Pav paves the way for Spurs rebirth

Roman Pavlyuchenko has always been a popular man with Tottenham fans, he is a player with a touch of class.

The languid style, good first touch and, let's admit it, occasional lack of focus and commitment, make him a Spurs man in every sense.

This is why his supposed sulk and stand-off with the manager - himself a popular figure - has been excused. His schoolboy mope has been indulged. Few other vocally want-away players on the fringes of the team are supported to the same extent. Just ask Darren Bent.

Pavlyuchenko might now have a future at the club, an inconceivable thought only a matter of weeks ago. He has taken his recent goals well, giving Harry Redknapp food for thought. He deserves his chance and everyone, including his fellow players who so evidently enjoyed his return to goalscoring form, hopes he takes it.

Redknapp has said he has trained well, in much the same way David Bentley's improved attitude coincided with his return to the team. However, it is other players' poor form that is the main reason the pair have got another chance.

Peter Crouch has been short of goals, as have the whole team. Aaron Lennon needed replacing and with Niko Kranjcar in need of a rest, Bentley had to play.

Pavlyuchenko is a valid alternative to Crouch and Jermain Defoe, who needs a break to stay fresh in the run-in. Four goals in a week do not make a Spurs career, but for Pavlyuchenko, it might just be enough to save one.

For his part, Defoe will be hoping he is in England's plans for the Football World Cup 2010.

Meanwhile, in horse racing news Kauto Star continues to be a popular Cheltenham bet and his is the stand out favourite in the Gold Cup.

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