I like Rafael van der Vaart a lot. He has scored in five straight league games for Tottenham Hotspur. He's also scored 18 league goals in 35 appearances for the club. I like it a lot when Tottenham players feel like the rivalry against Arsenal is important. So many footballers are slagged off by fans and the media for being mercenaries, so it's fantastic when players feel the rivalry - or at least pretend to - like the fans do. I like it a lot when people talk smack about Arsenal, because they're Arsenal.
However, I feel like Rafa should have picked his words a bit more carefully in this particular situation. Here are some quotes from the Guardian. Based on the brackets, it wouldn't be stunning if they were taken out of context, but I'm just going to take this at face value for now.
"There is no chance [of Arsenal finishing above Spurs]," said Van der Vaart. "We're better. We're [on a run of] six games and one draw. We won six times. So no, I'm not afraid of Arsenal. I think we have the better squad. We have a bigger squad."
Damn, Rafa! I think we have the bigger and better squad than Arsenal too, but please do not use the words 'no chance'. That's the kind of bulletin board material that's going to cause Alex Song to put his studs into your kneecap.
To recap: Players saying 'We are better than Arsenal' is good. Admirable, even. Players saying 'Arsenal have no chance of finishing above us.'? Please, don't. Thanks!