The more match-winning performances he puts in the more unavoidable the subject becomes. One facet of the British media is to inevitably over-hype the Premiership and the players within it, another is to compare these players with the best the rest of the world has to offer.
Questioning whether or not Bale is in that highest tier of footballers seems to be a very popular theme this year, there are however a number of issues with this. The very terminology used is wrong, ‘experts’ are using terms like the most talented, the top players or the truly world-class. Simply put what is meant is the most effective offensively, while it is not as glamorous playing at centre back or as a defensive midfielder their role is equally important with a team. There are a number of players throughout the world that are as talented at what they do as Messi or Ronaldo are at what they do, and they would too be heralded but for the simple fact that goals win games.
Against Newcastle many, including Pardew claimed that the difference was Gareth Bale, i have no problem with this as he scored both goals and in the last 10 minutes looked literally unstoppable. My issue lies with the claims that Spurs are not the top four side without him, a one man team if you will. In the past three months Bale has improved his game to a point that he has become one of the most effective players in the world running with the ball at his feet, there are arguably two players that are better at this and both of their teams suffer from a similar complex.
Barcelona are the best club team in the world even without Messi, they have players the likes of Iniesta that operate on the same level as Messi but have different roles within that team. Same with Madrid, no Ronaldo does not mean the likes of Ramos and Alonso stop being incredible footballers. When a player becomes so very effective as Bale has become at such a valuable skill then usually that player stands out within a team much like the Welshman is currently.
Do Madrid fans fear they will no longer be able to competitively challenge for a match if Ronaldo is not playing? I highly doubt it, and nor should we as Tottenham fans fear a team or a future without Gareth Bale. When a player becomes this highly skilled it is almost impossible to continuously stop them imprinting themselves on games and as cliché as it sounds making the headlines. Bale has developed into the third best player in the world at what he does, and luckily for Tottenham what he does is not only very effective in terms of goals and points return but is extremely valuable at a time in which the Northumberland Project is on the horizon.
Against Newcastle there were a number of good performances, while the crowd may not have agreed we have no divine right to beat Pardew’s team, they are filled with talented, experienced, (French) international players that are misrepresented in their league position. In goal Lloris had a good game, what impresses me about him is why many say he can and will go on to play for a Champions League winning side, his focus, he doesn’t lose it for one second of the 90 minutes. His pace and awareness saved us the three points on Saturday. In defence it was the ever solid Michael Dawson that stood out, we have not lost once this season in a game in which he started, he has also refined the frequency with which he pings those cross field passes. Dawson had to adapt his game at the start of the season under AVB and has coped very well with the high line, of course Lloris helps this a lot.
It has been confirmed that Adebayor has already been disciplined for his late return from the Africa Cup of Nations, while AVB did reveal the news he also stated that the issue would be kept a private matter. The striker now has to endear himself to some sections of the support after a number of actions now that have been seen to be disrespectful, no one can convince me he wasn’t out in Africa having a knees up for a week.
This post has been a little Bale-centric but it’s difficult not to over-talk him when he is in such form, inevitably it will be Modric 2.0 for the press over the next 18 months but lets not worry about that until the day after our final game of the season when the first report of Levy talking to Florentino Perez appears in Marce.