Van der Vaart proud of derby displays

After completing his first season in the Premier League, Dutch playmaker Rafael van der Vaart has revealed how much he enjoyed the North London derbies against Spurs' arch rivals Arsenal.

The gifted midfielder completed an £8 million switch to Tottenham Hotspur on deadline day last summer after leaving Spanish giants Real Madrid.

Van der Vaart quickly became a fans' favourite at White Hart Lane with his dynamic, influential displays. The former-Hamburg man bagged 15 goals in all competitions for Spurs and was nominated for the PFA's Player of the Year award, adjusting to English football with little difficulty.

And he has admitted it was the derby performances against the Gunners that he was particularly proud of, telling the club’s official website that his new team-mates had already informed him of the rich history the two clubs shared.

“When I came here everyone talked about the biggest game of the year against Arsenal. It doesn't matter if it's league or cup, it's always big and you have to win that one.”

And the Dutchman, who has won 90 caps for Holland, shared his delight in helping Tottenham claim their first victory at Emirates Stadium - coming from 2-0 down at half-time to win 3-2 - and the 3-3 at White Hart Lane, having trailed 3-1 at the interval.

“Tottenham hadn't won at the Emirates and it was a great feeling to go there and win in my first derby, and especially to score
," he said.

"We played a bad first half, went 2-0 down but in the second half we were a totally different team and that showed a lot of spirit.

"[The 3-3 draw] felt a bit like a victory. It was a great game, an open game and both 
teams wanted to win.

"We fought to the end and you could see with our fans
 that it was a fantastic night.”

By Ross Quayle