Tottenham Hotspur manager, Harry Redknapp has been told that summer signing Roman Pavlyuchenko needs the odd “slap” to get the best out the striker by former Spartak Moscow boss Vladimir Fedotov.
Redknapp was told that 26-year-old Pavlyuchenko, who arrived at White Hart Lane from Spartak in the summer for £14million sometimes, had a problem getting motivated for matches. With the best way to do it being either shouting at the Russian International or even going as far as to slap the EURO 2008 star around a bit Fedotov revealed.
Former Portsmouth manager Redknapp has also been told that dropping Pavlyuchenko to the reserves also helped to get get the best out of the Russian and that the Spurs striker needed “a bit of help” if he felt that Pavlyuchenko was not in the right mood to play.
Fedotov told Sport Express newspaper: “When I had the feeling that he wasn't going to be in the right mood for a game, I gave him a bit of help.
“So I had to shout at him or sometimes even slap him around the face ... I did it fairly softly although I do have a good punch if I need to.
“Pavlyuchenko is a very gifted footballer. It was easy for me to work with him, as I knew his strong sides and his weaknesses.
“His greatest disadvantage is that if he is not in the right mood for the game he is an absolute disaster. He becomes a sap. I hope in England they'll get rid of this habit.
“It was important that I noticed his moods well in advance. If I didn't spot it, he'd wander around the pitch like a lost boy and it was impossible to do anything with him after kick-off.”
Another former manager of the Russian side, Stranislav Cherchesov, has backed this sentiment, with Cherchesov also revealing that Pavlyuchenko had motivational problems.
He said: “After watching him play in England I'm glad to see that Pavlyuchenko comes on the pitch much more motivated than he did for an average game in Russia.
“Evidently this English football is new and interesting to him. I had to exile him to the reserves for a game once to make him change his attitude.
“It was a harsh decision for a manager to make. Initially he was awfully offended. His pride was hurt. He couldn't understand what he was being punished for.
“I'm sure by now he realised that temporary exile did him a lot of good. And not only for him but Spartak and the Russian national team too.”