Sunday, 6 February 2011

What a day, and what a goal but what is Super Pav playing at?

On a weekend when Roman Pavlyuchenko snatched the spotlight to bemoan his lack of first-team opportunities, it was silent assassin Niko Kranjcar who stepped up and scored what could be one of the most important goals of our season.

Tagged the great entertainers, an attacking force and a title threat in 2010, the wheels have looked to be wobbling in 2011 thus far.

I didn't make it to the game but, with Sky Sports News on in the background and the rest of the Premier League playing out schoolyard goalfests left, right and centre, anything less than a win against Bolton at home would have left us feeling bruised and out of touch with the top four.

"I am tired of being treated like this. Now, until the summer transfer window, I am forced to stay," Pav told the Daily Mail.

"Then, if nothing changes, I am going to demand to be sold or at least to be sent on loan"

He may have a point. nine goals from 25 games is a better return than any of our other out and out strikers. But on the flipside, playing in 25 out of 36 games isn't bad going either, especially when Spurs have one of the most competitive squads in the league when it comes to starting places.

Either way, these are not the murmurings of a man who sounds willing to knuckle down and fight for his right to wear the shirt.

Niko has spent his fair share of time on the bench this season having ammased only 11 appearances. But with our current injury problems and our lack of signings in the transfer window, all the squad players are going to get a chance and Pavlyuchenko would do well to take a leaf out of the Croatian's book.

I'm a big fan of Sooo-pah Pav and loved it when he turned his fortunes around last season, coming on and netting twice against Wigan in a late-February battle that kick-started our final push for fourth spot.

Pav really set his season alight that day and, with the fans on his side, he went on to prove his worth. Redknapp does seem to give him less chances than some of the others.

Maybe it's Pavlyuchenko's attitude around the training pitch or the dressing room that sees him overlooked so often, but he should know from last season that if he puts the work in and gets on with it then he will be rewarded - he shouldn't be running off to the papers to complain about his plight.

If we're going to keep the heat on the top four and fight all the way to the end for a Champions League spot, then we need to be developing a winning mentality. Not a whining one.

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