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Rafa’s ‘Double Dutch’ Does No One Any Favours
Footytubeblog (Blog) 5 years ago
A two-week international break in the middle of the season is rarely helpful to teams. Not only does it break up the rhythm squads are just settling into at this time of year, it also seems to provide a perfect opportunity for disgruntled players to badmouth their clubs.

Perhaps it is the interviews conducted in their own language that bring out a newfound honesty among players, or the sheer distance makes them somehow think their comments won’t make it back to England, perhaps, more cynically, players believe they can just claim the interview was mistranslated. In any case, there is a growing trend to put your foot in it with the media as soon as the club’s press officer is out of sight.

Two days ago Rafael Van der Vaart joined the growing list of international complainers when he decided to air his frustrations about his role in Tottenham’s start to the season.

Van der Vaart’s grievances seem particularly unfounded. The Dutch midfielder was puffing like a 60-a-day, 18 stone Sunday League player after 40 minutes against Arsenal last Sunday. After a 15 minute break his inability to track back was ruthlessly exposed for ten minutes solid, with Arsenal scoring down his unguarded right flank before he was very wisely (if not a little too late) taken off. Van der Vaart has claimed he could have played 90 minutes. He only made the hour because Harry Redknapp doesn’t want to annoy him.

Van der Vaart also claims he should be playing in the middle and that having to track back detracts from his game. When are comments like that ever going to go down well? Just get on with what you’re told to do and if you can’t handle it, get fitter. If the gaffer puts you at right midfield he has a reason. He also has a right to expect his players to last more than 40 minutes. Van der Vaart has only highlighted his ego, his inability to think of the team as a whole and his poor shape with these comments. Tottenham have got the three points every time he’s played on the right this season - that should be enough for him.

The Dutchman follows hot on the heels of Fernando Torres who caused a storm in a teacup during the last International break by allegedly saying that his goal drought stemmed from Chelsea’s “very slow” midfielders. Torres claims the quotes were mistranslated, if that’s true we definitely need some new, better translators in the game. If we can’t translate the words ‘very slow’ from Spanish to English without completely altering the meaning, we really are in trouble.

It is easy to blame the translators; they make the perfect, uninteresting scapegoat. In actuality, players should not be venturing near these subjects. It is not their job to analyse their fellow players or their managers’ decisions. The press officer is there for a reason: because the media will turn any player’s boring comments into a controversy whenever possible.

Players should stick as close as possible to their press officers; they are lambs for slaughter in the eyes of the football press. For some reason they keep trying to break away and speak their mind, giving managers another excellent reason to dread the international break.

Blog by Phil Wroe

This blog does not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of footytube or its partners.
Peteko 5 years ago
You mean like Macheda saying Rooney is 'working class and vulgar' when he was with his U-21 Italian squad? (But wasn't that again something lost in translation.)

Peteko 5 years ago
I am reading Gerrard autobiography and speaks about his early years in Liverpool's first team. He hated playing on the right and always wanted middle. On the right was physically challenging. He, Danny Murphy and a third teammate rivaled for the position although no one of them wanted it. Among them, as an internal joke, they called it the "graveyard shift".

I am mentioning this because another name they had for it was "50 minutes and you're out". They were usually replaced by the first 15 mins of the second half, because it took a lot of breath to fulfill the duties in that position. I am not saying that every team plays the flanks in similar ways or to make comparisons between Liverpool of late 90s early 2000s with the way Spurs play today, but there are similarities.

Nevertheless, I think RVV would help himself better if he concentrated in his fitness instead of practicing public relations. Even if he is played in the middle, this is a time when even strikers are expected to rush back and fight for the ball that they or their teammates just lost.

And yes, players get sloppy when talking to media in their language. Not just players. (I have a few things to say for you guys if you ask me in Albanian )
Araz (Queens Park Rangers) 5 years ago
Haha, lets face it, a lot of footballers may be gifted on grass but are not all that smart when it comes to other things and I think the fact that they start talking to the media about not wanting to play out of position or anything at all for that matter, is proof of that fact. I still recall Ronaldo's insightful views on how earning £250k a week is in some way a form of modern day slavery! Misquoted I'm sure!

Shame is there are millions of us who would sell a relative for 5 minutes on any Premier League, Seria A, or La Liga pitch and take any position we're given, yet it seems being paid millions of pounds, hero worshiped, and playing a game you love for a living is simply not enough for some!
Peteko 5 years ago
Araz, I would sell more than a relative to have a chance of that, but who'd want to buy them
Ali20 (Barcelona) 5 years ago
S relative? I wold sell the whole family.... Their salary is just rediculous and oh the joy and prestige.... Lol  
Vishal024 (Arsenal) 5 years ago
After how much modern footballers receive to simply entertain and play the game, it's downright ludicrous how they still have the audacity to complain about how they're being played and about their fellow teammates. The article's contention could not be more truthful, players do have to be intelligent and cynical when they approach journalists and reporters. Knowing the diversity of the languages, it's quite simple to exaggerate the connotations surrounding certain words and create a major story over it.

Also, as a person pursuing a journalism line, I understand the intentions of football journalists. When you're searching for a decent story and some hard cash through that, you might as well conjure up some b******s about a prominent professional by twisting his words. Whatever they do and however controversial it may be, you must admit that journalists show almost as much skill and flair in their writing as the players on the pitch
Lampuiho (Arsenal) 5 years ago
People who only watch football never understand
Alino (AC Milan) 5 years ago
Not to mention Ibrahimovic saying that he is tired of football as soon as he went back to Sweden...
Naushad (Mohammedan Dhaka) 5 years ago
Well what can you say...
Nupoor11 (Arsenal) 5 years ago
Well nothing can be said because its something related to the inside story of the team, Torres's goal drought at Chelsea was because the support drogba and anelka got from the midfielders he dint....
And coming to Rafa Van der vaart everyone knows he's more of a selfish player than team.
And also there are a bunch of selfish and arrogant players in tottenham (bale, lennon, huddlestone, corluka, kranjcar)
So lets not comment on that!
And ya if that's true, Harry has done the right thing because he being a solo player doesn't have the capabilities to turning match from none to hope !
He needs to sell van der vaart and buy a good Stirker!
Kyuss (Barcelona) 5 years ago
Well, Rafa is a great player, nothing to complain on that. But the past already showed that he's not a loyalist but a complete douche acting in and with the media. I remember the time he played for the Hamburger SV. He was great there, a fantastic playmaker with the gift to strike beautiful goals.... His problem was and is til today, that he always knew about his capabilities. Back there he was so stupid to let himself fotograph in a jersey of Valencia just to force a transfer to the spaniards. This episode is a great example for his whole career. He always communicated discontent through the media, thinking he's the one controlling the processes of shaping a public opinion. In the early stages of his career at Ajax that might have been even true. But the european media are working different and I think he never realized that he's just another player in this game

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