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« Dear broken children of Woolwich | Main | This given Sunday »

Bale and Adebayor


In his post-match interview Gareth Bale stated ‘confidence is building’. There is little argument from me that you can’t expect a team to snap out of bad form in a single game, at least not in our case when we’ve slumped to three losses on the trot followed by two draws. We’ve hardly been calamitous (bar one game in particular), but we’ve lacked fluidity and direction, usually just trying really hard without any essence of discipline. The court case and the England job have been influential (something I've preferred to avoid accepting) and the fact that up until this blip we had not actually suffered one beforehand (when losing previously, we’d bounce straight back). Trying to exorcise our demons was one of gradual progression, equalising late on against Stoke and then applying congested tactics away to Chelsea before growing in stature to almost nick the game. The Bolton cup game saw the return of our expressiveness and swagger with the players and team looking comfortable and instinctive in movement. And then it all worked itself out in the Swansea game.

As a collective, we’re rejuvenated. One or two in that collective have been pivotal at times this season and are now rediscovering their old form (mojo) just in time for the run in.

When Spurs struggled so did Gareth Bale. I’m a staunch defender of the player. I’m not going to patronise you and suggest that players should not be immune to criticism but at times there is no balance to some of the arguments put forward. Some love to love him when he's playing well but seem  quick to shoot him down when he doesn’t, mostly to do with taglines such as ‘believing the hype’ and having an 'ego'. I guess the thinking is he does what he wants on the pitch to the detriment of the team. The reality is that he’s young and level-headed but is also ambitious and wants to be the best in the world. We've got a player who has the potential to be able to believe that without a laughing track accompanying him. If he’s encouraged or instructed to play on the right, swap wings or play centrally then he’s not going to say no to it. Harry Redknapp has to take responsibility here as there is no doubt that roaming/free-role play will make him a better player in the long run but he has to be managed correctly and not simply given the license to play inside every game regardless of opponent.

A confident Bale would still create and be effective centrally but one lacking assurity (from himself and when surrounded by subdued colleagues) is hardly going to set the world on fire no matter the position he takes. Hence why we’ve all been screaming for back to basics. Bale, on he left. One up front. Modric in the middle. Get them doing what they’re good at because at this moment in time the team is more important than any one player. But any one player can excel when he's playing in a team with equally confident team mates.

Bale mixed it up when the opportunity allowed him to against Swansea but the vast majority of his work was down the flank. Now perhaps against sterner opposition (as we’ve witnessed) the power and the glory is not always forthcoming (hence the central experiments). Again, this is down to coaching and making sure Bale is not overly impressionable off the back of the hype. When he's running low on confidence and attempts to run at goal all on his own that's not him pretending to be Ronaldo. That's him over-thinking, over-complicating matters because he's not quite in synch. It's a cheap shot to simply yell 'ego'.

Believing ones hype doesn’t necessarily mean they think they can do as they wish and thus do so with arrogance. There is no disputing his technical skills, physical presence and his pace. He should be attempting new things all the time but he shouldn’t be forgetting what he’s solid at. He should continue to believe in the hype because it's not really hype. It's belief. This is about the desire to be the best. I guess in some ways it is about ego. But he's not parading himself as anything other than Gareth Bale. The beast has to be leashed but there are moments when he has to be unleashed. The owner needs to know exactly when to restrain and when to let go.



The most complete forward in the league? I don’t care about anyone else, he’s the most complete forward at Spurs and that’s all that matters. We’ve been crying out for a player like him. Sure, perhaps the player in our fantasy dream world scores 30 goals per season but the reality is that such players are hard to come by and due to the system we play, we can only have one up top. Which means as important as goals are, being a team player is doubly important.

Sure, he can go missing and have off days. Because of his role (as forward) this is far more apparent but let’s not pretend he’s the only player that suffers from dips. Fact is, he assists. Fact is he allows others to come into offensive positions by virtue of his holding play and movement. If there’s a player out there who will cost the same and score more whilst being able to offer the same link-play as he does then I suggest we sign that player. Otherwise, we make sure we sign the one we’ve got on a permanent contract and concern ourselves more with our second and third strikers (for the long term).

Even Berbatov (one of the finest players we’ve had in recent years) was accused of being lazy. The imperfections are always there but it’s what they offer when they play to their best that matters and how they can still be influential when perhaps a goal is not forthcoming. Ideally, Adebayor should be scoring more. Questions will continue over his (sometimes) lacking first touch and his reluctance to bury the ball first time (didn’t have a problem on Sunday). But if you take a look around the Prem there are few if any potentially available players that could do the job for us, the job he's doing.

Adebayor is a piece that fits into the puzzle. There is nothing to say we can’t get ourselves a better puzzle, but we’ll have to lose a piece first for that to happen.



Reader Comments (20)

Totally agree on Bale. Pretty much all his best work is out wide. Despite the hype, he's not yet 'world class' but he is an extremely talented kid who looks to be world class one day.

I also think Adebayor works much harder than many give him credit for. Harry loves him because he's the player he'd always hoped Crouch would be. That said, I wouldn't break the bank for him during the Summer.

Apr 3, 2012 at 12:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark

Agree on Bale - just wish he would learn to use his right foot. So many opportunities go begging while he tries to adjust his play to so that the ball is on his left peg.

Apr 3, 2012 at 12:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterOzDoz

Couldn't agree more with the Bale thing, it wasnt about his ego, it was about Redknapp getting complacent tactically and not realising making Bale run everywhere other than staying on the left would lose us our shape. Back to Basics, Back to Wembley. Come On You Spurs. #aids

Apr 3, 2012 at 12:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterGeorgaldinho

I disagree, I think Bale is world class, he's just not the best player in the world. Oh well lol. Can walk into any team in the world, ask the Barcelona supporters who they voted as the player they want at their club.

Apr 3, 2012 at 12:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterGeorgaldinho

Good post re Adebayor. Now that Berba's bound to leave Utd on a free, would that be a sensible punt? Wouldn't cost much....might fit in well to our 4-5-1. His lack of pace might slow our game down though

Apr 3, 2012 at 12:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterHarold

We should have paid what it took to sign Llorente in the summer. He has all the same qualities as Adebayor but with more goals.

Apr 3, 2012 at 12:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterDevonshireyid

@Devonshireyid - didnt we all say that we should of broken the bank to sign Dzeko not so long ago? Look how he has turned out - the Premier League is a different kettle of fish altogether to the other big European leagues...

Apr 3, 2012 at 1:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterRick

Spot on about Ade, Spooky. Absolute right.

Apr 3, 2012 at 1:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterIoanX

Some interesting and valid points on both players. I have to admit to having a dig at both during the course of this season although mine are generally born out of frustration as both players can be electric on their day. The problem we have with strikers is who do we go for at the end of the season that our budget will allow, as that narrows it down massively. We may have to go for a young pretender as mentioned or someone in the twilight of their career. Or indeed do we go down the route of securing Adebayor, he seems happy with us....

Apr 3, 2012 at 1:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterWelshSpur07

Agree on Bale, though interesting that you forget to mention his occasional temper tantrums when he gets horribly fouled (or doesn't, as at Anfield). I think there's a bit of a maturity issue there, because although i like to see aggression as much as the next person, getting pissed off just because someone has fouled you whilst on a run won't get you anywhere. As we saw from Reina on the weekend, getting into fights just isn't worth it when there's pricks like Perch running around. Gareth needs to keep this in mind for next time.
Re "Manny", I totally agree that he's the complete forward for us, interestingly in terms of goals assists and chances he's the most useful forward in the league, unless Martin Tyler was telling porkies. Yes, we should try and sign him, definitely. However, he is not worth £170,000 a week and the resulting chaos that will ensue from Modric Bale and VDV if we pay him that much. If Levy can persuade him to go down to £120,000 (at the most!) then he's a genius and next season will be amazing. Until that point, we should really be thinking about who to sign instead.

Apr 3, 2012 at 2:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterSpence

we need to brace ourselves for a mammoth bid from united for bale and modders

they are exactly the players that they need

will be very very hard for both club and player to resist.

Apr 3, 2012 at 2:28 PM | Unregistered Commenterkoume2

Spooky; Agree with you on Bale. Also he takes a lot of advice from Cliff Jones (who's practically his second Dad) and therefore I think he'll stay at Spurs, at least another season. Ade I'm not sure I agree with you. He looses the ball too often, not on Sunday though, but he was in his element against Swansea and against Newcastle. However I have been dissapointed with his lack of confidence at times this season and would prefer to see Klaas Jan Huntelaar in there as I think he has a better ratio of goals from chances, ball control and is just as good at shielding the ball. Someone mentioned Berbatov, but I would'nt have him back as he's too lazy and moody and we don't need that back at WHL. But if I would worry about Ade without Harry at the helm as he seems the only manager who can keep him sweet.

Apr 3, 2012 at 2:33 PM | Unregistered Commentercookiebun

Spence - I agree, with experience he will hopefully grow out of that.

Apr 3, 2012 at 2:39 PM | Registered Commenterspooky

The way to skirt around breaking our wage cap is to pay Ade a handsome (undisclosed) signing on fee... if we pay him a few mil up front he should then accept a proportional cut in the weekly wage to be in line with our wage cap, and therefore ruffle a few less feathers with our other players. Depends then on what Man City would be prepared to sell him to us for. Bale and Ade have been huge players for us this season and it would be great to keep them both for next season so we can build on this season rather than have more transition. Fingers crossed we can have the balls to turn down a mega offer for Bale and keep him happy to stay with us

Apr 3, 2012 at 3:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterDimbo

Fact is - he's on £170,000 a week
Fact is - the rest of the team aint.

Apr 3, 2012 at 3:29 PM | Unregistered Commenterwisky tom

Agree with both assessments.

Gareth Bale just needs to continue doing what's he's doing, he's had a magnificent season yet again where he, the management and us fans have learnt a new dimension to his game. There's a huge focus on him and rightly do because he is starting to prove to people that he should rank amongst the top players in the world. So I'd urge him to keep at it and believe his hype because he is that good and is only gonna get better.

I still think people don't get Ade, yeah he can frustrate sometimes, his touch is questionable at times and can appear a tad lazy BUT he's a bloody handful and a massive presence, when he doesn't play we are half the team we are and he's a character around the dressing room, it's absolutely vital we sign him on a permanent.

Apr 3, 2012 at 8:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterShady

Smoke signals wafting from the lane read clear. . Ade wants to stay with Tottenham but only if we pay him what he's worth - apparently, that sum seems to be in the region of £145,000 a week. Signals also indicate that he'll walk if we offer less! Walk into the Man CIty reserves! Don't get me wrong, he's done what we needed him to do, but having him on a long term contract, on £145,000 a week is utter madness.

Apr 3, 2012 at 9:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterWisky Tom

I expect that Man City will use Ade in their plan to pry Modders out of the Spurs. They could even offer to continue to sponsor hefty portion of the Ade's wages as they are doing it now. I also think that their interest in Luka is not necessarily because they desperately need him, but could be their intent to keep him from joining their bitter foes, Man United or Chelsea, either of which would Luka greatly improve.

Apr 3, 2012 at 11:34 PM | Unregistered Commenterbeetleblues

With Ade the big question is how much City want for him? If they let him go on a free we can pay him that as a signing on bonus and keep his salary down. I think Berba would be a great signing for us.

Bale just needs to be a bit more patient - we are a team, him playing his role allows others to do theirs. If teams double up on him they must be leaving space elsewhere and that's where we should exploit. Coming inside limits the space for Modders and VDV to play in. All good players want the ball but sometimes just holding a position creates space for others. Also if the central playmakers know Bale is on the left they can just pass without looking, and pass early. Modric's ball to bale for the first goal was great - it wasn't to Bale but into the space where a left sided Bale could attack it.

Apr 4, 2012 at 12:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterMattspurs

Excellent summary of both players Spooky and I agree completely with you. Regarding Adebayor, most of us can see that his wage demands may stand in the way of a permanent deal taking place, I hope that in due course he sees sense, after all he is a valued member of the squad. However, can he honestly say to himself that his performances really justify being paid 170k a week. Bale on the other hand being younger, is very much a work in progress and I'm certain that if he remains with us he'll most definitely take us up to the next level.

Apr 4, 2012 at 4:09 PM | Unregistered Commenteraspurusual

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