Tottenham star Rafael Van der Vaart has told Harry Redknapp that he no longer wants to be played out of position, as he was against Arsenal on Sunday, and claims that the Spurs boss was wrong to substitute him in the derby clash.
Spurs beat north London rivals Arsenal 2-1 at White Hart Lane with Van der Vaart playing on the right wing. The Dutchman scored but later failed to track Alex Song down the flank, allowing the Arsenal player to set up Aaron Ramsey's equaliser, and the former Real Madrid forward feels he is at his most effective in the centre of the pitch.
"I have definitely had a series of irritations," Van der Vaart is quoted as saying in the Daily Star. "You want to play in the position where you do best. But if I have to chase after an attacking full-back every time, I can't play my own game to my best ability.
"Sunday was not the first time I have played out wide and I was given the freedom to move infield. But you could see from the goal I scored that my strength lies in the centre of midfield.
"It proves that I am more dangerous when I am close to the goal than when I play out on the wing. I do what the manager asks me to but I hope this won't be a regular occurrence."
Redknapp has spoken publicly about the need to protect Van der Vaart, who he left out of Spurs' Europa League squad, following his recent return from a hamstring injury but the 28-year-old playmaker does not agree.
"In my opinion he made a mistake in making his comments about my most recent injury," Van der Vaart said. "He took me off because he did not want to take any risks with me. I can understand that but I am convinced I could have played for 90 minutes.
"I was amazed to be taken off. I felt I'd played a great game. I scored and also three times put team-mates in one-on-ones with Arsenal's keeper.
"But I could perhaps understand it from a tactical viewpoint. Arsenal's left-back was continually moving upfield and I'm not the type of player who consistently runs after opponents."