Former West Ham United defender Danny Gabbidon has hailed Gareth Bale’s quality and believes that the Tottenham star is still capable of affecting matches even if he is not physically at his sharpest.
Bale admitted last week that while he still has some way to go to reach 100 per cent but revealed that he is slowly but surely gaining his sharpness back with more games under his belt (Wales Online).
The 31-year-old got a couple of good run-outs during the international break after he completed 90 minutes in Wales’ 1-0 win over the Republics of Ireland last weekend, before playing a further hour in the 3-1 win over Finland on Wednesday.
Although we did not quite see the Tottenham star making his trademark 40-50 yard bursts with the ball, he influenced both matches, registering an assist each.
Gabbidon believes that his former international team-mate is a fantastic asset to have on the pitch as he is capable of making a difference even if he is short of full fitness.
The 41-year-old said during Sky Sports’ live coverage of Wales’ win against Finland: “Even at 75/80%, he is still better than most players. He is still going to affect games and make something happen.
“We saw the assist in the Republic of Ireland game and another assist for Harry Wilson tonight. Even if he’s not scoring, he is affecting games, he is that good. He has the world-class ability, first and foremost.
“When you see his name on the sheet then it gives the rest of the squad a massive lift. Other players know what an important player he is on the pitch. But not just that, in the dressing room as well. He has grown into a natural leader now. He doesn’t act like a superstar.
“You wouldn’t have thought that he played for Real Madrid. He doesn’t give off that kind of arrogance, or anything like that. He makes all the players feel comfortable in his presence. He is just a normal lad. And as you saw tonight, he is still capable of producing match-winning moments.”
Spurs Web Opinion
While’s Bale ability to run at defenders is certainly one of his best assets, he still has other aspects to his game that are world-class. While his finishing is heralded, Bale’s quality on the ball, passing range and vision are often overlooked. That is why I would rather see Jose start with Bale against Man City and bring Lucas or Lamela on around the hour mark, rather than the vice versa.
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