Tottenham news

Gallas and Van der Vaart set for Spurs debuts

September 10, 2010
By Soccernet staff

Harry Redknapp is ready to hand William Gallas and Rafael van der Vaart their Tottenham Hotspur debuts against West Brom on Saturday as he prepares to rotate his squad ahead of a busy fixture list.

William Gallas France training
GettyImagesWilliam Gallas: Drawn a line under his international career

• Defoe out for three months

Spurs make their Champions League debut next week and boss Redknapp admits he may have blundered in not making changes for the shock 1-0 defeat to Wigan last time out following the club's historic European qualifier against Young Boys.

Redknapp said: "Obviously, we play Saturday; then we play Champions League Tuesday; then in the league on Saturday; then we play Arsenal in the Carling Cup; then the league and another Champions League. We've got a busy schedule.

"The one thing I did learn - a lesson - last week was maybe I should've changed the team that played against Wigan.

"We went to Stoke and had a great result on the Saturday, came back, won the Champions League qualifier with Young Boys. And then I really went with the same team, more or less, on the Saturday against Wigan.

"Maybe I should've rested one or two and changed a few around, and it might have worked better for us. It's easy, in hindsight, to look back on those things."

Gallas appears certain to start at the heart of defence following Michael Dawson's injury playing for England. And Redknapp has no qualms about throwing the former Arsenal captain in at the deep end on Saturday.

He said: "You don't play in teams that win championships, like he did at Chelsea, you don't play for your country as many times as he has - been there and done it all - unless you're a top player. He's got a bit of pace, he's a great defender, and he'll be a big asset. I think he'll be a great signing for us."

With Luka Modric now fit, Redknapp could choose between the Croatian and Van der Vaart. Or he might field both and play a lone striker, especially as his forward options have been depleted by the loss of Jermain Defoe for around three months.