Baled out - how Gareth Bale saved Spurs' season

Gareth Bale, Tottenham Hotspur Blog News
Gareth Bale: Quality
Perhaps the biggest success story of Harry Redknapp's Tottenham stewardship has been Gareth Bale. Once written off as an error-prone, one-footed dead ball specialist with a winless Premier League curse, Bale seemed set to leave the club as a talent unfulfilled. Now the Welsh wing wizard is a crucial member of the Spurs line-up.

It is no exaggeration to describe Bale as a genuine winger, even when he plays at left-back. He marauds up and down the left flank in the finest tradition of wingbacks, utilising pace, strength and skill to create chances for the forwards.

He has replaced Aaron Lennon as the team's natural wide outlet and this is the reason why Bale has kept Spurs in the hunt for fourth place. Ask any Tottenham fan about the team's prospects without Lennon and the general consensus would not be a positive one, but Bale has energised the team and fans with his scintillating wing play.

Bale has not only stepped into Lennon's shoes as Spurs' best winger, but he has also become the new Ryan Giggs. Perhaps not in terms of skill, experience and goalscoring, but certainly as the Welsh left-footer that England fans most want to be English. As pointless ruminations go, Bale being a World Cup certainty if he was English is one of the most often repeated at the moment. There would certainly be more people willing to make England their Football World Cup tips if they had a few more left footers at their disposal.

Redknapp has taken a lot of credit for transforming Bale from a "boy who needs to learn the game" to a confident player comfortable in two different positions. The manager does deserve some praise for this, but one wonders whether Bale would have been given the chance of it wasn't for the prolonged injury absence of Benoit Assou-Ekotto.

Assou-Ekotto was admittedly in good form when he got injured, but most White Hart Lane regulars recognised Bale's talent and the inevitability of its fruition. He is demanding inclusion at the moment, as no one expected the blow of losing Lennon for long periods to be coped with so well.

Meanwhile, in horse racing news, the winner of last year's Grand National Mon Mome is preparing to go for back-to-back victories in this year's event.

If he succeeds then he will no doubt rank alongside greatest horses in Grand National history.




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