Harry Redknapp admits to having difficulty fitting Rafael van der Vaart into Tottenham’s system

Boss having trouble striking the right balance in his line-up...
Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp has conceded that he is having trouble fitting midfielder Rafael van der Vaart into his line-up, but has no intention of leaving him out following his recent performances.

The Dutchman joined Spurs in an £8 million deal with Real Madrid on deadline day, and has gone on to put in sublime performances for the north London club.

The 27-year-old added to his performances by scoring two goals and handing his side a victory over Aston Villa during the weekend, which was the Birmingham-based club's first defeat under their new boss Gerard Houllier.

Meanwhile, Redknapp is contemplating on how he will play Van der Vaart when Jermain Defoe - who is out injured - returns to fitness.

"It’s a problem," he said, according to The Telegraph.

"If you play two up front with Rafa in behind, what do you do with Gareth Bale? You could play a diamond in midfield, but that would be asking Bale to play somewhere he doesn’t play.

"It makes balancing the team difficult. Villa played with one striker up and Ashley Young behind, in the hole, and we went that way after the break. I put Rafa in behind 'Crouchy', with Aaron Lennon on the right, the balance looked better.

"He likes that position. He is never going to stay wide. If you start him on the right, he is going to come inside because he always wants to be involved."

Despite his problems, Redknapp is certain that he will not change the way the midfielder plays to suit his needs.

"He won’t change and I wouldn’t try to change him," he said. "He is what he is – a fantastic footballer who loves to be where the ball is. When you have a special player, you have to find a way to get the best out of them and finding a system that suits them."

In praise of his performance against Villa, Redknapp added: "He’s got that knack of scoring goals, anticipating where the ball will be. Some players have it, the great goalscorers have it – they know where the ball will drop. He can finish – he takes his time and puts it away."

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