Palacios gets credit for the Tottenham revolution

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The Independent Football

Harry Redknapp, the Tottenham Hotspur manager, includes Wilson Palacios as one of the key signings who has helped take the club from bottom of the table to the Champions League in his two years in charge, although it may have taken a chance encounter with the midfielder's mother for Palacios to win back his place in the team to face Everton today.

Redknapp celebrates his second anniversary in charge of Tottenham when Everton come to White Hart Lane, with Palacios in the frame for a place in the starting XI as Tom Huddlestone and Jermaine Jenas were exhausted after the 4-3 defeat to Internazionale at San Siro on Wednesday.

That Spurs were even playing there was partly due to Palacios' arrival for £12m from Wigan in Redknapp's first transfer window after leaving Portsmouth to, as he describes it, help chairman Daniel Levy "get to sleep at night".

Palacios has suffered a dip in form since representing Honduras at the World Cup, with the 26-year-old starting just three Premier League games so far this season. It has not pleased his mother Orfilia, who has been visiting from South America. Redknapp said: "I've got to play him, really, because I met him out shopping with his mum the other day, and I was with my wife. And she's telling me that she'd come to England to watch him play and I hadn't been playing him. And she was quite a big girl. So I've got to play him. I wasn't going to mess with her, believe you me."

Palacios also suffered from the arrival of Rafael van der Vaart, with the Netherlands international taking another central position. Van der Vaart is set to return against Everton after being suspended for the Champions League on Wednesday, with his signing and early form sparking hopes of Spurs maintaining their place among the Premier League pacesetters.