What a difference a tackle can make. In December 2007 when Fabrice Muamba injured Gareth Bale, which would rule him out for the rest of the season, Bale was considered one of Tottenham’s brightest young stars.
He had scored 3 goals from left-back including a superb free kick against the scum. It could be said he was one of the only successes to the start of the end of Jol. Therefore when Bale returned for the 08/09 campaign under exciting manager Ramos there was real optimism Bale was going to immediately return to his previously dazzling form for both club and country, however it didn’t quite work out that way.
When Bale played he looked unassured, and appeared to have lost the pace he once had, he also was very reluctant to get stuck into 50-50’s. Spurs’ dreadful start to this campaign again didn’t help his cause, but it was evident Bale did not look the player he once was. It then became a well known fact Bale had not won a premiership game in a absurd amount of experiences which obviously went to his head.
Redknapp became manager and Bale hardly featured for the rest of the season – Bale’s future looked bleak at Tottenham to say the least. Then the 09/10 season began and with his close friend and teammate for Wales, Gunter left to Forest, and there were rumours Bale was heading in the same direction – albeit on loan. BAE had finished the last season well and continued to play at left back and scored a screamer against Liverpool on the first day of the season.
Bale finally broke his premiership duck in September 09 however only because he came on as a 85 min sub v Burnley. He played in the cup games, and suddenly the Bale spurs had once knew showed signs of returning – a fantastic cross against united in the Carling cup springs to mind. Then January came and BAE got injured – finally Bale’s chance to prove his worth , and boy did he. In 2010 it could be said Bale has been Spurs’ best player with his fantastic runs down the flank, and considerable improvements to his defensive qualities, he can tackle now.
I accept Bale is still a work in progress and isn’t always up the scratch defensively, however I believe Bale has the potential to become a Tottenham starter for the many years to come as he is very young and already looks better than the average at best BAE. I also think Bale could quite easily become a left mid for spurs after his performance against Fulham because this would require less of him defensively, and he has the ability to beat anybody with his skill and pace – imagine a midfield with Aaron Lennon and an on form bale on the wings? I just hope this dream will become a reality.
by Joe Alexander
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