A few questions come to mind regarding Roman Pavlyuchenko this season. Can Tottenham Hotspur fans rely on him? Do his teammates trust him? Does Harry Redknapp? The answer seems to be a resounding no. I’d argue that he’s far more clinical than Peter Crouch and has more nous and wherewithal in the penalty area too. What fails him in Redknapp’s eyes is that he fails to set up his team-mates in a way that Crouch does and sometimes Jermain Defoe.
However, Pavlyuchenko’s stellar striking technique is way above anything Crouch and Defoe can muster inside the penalty area. I’m sure you’ll recall his quality finish at The Reebok against Bolton Wanderers, as well as his thunderbolt of a first time shot for his away goal at Young Boys to earlier this season in the Champions League qualifying stage.
Pavlyuchenko is a player who is clearly unmotivated at the moment. His recent comments about his distinct lack of playing time startled me, and you can check those out after the jump.
"Sometimes I have a feeling that Redknapp jeers at me" the tall forward told Russian paper Sport Express. "I need to play football, otherwise people will have only memories from the player Pavlyuchenko and they won't need him anymore."
I recall the unofficial conflicting reasoning for Pavlyuchenko’s omission from the last game before the transfer window opened. One was the player himself saying "I‘m in the wrong frame of mind", to Redknapp publicly declaring that he was injured. Go figure. One thing that is clear, is that Pavlyuchenko isn’t in Redknapp good books much like one Alan Hutton.
Many Spurs fans say Pavlyuchenko is lazy. But we surely can’t go through the rest of this season without using Pavlyuchenko far more than Redknapp already has. His last outing at Blackpool wasn’t idyllic despite his deflected goal, but I’m prepared to cut him more slack than the rest of his striking colleagues.
The next time Harry Redknapp calls on Pavlychenko, bear in mind that it’ll be with an element of chance as us Spurs fans don’t know how he’ll perform considering his distinct lack of form and playing time which is completely understandable.