Roman Pavlyuchenko was never a bad player; in terms of actual ability the Russian forward’s a pretty good player and his tally of 14 goals last season is better than what Robbie Keane managed (12) and just short of what Peter Crouch got (16) yet the man has been vilified by Harry Redknapp and is on the verge of leaving the club. Pav’s real problem has been his attitude, he’s not settled in England as he’d like and has made that clear, and he’s not happy to be out of contention for a first team spot which he has been with Harry in charge.
The tension between manager and player was evident at Saturday’s FA Cup clash with Leeds but there were also signs of the Spurs’ fans mixed feelings on the striker as songs about “Super Pav” were sang even before the Russian came onto the pitch despite the usual consensus being “Pav out”. Pavlyuchenko went on to score which, at most clubs, would give him a chance of starting the next game. Not at Tottenham where Harry’s still no fan of his. Instead the manager complained about the striker after the game, groaning
“When you haven’t got the ball, you have to work. There’s nothing to stop him starting games if he comes in every day to work, train, shows a good attitude. I expect him to run around and work hard for the team.”
Admittedly Pav’s work rate isn’t very good, but the same can be said for many strikers out there. The role of a striker is, first and foremost, to score goals and Pav does have that ability in him. The first season in a new country can be a troublesome time for a football player but Pav had an alright first season, and then the second season? Not given a chance. I can understand him not being picked above Defoe but Keane and Crouch don’t necessarily deserve a place ahead of him in the team.
For the fans a resurgence would be great; there was faith in Pavlyuchenko when he came to the club and it could still be returned should he be given a chance and start to score again – the man has finishing ability after all. The problem is that Harry will be stubborn and refuse to play him and the Russian is still looking for a new club.
But what happens if a deal cannot be agreed? The transfer window only has a week left to run and there’s no sign of a deal being agreed for Pav to move elsewhere. Will Harry continue to ignore him or will he finally give the Russian a chance to show what he can do? Pav’s Spurs’ career isn’t dead and buried yet and the fans that do appreciate him do so for a good reason: he’s not anywhere near as bad a player as Harry would have you believe.
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