Synchronise watches men. This is the ´Big Time
Dear Mr.Van de Vaart,
Welcome to the Premiership and your new home at White Hart Lane. We quite like Dutchmen at Spurs; well some of them anyway, Edgar Davids and Martin Jol spring to mind. Others we are not so fond of, Denis Bergkamp and Robin Van Persie for a start. There's a link there but I expect Mr. Gallas who has crossed the same divide has already acquainted you with the background to all this .
We quite liked the sound of you from your CV. Most players that are good enough for Ajax, Hamburg, Real Madrid, and the Dutch national squad are usually good enough for us, particularly if they are closer to 25 than 30. More importantly we liked the look of you on yesterday's performance. We noted that you immediately made chums with little Luka and that in the first half hour you made our hearts sing.
Apologies for young Aaron missing the chance which you set up with that cheeky little back heel but he seems to have lost confidence this season. Any more of those little impurtenances and you will be half way to becoming a Spur's legend before Xmas. Perhaps on the training ground you could teach one or two others how to pass like you, Tom and Luka.
What we actually need is scorers and you might be able to help out in that department too. Yesterday was the type of performance you might have to get used to: dazzle for a third of the game, frustrate for a third, disappoint for third, and infuriate for a third. Like this analysis we do not always add up to the sum of our parts.
West Brom under a new young manager are desperately trying to cement their place in the Premiership having suffered from crumbling masonary in the past. I have to warn you that we have trouble beating easily the teams that we should easily beat . Most people predicted that we would win this by a couple of goals, including me. With Tottenham this is usually fatal and so it proved.
The manager Mr. Redknapp is a bit of a card and he will refer to you as a 'triffic signing for sure'. This that means that he likes you. Don't get confused between Sandra and Sandro: the former is his wife who is sometimes used as a stick to beat the boys with. This is not as sexy as it sounds. You may be puzzled by the number of old Tottenham players who are on the coaching staff. Ignore them and remember what you learned at Real Madrid. It will see you in good stead.
Our fans are unusual too. Sometimes referred to as 'fickle' their opinions can swing violently. Take Wilson Palacios who was widely regarded as the new Dave Mackay. ( See the chapter on 'Spurs Heroes ' in the book that accompanies this letter) and who was. at one time, beyond criticism as I found to my cost. Now he has been replaced in our hopes by a young Brazilian boy, the aformentioned Sandro, whom we have never seen and who isn't even in the Champions' League squad. Thought I would work that in because I correctly mentioned this last time and then incorrectly corrected myself.
But Harry and the fans are OK. Harry's English will improve no end in conversation with Luka, Pavlyuchenko and yourself and a lot of what he says are Harry's little jokes with the press and the fans; like saying he would make Gallas captain. A red rag to a bull as they say in Spain as you will know. He's what we call a' wind up merchant' which has nothing to do with clockwork toys or Big Ben.
The fans like skill but almost as much they admire commitment. I think you will score on both points. If you do score that might just make it three points.The hissing in imitation of the gas chambers which you will remember from your days at Ajax will make you feel right at home. The Ajax fans identified with the Jewish population wiped out by the Nazis in Amsterdam and were taunted as Tottenham are from time to time. When you hear the phrase 'Van de Vaart is a Yid' do not pack your bags or complain to your agent, it means that you have been accepted. It's what another of our Spurs heroes called 'getting your retaliation in first' (See enclosed book again)
Our defence is much better when under the surveillance of club captain Ledley King who doesn't play as often as we would like because of 'dodgy' knees, which means his knees swell up after games. Not to confused with 'dodgy' Harry which refers to tax dealings and a court case which is pending, or the Greek philosopher.
Our stand in captain Michael Dawson is out for three months, our one time captain Robbie Keane is out of favour and Big Tom, who you can't help but notice around the place, had the job yesterday. You may find yourself in line for the position quite soon. Incidently don't accept invitations by Mr. Keane for trips overseas for 'celebrations'. Harry doesn't approve of them.
I hope that this will help you to settle in very quickly. You have already put yourself about in the press and on the official site, saying all the right things about 'rejecting Liverpool', coming 'above Arsenal' and so on. But at Spurs we would prefer you to 'let your football do the talking'. It certainly looked quite eloquent yesterday.
Best of luck on Tuesday in the Champions' League where I am sure you will make your mark. Hopefully not in the Van Bommell World Cup sense though.Your new pal Luka, though not as badly injured as first thought, will probably not start in Germany but Harry says that you will get an hour at least probably as second striker to Crouchy, another team mate that you can't really miss. Let's hope it's enough. Synchronise watches men, ´this is the 'Big Time'.
In anticipation of great things to come,