Van Der Vaart on ‘rivalry’ with Van Persie

Tottenham striker Rafael Van Der Vaart has admitted that there is a friendly rivalry between himself and fellow countryman Robin Van Persie as both players find themselves in the middle of a purple patch of goal-scoring form.

After finding the back of the net against Queens Park Rangers at the weekend, Van Der Vaart has now scored in five consecutive Premier League games.

Then, Van Persie – who hit a hat-trick against Chelsea at the weekend – is leading the scoring charts with 10 strikes this season.

Referring to the rivalry between the two, Van Der Vaart said: “Robin is going even better. On Saturday he scored three nice goals and yes, it looks like a rivalry.”

“He has scored in every game, me as well, so it’s difficult but I love to see him scoring because he’s a great player and I know him well from the national team.”

“I text him every game. Sometimes I say congratulations but I hope he is not going to continue scoring like he does because it might be a problem for us.”

Despite having the in-form Van Persie in their ranks though, the Tottenham striker is convinced that he and his team will finish ahead of the Gunners this season.

He continued: “We’re better. We’ve won six and had one draw in our last seven games. So no, I’m not afraid of Arsenal. We have the better squad and a bigger squad. There’s a long way to go but we’re better than last season.”

Arsenal may well have improved of late – they have won eight of their last nine games across all competitions – but Spurs are three points above their rivals with a game in hand, so those giving out sporting tips note how they have the upper hand in North London right now.

Van Der Vaart – who scored the opener in the 2-1 win over the Gunners earlier this month – is hoping this continues of course and he has even set his sights on challenging the likes of Manchester City.

Speaking about Roberto Mancini’s men, he said: “They are winning easily but they have a lot of egos so maybe that’s going to be a problem. When you play for a big team and they buy a lot of good players, a lot of players are also unhappy.”

Next up for Tottenham and Van Der Vaart is a Europa League game against Rubin Kazan – of which a lot of betting money will be placed on a Spurs win – followed by a trip to Fulham in the Premier League on Sunday.