Rafael seeking silverware

Spurs new-boy sets his sights high

Van der Vaart: Aiming high

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Rafael van der Vaart is confident he can come away from his debut season at Tottenham with a winner's medal.

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The Holland midfielder, who arrived at White Hart Lane in a shock £8million move from Real Madrid on transfer deadline day, completed his first training session with Spurs on Thursday morning.

And despite the expected added pressure of playing UEFA Champions League football on Harry Redknapp's side this term, 27-year-old Van de Vaart insists the club can end the season with silverware.


"I think we can win, with a bit of luck," said Van de Vaart. "We have a lot of talented players. We are a young team but for sure we can win things.

"Tottenham is a great team, a big club and I'm really happy to be playing here.

"It was my first day today and the training session was a nice one.

"We played a little game and it was nice to get to know everybody and I think we have a great team.

"So it will be a great season."

Van der Vaart, who lifted the Eredivisie trophy with Ajax in 2004 before spending time at Hamburg and Real, is hoping to make a lasting impression when he gets his first taste of Premier League action this season.

"The English league is a strong league," he added.

"I have already played in Germany and Spain but England is something special and I'm really excited to be here."

The Dutchman faces tough competition for a spot in midfield from the likes of Luka Modric, Tom Huddlestone, Niko Kranjcar, Wilson Palacios and Jermain Jenas, but insists he is not concerned.

"We play a lot of matches, so we need everybody," he said.

"You can always play good players together and today it was nice to play with Modric, for example. He's a good player.

"I like to play with him and, yeah, I think it will be a great season."


Van der Vaart is a contender for a place in the side to face West Brom at the Hawthorns on Saturday, and should he make Redknapp's starting XI he would come face to face with referee Howard Webb for the first time since the World Cup final.

Englishman Webb controversially issued nine yellow cards to the Dutch during their defeat to Spain in the decider, but Van der Vaart, who avoided a booking that day, insists he holds no grudges against the Yorkshireman.

"I don't have a problem with him," he added. "But he was a little bit unlucky in the final."