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.”