Van der Vaart blow for Spurs

Van der Vaart has played a key part in Tottenham’s good form

recently, but struggled to make an impact in Thursday night’s 1-1

draw against Chelsea and had to come off at half-time after

complaining of a hamstring injury. It is not the first time the

Dutchman has spent a spell on the sidelines due to a hamstring

complaint, and he is now doubtful for the upcoming games against

Norwich, Swansea and West Brom, Harry Redknapp confirmed after

Thursday’s game. “I’d think he would be out for the festive

period,” the Spurs boss said. “He seems to suffer from hamstring

problems a lot and he got another one tonight, but when he plays

he’s a fantastic footballer, the little fella.” Five of Redknapp’s

squad are now on the sidelines with hamstring complaints Aaron

Lennon suffered his injury against Sunderland on Sunday and is

likely to be out for the club’s next three games, while Ledley King

and Younes Kaboul both hurt their hamstrings last night, the latter

in the warm up. Jermain Defoe was absent on Thursday night with his

hamstring problem, but Redknapp hopes the England striker could be

fit for the club’s trip to Norwich on December 27. He is

desperately needed as Van der Vaart is now out and Emmanuel

Adebayor and Roman Pavlyuchenko have been struggling with knocks

recently. Redknapp said: “I don’t know whether Jermain will be fit.

We’ll see how he goes. Hopefully Adebayor and Pav are OK, so we’ll

have a couple of strikers. I’m hoping Jermain might be fit.”

Adebayor gave Spurs the lead in the eighth minute on Thursday night

after giving John Terry the slip to tap home Gareth Bale’s cross,

but it took little time for Chelsea to recover. The Blues equalised

around 20 minutes later before missing a glut of chances to earn a

win that would have seen them leapfrog Tottenham in to third.

Redknapp admits he was disappointed not to have won the match and

conceded that Van der Vaart’s injury played a big part in his

team’s failure to take home all three points. “We started way on

top. It was one-sided that first 20 minutes, we were outplaying

them and scored the goal. Then they got stronger,” Redknapp said.

“The second half was difficult. I had to make the sub, and I was

stuck for someone to stick wide right. I had no-one to play with

the same shape. “We still had chances, even when they were

stronger, especially on the counter. But neither team could get

that second goal.”