Tottenham Hotspur's new signing Rafael van der Vaart has given manager Harry Redknapp a glimpse of what the future might hold. Redknapp is due to introduce his newest signing to the media today, when presumably the Dutchman will have calmed down after he angrily vented his frustration at being substituted during the Netherlands' Euro 2012 qualifier with Finland.
The £8m midfielder, who moved from Real Madrid last week, rubbed his eyes in mock disbelief, muttered several swearwords and then refused to acknowledge Dutch coach Bert van Marwijk when he was withdrawn in the 64th minute of the Netherlands' 2-1 win. Some Dutch fans booed Van der Vaart, but that did not stop him from speaking his mind afterwards.
"I am not happy about this. I really feel that I don't deserve this. I was playing pretty good. I'm trying to stay calm and not to complain. However, I'm pretty angry," Van der Vaart said. "I am always the first one who gets substituted, the situation is starting to annoy me. The coach always makes the same substitutions. This is really bothering me. Maybe I have to change my attitude."
Redknapp pulled off the biggest surprise of the transfer window with his late, deadline-day move for the talented playmaker. However he might have a tough job giving Van der Vaart will the regular football he so desperately craves, as there is stiff competition for places in the Tottenham midfield.
Luka Modric returned from a thigh injury to play the full 90 minutes for Croatia against Greece on Tuesday night, alongside Niko Kranjcar. Wilson Palacios, Tom Huddlestone and Jermaine Jenas are also competing for central midfield positions, while Gareth Bale, Aaron Lennon, David Bentley and Giovani dos Santos provide options on the flanks.
Van der Vaart's outburst suggests he is not likely to be content with taking his turn in a rotation policy, which could prove to be a problem for Redknapp over the coming months.
He will have to shuffle the pack with the club entering the Champions League, while hoping to avoid results such as the 1-0 home defeat to Wigan Athletic that followed their midweek victory over Young Boys of Berne two weeks ago. Captain Ledley King said: "We've been in Europe before and we realise how difficult it is when you have the midweek games. We know that coming off a midweek game at the highest level it can be difficult."