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Bale is not even Tottenham’s best player

He has been the talking point of British football since Tottenham Hotspur’s two Champions League matches against Inter Milan. Yes, I am talking about Gareth Bale. Don’t get me wrong, his performances against the European champions were great. However, the way the media portrayed him as the best player in British football at the moment is really ridiculous.

Bale is unstoppable if you give him space and time as he hugely relies on his pace and quick feet. If you deny him that, like few right full-backs did this season, he has nowhere to go. Using the time and space you have got is not as such the most difficult thing to do if you think about it. Many football players can easily take advantage from that kind of opportunity. True greats or intelligent players, however, are those who can create spaces by themselves and can think of something spectacular within a fraction of seconds and use that to punish their opposing teams.

From the current Spurs team there are two players, in my opinion, who have the ability of creating something out of nothing, Rafael Van der Vaart and Luka Modric. These two only need to have a split second and half-a-yard of space to create something special. But, it is becoming rare to hear these two players’ names whenever Spurs win their match these days. These kinds of players have advanced game reading ability and always start their movement before the others even get a time to think about doing something. Of course it is difficult to see this intuitive movement as TV cameras mostly follow the movement of the ball.

I am really tired of people and the media who only give their admiration or compliments to players who have visible abilities than to those who have been the fulcrum of their teams’ success due to their imaginative and intelligent playing style.

The British media and most of the pundits always concentrate on players who have speed, power and strength. That shouldn’t be the case. They should tell us the things we couldn’t see and the incident that is very difficult to understand to the average football fan.

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28 Comments

28 Comments

  1. Wolfie

    15 December, 2010 at 21:48

    Not much to choose between Bale, Modric, and VDV and we have King, Woodgate, Gallas and Dawson on their way back too. If we get a goalscorer in the transfer window the sky is the limit.

  2. Amakhosi

    15 December, 2010 at 21:51

    Agreed. All the Spurs attackers blow hot and cold but with Bale the extremes are even worse. Against Inter the boy was indeed devastating but then has been relatively quiet in a few domestic games. Very little of note against Everton or Liverpool.

  3. Aaron

    15 December, 2010 at 21:53

    Totally agree with you!!!!!!

  4. Brad

    15 December, 2010 at 22:11

    although, bale is still amazing,
    modric and van der vaart are two key & instrumental players in spurs’ squad.
    these players compliment bale and lennons runs, leaving the full backs and centre backs in two minds, wether to go to a)the winger, b)the striker or c) modric/van der vaart on the edge of the box.
    lennon and bales style of play compliments the likes of modric and van der vaart, all we need is that great finisher to play alongside defoe upfront, suarez? maybe even tevez now? that would be astonishing.. attacking 6;
    LENNON, BALE, MODRIC, VAN DER VAART, DEFOE AND TEVEZ..

  5. anon

    15 December, 2010 at 22:41

    Yeah damn all those Premiership teams overrating Bale by putting at least 2 men on him

  6. UKAD

    15 December, 2010 at 22:58

    Lets put two things to bed Bale his 21 and still learning and please don’t judge Bale in the premiership when you look at Bale because a quite word in your ear and you would no why a 35 year old kept him quite and why there is a lot of shocks. Secondly Bale would not have bean marked out of the game if Huddlestone was playing and if Bale moved into Vans Position he would be devastating you forgot Lennon at the top of his game he can go past a race horse and he his still learning at 22 Van 27 Modric 24 Bale would be burnt out if he played in top gear every game and to keep him quite energy is being used by players trust me is reputation after his mauling of Maicon demanded this and Ukad cant stop the shocks they told me.

  7. Ross

    15 December, 2010 at 23:35

    Ok, i’m struggling to fathom the logic of this argument, as you seem to be judging Bale on his Inter Milan performances, and then putting him down for a handful of quiet by his own standards, performances.

    He has been terrorising full backs more than any other player, consistently, in the league, for over a year now.

    Bale has the intelligence to lose his man, hence him creating so many opportunity’s for himself to take the full back on. You only have to look over at the right wing at Aaron Lennon to see a player who hasn’t got the intelligence to lose his marker and gets marked out of the game all to often.

    If anything, bales stats don’t do him justice. Think how many assists he would have by now, if he had a decent centre forward to put the ball in the back of the net.

    This is not taking anything away from Modric and Van Der Vaart who are both superb players, but Modric has only started hitting his best form recently and has been correctly given the plaudits. Van Der Vaart has been on fire when fit, and the only reason his name has ‘rarely been mentioned when spurs win’ lately, may be down to the fact he is injured and not been in the team.

  8. JC

    15 December, 2010 at 23:56

    To suggest that VdV rarely gets mentioned when spurs win is absurd, he gets plenty of praise. Modric I’ll give you, but frankly until the last few weeks he’s been poor. Bale is not a “hot and cold player” either as someone suggested, even in his quiet games he still does 3-4 excellent things that could lead to goals, it should be recognised too that he is young and is dangerously in need of a bit of a rest. Too many top quality players get ruined by being overplayed too young. Wenger understands this and brings players through slowly in general. Injuries have forced spurs to overplay bale, and it is reflected in his performances.

    Also as someone above pointed out…he’s been more quiet cos they’ve been doubling up on him…and OH LOOK, now modric and Lennon are playing better. Must be coincidence hey 😉

  9. SpursDean

    16 December, 2010 at 01:53

    I am a huge Tottenham Hotspur fan who has owned a season ticket for the last 10 years.

    Whilst some points that you make are interesting, the point of your article is completely way off the mark.

    Gareth Bale is clearly our best player. Yes VDV and Modric give Bale a run for his money but when you consider age, potential, current ability and current form, Bale has his nose in front of the aforementioned players.

    Modric does a fantastic job pulling strings from midfield. VDV has that special ability of being able to score from any given situation. However, Bale can do both of those things and more.

    However im not arguing or complaining. The fact that we have all three can only be a good thing.

    COYS
    (and no to Stratford).

  10. wayne king

    16 December, 2010 at 02:18

    ROSS – Nice post. You took the words out of my mouth. Bit of an odd article really, although I do accept tht VDV and Modric have been absolutely key this season, especially when considering the absence of Hudds at CM.

    Luka has really stepped up and delivered at the next level. Bale is a phenomenal talent. Unfortunately many fans seem to forget the lad is only 22 and to be a such a high profile star at that age in today’s game takes someone a bit special. He’s a very complete player for his age and gives EVERY team he faces a torrid time. In the matches where he seems less effective, he’s demanding so much attention that he creates space in other areas for other players to shine, whether that be Modric, Lennon, VDV etc.

  11. jerkinmahjurgen

    16 December, 2010 at 05:21

    Modric is our best player. Vdv is clearly extremely very good but still don’t take anything away from Bale.

  12. anon

    16 December, 2010 at 09:56

    he’s definately up there with VDV and modric,
    yeah he’s been quiet lately but the teams are doubling up on him which creates space for team mates. Also even when he is doubled up on sometimes he gets through against the odds.
    So you may be right saying he isnt our best player but then who is? i say that him VDV and modric are our best players.

  13. lilywhitemike

    16 December, 2010 at 10:06

    while there is an argument that bale may not be spurs’ best player, i completely disagree with this ‘deny him space and he can’t do anything’ rubbish. he is extremely skillful as well as quick, plus he is a fantastic passer and crosser of the ball. he is a superb, at times completely unstoppable left sided player – there aren’t many like him in world football. just because he hasn’t been around that long doesn’t mean, at the current moment at least, he isnt one of the most dangerous and effective players in the game.

  14. Jima

    16 December, 2010 at 10:37

    Without Modric we struggle to keep hold of the ball and keep our rythem, without Bale we can bring in (when fit) several players, VDV, Krancjar, and Modders can even play out there – no one can take a touch, create space, relieve pressure like Modders, so I’d aleways plump for him. Bale great but agree with article that he can only have an impact once Modders etc win the other key battles

  15. West Stand Upper

    16 December, 2010 at 11:26

    Modric for me all day long, if he could get 10 goals a season everyone would be saying he’s the one not far behind Messi.

  16. ross v

    16 December, 2010 at 11:27

    people,
    Isn’t it great to be discussing who our best player is and to have 3 genuinely world class players to chose from. Like a lot of you lads/ladies on here i’d say i’m a huge/obsessed fan of our beloved spurs. In my opinion our most influential player is our little Croatian genius. The guy is a god. He is our only ball playing midfielder. He is Xavi and Iniesta in one. He can dribble and pass and without him making us tick over we struggle going forward and coming out of defence. He is brilliant and in my opinion ire replaceable. Do you all remember how good he is wide left and coming inside? Now do you see how good he is at getting up and down the pitch, creating and containing.
    Long live Luka and i hope to God he never leaves us.

  17. Dany

    16 December, 2010 at 14:28

    I do get the post, your saying Bale is getting a lot of press when he might not even be our best player.

    Do i think he is our best player? – for me its very close between vdv, modders and bale to the point where i can not choose.

    He has had a few quiet games (compared to the Milan games) but that happens to every and all players. Team are double teaming him and he is only 21. Are we a better team with Bale in the side? – you best believe we are and no matter how quiet a game he might be having on a given day, one Bale cross or run can win you a game.

    Point to note – he is a very good team player. Tracks back, never had one negative lifestyle headline (boozing, girls, fighting etc) and he runs his socks off.

    Bale – YID for life!!!!!

  18. spur1950

    16 December, 2010 at 14:29

    swap tevez for crouch and keane then think of this lot fully fit

    lennon hudd modric bale
    van the man
    tevez
    wembley here we come only dreaming folks!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. mickeyspurs

    16 December, 2010 at 14:48

    Whilst I see your points I also agree that you are slightly too harsh on Bale. The guy has been amazing and is our best player this season. He is scoring goals ands sets up more. Even without the assists he is running teams ragged at the best of times. Granted he has had a few quiet games, but he is still young and improving. Van der Vaart is amazing and I miss him when he isn’t playing, he is invaluable to us. I also LOVE modric, but his shooting is woeful. Take the game against Liverpool he had a volley which he put wide when no-one was challenging directly in front of goal. Compare that miss to the wonder goal bale scored at Stoke. Bale is better than modric in my eyes, and slightly ahead of VDV but only for this season. Van der Vaart could not have destroyed Inter like bale did.

  20. SMOOTH AND ROUND

    16 December, 2010 at 16:11

    Modric makes us tick,Bale VDV Defoe are the icing on the cake.I’d love to see Torres at WHL.His loss of form is temp.Harry would get the best out of him.To see him and Defoe is a mouth watering prospect.

  21. SimonCole

    16 December, 2010 at 16:15

    Imagine that, a player that has to rely on his pace and quick feet. He must be bad if he has those attributes!

  22. Jamesy

    16 December, 2010 at 16:43

    Bale took the plaudits against Inter, but I honestly think Modric ran that game. He won the midfield battle. He was tracking back, making tackles, starting moves, making space, taking players with him. He was awesome. He set up the first goal with a magic touch (or non touch), great vision, and then fantastic reverse pass to vdV.

    Now Modric is playing in his reserved central role, he is playing like he does for Croatia. He is essential to the way we play. His passing and movement is like Scholes in his day. He gets the ball deep, and moves up with the play, playing little intricate passes, and keeps on moving up. He is always in space and available for the ball, and makes great runs. Modric, with his short range of passing, spacial awareness, skill on the ball, doggedness in the tackle, and the fact he rarely gives the ball away. Mixed with Huddlestones physicality, work rate, fantastic long range of passing, shooting ability, defensive capabilities and being able to use both feet, makes them a perfect pairing. Add the skill, goal scoring threat, flair, work rate, and generally overall class of vdV, and we have one of the best midfield threes in the world.

    You then add England’s best winger, with his pace and flair on the right, with Bale’s strength, pace, fitness, crossing ability, goal scoring ability and work rate. We have ourselves one of the finest midfields in the world. Not quite up there with Barcelona, but still very good. A lot better than UTD’s, City’s and Arsenal’s.

    You can probably tell that I think our best player is Modric, but he needs the others around him to help him shine, as any players do.

    All we need now is a world class, 25 goal a season striker up top, and I see no reason why we can’t relive the glory days.

    COYS!

  23. Daz

    16 December, 2010 at 17:38

    It’s not just his work with the ball people are judging him on – although that’s exactly what Alan Green was doing on 5 live the other night. Lee Dixon and David Ginola promptly shot his criticisms down in flames by explaining that when defenders double up on you, which is what happened against Chelsea – although you don’t get space yourself, it makes space for others in front of you (Defoe) to create chances. The first time this happened it led to a goal. Running off the ball is just as important – which I believe is also a less ‘hyped’ skill lately.

    I would also point out that, as Harry has, Bale can cross/shoot with either foot, is possibly just as fast as Lennon at this point in time, is a better defender than he used to be and can head the ball really well for a winger/wing back. He’s also pretty tall and difficult to shake off the ball these days, as well as being able to thread a decent pass through as Van Der Vaart and Modric can on occasion when required.

    Yes the media are getting a bit carried away – but rightly so as when you make the current European Champions look like idiots it tends to be praise that is based on merit.
    I’m only concerned that he keeps his feet on the ground and keeps doing what he’s doing.

  24. SpurredoninDublin

    16 December, 2010 at 19:45

    Quite apart from the double-manning that he frequently has to put up with, a new tactic for dealing with him recently has been to barge him into touch.

    We now have Lennon coming back to his best, and it wasn’t that long ago, that Lennon was facing double-manning. Even with the Thud missing Modric is showing that he can pass the ball nearly as well as him. I cant wait for the day when we have our best five man midfield, and watching opponents double-manning both our wingers while VDV reclaims his reputation as one of the best attacking m/f’s in the world.

  25. ollyparklane

    16 December, 2010 at 20:22

    JC – Modric been poor for the last couple of weeks?? Really??? He has been highlighted by all the critics as being back to his best, probably the best central mid in the league right now. Disagree that Bale is a one trick pony. VDV clearly quality. I have always loved Azza Blud too… And the most underated player at the Lane… step forward Benny AE!

  26. andty

    14 January, 2011 at 13:26

    Bale is an amazing player and for me the best left sided midfielder in the world right now. VDV is class and has all the skills in his locker required to be a international superstar, i do feel his fitness still needs working on as he appears slightly overwieght but if he can reach his peak in fitness then he will be awesome, Tom Huddlestone for me is also a quality player that i feel we do miss right now his passing is exceptional and his all round game has really developed since he has been allowed his ketchup on his chicken again, Defoe needs to get some goals in order to build his cofiedence up and i think if he can do that then we should see him in the best form of his life. Aaron Lennon needs to find form we were just starting to see the best of him last season before he got injured i even saw him delivering some quality crosses at times, since the injury he has not come back th e same again a bit of ciofiedence in his own ability and a good run in the team will see him hopefully reaching his full potential which would see him as highly regarded as Bale is right now. Gomes is a great shot stopper, he makes saves that no other keeper would even get near because of his lanky physic, if he can just cut out the sloppy mistakes then i feel he could push for the Brazil number 1 shirt. Ledley King when fit is the best centre back in the league but his not fit and i dont think he will be with us for to much longer sadly i think he will have to retire to prevent himself from serious reprocussions in future life, Dawson has learnt alot from him and i see him and the rejuvenated Kaboul as the defence for the long term future, Kaboul for me really has improved from his first spell and now looks a class act that should be pushing for a starting place in the french national team. I have to say for me the best spurs player by a long shoot is Luka Modric, he is pure class he pulls all the strings and when Modric plays Tottenham play. Modric is the key and im sure Harry and the rest of the Spurs staff rate him as there greatest assest a few more goals per season and i think we are looking at the most influential player in the entire league he is a GOD.

  27. Boxsito

    17 January, 2011 at 13:49

    3 points for oppostion to consider against Bale and Spurs, double marking against Bale, deep defensive line unlike Inter trying to play high-line and leaving ocean of spaces for Spurs’ quicks on the flank or showing him inside into a set block as MUFC did against him this season at Old Traffordish

  28. modric

    3 February, 2011 at 18:32

    modric is easily the best the stuff he does wiv da ball r unbelievable

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