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Niko Kranjcar: The Forgotten Man

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Niko Kranjcar is probably the most unlucky player (aside from Ledley King and Jonathan Woodgate) on Tottenham Hotspur’s books at the moment. No matter how hard he tries in training, he can’t get a string of starts in the first team.

Rumours were abound that Kranjcar turned up at the start of the season overweight. Kranjcar took it upon himself to get fit, hone is skills and make himself available for first team selection. Kranjcar managed to get a few substitute appearances and of course, his continued selection for Croatia kept him relatively fresh.

Since the turn of the year, Kranjcar has struck spectacular winning goals at home to Bolton and away at Sunderland. The technique and accuracy shown in those strikes was no fluke. Yet, in Harry Redknapp’s mind, Steven Pienaar is ahead of Kranjcar in the pecking order. This was proved when Pienaar walked into the starting line up away to Newcastle and AC Milan, this despite Kranjcar’s exploits in previous weeks.

I find it slightly baffling that Redknapp continues to shower Kranjcar in praise, perhaps it’s a man-management ploy. Yet Redknapp still seems to prefer Pienaar ahead of the mercurial Croatian. The fact that Redknapp was willing to let Kranjcar leave during the transfer window also speaks volumes. It’s also well known that Redknapp likes the work ethic of Pienaar.

It’s know that a lot of Premier League footballers are overly  familiar with their club's training ground. This has often been the case for Kranjcar. Here’s hoping Kranjcar becomes more of a familiar face in our first team set-up rather than at Spurs Lodge alone.