Well, without doubt Rafa was influential. He was a talisman, a fan favourite, a real hero.
Since joining us from Real Madrid back in August 2010, he really impacted and enhanced the team’s performance. It won’t be the same without him now that he's departed us for what was obviously his second him in Germany. Believe it or not, I've seen those calling him a traitor. But I don’t – I am very thankful for everything he has done in these two years with us and I hope he is happy there in Germany, close to his wife, with the team he used to play for a few years ago.
Rafa is a remarkable player. We all liked him; his goals, his assists and his obvious passion and desire to play for Spurs; he was a playmaker of his own nature. He had his fair memorable moments that we all enjoyed. The goal against Inter Milan in the 3-1 win at the Lane, his many goals against Arsenal and his passion when celebrating. So where I'm going with this is that - for the few that tarnish him with disgust for leaving - we shouldn’t. He served our team well, we all know that. On twitter I keep seeing these ridiculous attacks directed to van der Vaart, and it angers me.
Appreciate the class we've witnessed at White Hart Lane. Players such as him don't come along very often in the lilywhite but when they do we should enjoy them. So I hope you are all grateful for a player that leave Spurs with many memories. Players are like soldiers – They don’t always give the same effort, but in the end, every single one of them helps the group become what it is, and all of them should be recognised.