker too the half time team talk for West Ham, and turned them round (in that game at least) and it takes some balls. I am in awe when I see Everton this season. They are powered on by passion of Fellaini, Jelavic and co. Let's face it, although it is not essential, our manager lacks passion too. Perhaps they are too alike in spirit.
TonyRich
I miss him too! Players like Rafa win you games that were lost, grab you points that you had no business getting and get stuck in when playing Le Arse. None of this shirt swapping, more like stud raking! RAFA a WHL legend all day long!
LongTimeSpursFan64
TonyRich - "Our manager lacks passion". How did you deduce that?
freddya
Big C - (I didn't say "no passion"). Either he lacks passion or he is unable to transfer it to the players. Chelsea looked flat last season, and so do we. I don't mind him playing Friedel - apart from the fact that Lloris needs to come in sooner or later (may as well be now). But it is time to play Naughton on left, Vert + Caulker in centre, and Gallas on bench & in plays Europe.
TonyRich
lol TR 'we all remember being in awe'.......news to me, also I think if's there one thing we can't accuse AVB of is lacking passion,you can see how badly he wants us to win.
Ossie
I miss Jimmy Greaves even more !!
spu 4 life
Last seen in a 4x4 leaving spurs lodge, ''Bar Hamburg'' he left his shower gel behind, anyone got a forwarding address?
spu 4 life
Back in August when some people were saying we should sell I was saying we needed him. Was gutted we let him go and miss him still. He might not have the greatest fitness but he's quicker than Hudd, more experienced than Carroll and no one else in the team has the vision and skill to pick a defense splitting pass out. In fact when I heard we had sold him I took this as 100% certainty we had signed a creative player i.e. Moutinho.
Kes80
thfan...do you really think Sandro has no "fire in his belly"? Ferguson will be after this young man in due course in my humble opinion, the man is a fighter and never gives in. For those missing VDV, please take note the future awaits: http://www.tottenhamhotspur.com/spurs/News/u21s-saints-report-12112012.page?
jacobslad
so do i mate... selling rafa and replacing him with no-one, Dempsey?, no that's the same as no-one has stuffed as big time. Rafa scored goals, stole games. Now we have no-one at all.
Cape Town Spurs
TonyRich - "Our manager lacks passion" ??? Have you not seen his goal celebrations??? LOL
Hot_Spur
I miss Hoddle and Chivers.
chrishove123
T.H.F.Chris Yeah I remember those as well, BUT he was the sort of class player who could turn the game our way with just one sublime bit of skill. But he wanted to go and be in Germany with his wife. It must have been hard for him over here whilst she was working over there, so I don't blame him for wanting to go. I reckon if she worked in England he would have stayed. At the end of the day family is more important than football.
chrishove123
I think there is a point to playing Gallas.If you have a back 4 of Walker, Caulker, Verts and Naughton, you have an average age of under 23. Gallas is continually marshalling the back 4 and shouting instructions, not easy when you are playing a high line, thats why he is selected.
matt hoten
As for VDV, a class act marred by the fact that he was not consistent enough especially away from home and not fit enough for premiership football.I think AVB rightly didn't want him
matt hoten
Rafa was allways one of my favorite players since he played for real madrid, i was really happy when he moved to tottenham and i was also really sad when he left
Diexo32
 

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