Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughGareth Bale- An Alternative View - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Gareth Bale- An Alternative View - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Gareth Bale- An Alternative View


There can be no doubt that Gareth Bale is a fantastic footballer, but is he worthy of the tag ‘world class’ just yet? I would argue not quite.

For me, a lot of what Bale currently does on the football pitch is more that of an Olympic sprinter than it is Premier League footballer.  The way that Spurs attack when Bale is in the side is to feed him the ball in a deep lying position, upon receiving the ball Bale will draw his full back towards him before knocking the ball as far up the line as possible turning the winger/full back contest essentially in to a sprint race, a race Bale is always going to win unless Usain Bolt is planning a change in vocation.  Having left his marker for dead Bale will then do one of two things, he will either drill the ball hard and low towards the far corner of the net or he will drill the ball hard and low across the box where any touch may result in a goal.  Both acts look nearly identical but I am willing to allow the Welshman the benefit of the doubt on that one.

 The repetitiveness of this tried and tested formula would normally make Bale a very one dimensional player and one that is very easy to defend against if it wasn’t for his lightning pace.  If you look at the midfield/attacking players voted into the FIFA team of the year for 2012 recently, only Cristiano Ronaldo you could describe as being lightning quick.  However, Ronaldo scores all types of goals from all over the pitch, you certainly would not label him one dimensional.  Of the other players, most are what I would call ‘thinking footballers’, they do not have outstanding pace to call upon but have awareness, vision, and technical ability that for me is much more pleasing on the eye.  Players like Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi can receive the ball with opponents within three yards of him and be able to twist, turn and wriggle their way out of the situation.  Players like Xavi and Xabi Alonso know where they are going to pass the ball before they have even received it. 

I do believe that Bale has the potential to add more dimensions to his game.  I remember him as a 17 year old kid being able to manipulate the ball from dead ball situations having only just broken into the Southampton first team so there is no doubt that Bale has technical ability, which makes the fact his doesn’t use it all the more frustrating.  Pace is a very precious commodity in modern football but it is also a very fragile one.  In the long term pace is bound to diminish with age as we have seen with Ryan Giggs, another Welsh wing wizard who has so brilliantly adapted his game over the years to remain effective at the top level.  In the short term, what if Bale was to go out in his next match and snap one of his hamstrings?  We have seen it with Michael Owen the affect that injury of this seriousness has on a players game as for me Owen was never the same player after his ‘hammy’ gave up the ghost at Elland Road all those years ago.  If Bale can develop a more technical side of the game, he stands a great chance of being able to sustain a career at the top once age catches up with him and if he falls foul of serious injury.  Not only that, there is a very real possibility he can become a ‘world class’ player.  It is in fact to his credit that Bale was voted by his peers their Player Of The Year for the 2011-12 season, imagine the player he could be if he can develop the technical side of his game.

Aaron Sharp