Van der Vaart: I can help Spurs overtake Arsenal this season
Published 22:45 09/09/10 By Darren Lewis
Rafael van der Vaart believes he can inspire Spurs to finish above bitter north London rivals Arsenal this season.
Tottenham's £8million summer signing has revealed Gunners striker Robin van Persie has filled him in on the intense rivalry between the two clubs.
Van der Vaart, set to make his Premier League debut against West Brom tomorrow, said: "Arsenal have a great team also, a lot of great young players.
"But I think our squad is not worse than Arsenal's so I think we have a good chance to win against them.
"And not only win the game against them but also, over the whole season, we can aspire to beat them."
The two teams meet at White Hart Lane in the Carling Cup on September 21.
They also meet in the League on November 20 at the Emirates with the return on February 26.
Van der Vaart added: "I already spoke with Robin and he said it is the greatest derby in the world. We will see, I'm looking forward to playing in the derby.
"My best position is behind the striker. I can play across the whole midfield but my favourite position is behind the striker."
The former Real Madrid midfielder has also revealed he grew up as a gypsy and lived in a caravan before joining the Ajax academy at the age of ten.
He said: "That was the way my family lived. My father was born there and it is a lifestyle. Maybe it is not a normal lifestyle but I always liked it. I always played football on the street. It was an easy life.
"Then I was 10 years old and went to Ajax and played there for almost 12 years. Then life starts to change.
"When I was playing in the first team for Ajax I bought a house for my parents. The lifestyle changed and now they are living in a normal house.
"It was the first time they lived in a house so it was strange. It was a lifestyle decision, it was better.
"For me it was really nice because it was a different lifestyle. Everyone was looking and saying 'isn't it strange to live there'. For me, it helped me because I was like a street fighter. You have to fight for your place."