Gareth Bale has been claimed as one of football’s star performers in this past year, wowing fans and critics alike with his fantastic bursts of pace, skill and control; not to mention his remarkable goal tally for a wide midfielder in the modern game. Even at the tender age of 23, it is already understandable to see why people are predicting big, big things for the fast developing Welsh international and you can see why; he is already proving that he has the specific physical and mental abilities necessary to become a potential world-beater!
However, it was not all plain sailing for Bale. In fact, after first arriving at White Hart Lane from Southampton in 2007, for £7 million he was allegedly a ‘cursed’ player; playing a massive twenty-four games without being on the winning side on any occasion; spanning a whole two years of his Tottenham career! During this period, he was dropped several times and replaced by now widely acclaimed Benoit Assou-Ekotto. Bale finally gained his first ever victory for the club after a fixture versus Burnley on 26th September 2009 – where he came on as an 85th minute substitute.
After Assou-Ekotto was side-lined with an injury, manager Harry Redknapp decided to give Bale a chance in the starting line-up for an FA Cup fixture vs Peterborough. In the few years that followed Bale was slowly moulded into the class player he has now become. His ability was highlighted in a career-defining double-header against Inter Milan, towards the end of 2010, where in the opening game of the tie (despite losing the game 4-3) he grabbed his first senior hat-trick in an almost perfect comeback from 4-0 down. In the second leg he showed his creative side, helping his team with assists for two of Spurs’ three goals in a massive 3-1 victory, providing a man-of-the-match performance and guiding Tottenham to the Quarter Finals of the Champions League.
Since then he has not looked back, continuously improving his performance, picking up various awards such as several ‘Player of the Month’ trophies and the PFA Player of the Year in 2011.
This year Bale has been in unstoppable form and he has already earned such titles as the ‘British Ronaldo’ and the ‘Future Lionel Messi’ scoring a crazy eight goals in his last six Tottenham Hotspur matches. He has adapted to play almost anywhere along the left flank of the pitch now and it is an understatement to say that he is competent in the attacking midfield/second striker role which is so fundamental to Tottenham’s style of football.
This is why it would be such a travesty for the squad as a whole if Bale was to be sold in the summer. Although a massive wad of cash would be placed in Daniel Levy’s hands if such a transfer were to happen, it is hard to believe that anybody would be able to match the pace and skill that Gareth Bale possesses on Tottenham’s left side. This being said, if Bale was sold for the £70 million that the Spurs Board are demanding, they would be able to bring in a huge array of talent to the North London club, and with sides as strong as Real Madrid and Bayern Munich lurking, it might be a consolation they have to grab with both hands.
For now though, Bale remains with the Champions League hopefuls until the end of the season, and shall continue to guide his beloved Tottenham Hotspur towards Champions League football tomorrow afternoon when they face their fierce rivals, Arsenal (Sunday 3rd March, 4pm), and with Bale playing better than ever before, it is difficult to see him not having a huge impact on the game as a contest. Arsenal are looking in a bad way and depending on how well Bale plays tomorrow, his performance could be the final nail in the coffin for Arsene Wenger and Arsenal altogether this season.
Can Bale do it for Spurs tomorrow? We’ll have to wait and see…