Tottenham: The Evolution Of Gareth Bale
Gareth Bale celebrates for Tottenham
He joined Tottenham as somewhat of a wunderkind. Breaking into the Southampton's first team at the tender age of 16, Gareth Bale and fellow young prodigy Theo Walcott lit up the Championship with some stellar performances. They both got a transfer to North London — Bale to Tottenham, Walcott to Arsenal.
Bale was a left-back at Southampton, but began playing in a more advanced position for Tottenham, and had a promising start. A set-piece specialist, Bale scored two goals in his first eight games for Tottenham, but injuries took their toll, leaving him out of the team for long spells. He also gained an unwanted record. Due to the team's troublesome form in his early Tottenham career, the side had not won in 24 Premier League games when he had played.
From 2008 to 2010, he had no impact at Tottenham. Looking like a failure, he was left out of the team completely to accommodate Benoit Assou-Ekotto. He could have been sent on loan to Nottingham Forrest, would you believe?
Bale earned his chance in the 2010 with Assou-Ekotto away on International duty. As each game progressed, he demonstrated his maturity and athleticism as Tottenham hunted down a Champions League place. His performance was to such a high standard, that Harry Redknapp left him in the team in midfield to further enforce his attacking influence, which was very successful. Bale was instrumental in Tottenham’s victories over Arsenal and Chelsea and the team secured Champions League football. From that moment on, he’s played an integral role in the North London side’s success.
His application to football, as of this moment, is unique. So let’s take a little look at the evolution of Gareth Bale.
Gareth Bale with Southampton
Gareth Bale played at left-back for Southampton at the age of just 16. He earned a reputation as a wunderkind and a set-piece specialist. Needless to say, he attracted interest from several Premier League clubs.
Gareth Bale is presented to the media with Younes Kaboul and Darren Bent
Gareth Bale was signed by Tottenham in a deal potentially worth $15 million, and was presented to the media alongside Younes Kaboul and Darren Bent. He began impressively, netting twice and performing well for an average Tottenham side. But there's no doubt that injuries played their part in his mini downfall.
Gareth Bale with Tottenham
2008-2009 was a pretty uneventful season for Gareth Bale. Out of form, injured for long spells, not helped by Tottenham's appalling form under Juande Ramos. But like the rest of the squad, maybe he was galvanized by the arrival of Harry Redknapp.
Gareth Bale bags a hat-trick in the San Siro
After a breakthrough in 2009-2010, Gareth Bale moved from left-back to left-midfield, to accommodate Benoit Assou-Ekotto. He developed into one of the Premier League's most feared wide men, and played an integral role for Tottenham. But it wasn't until Tottenham's Champions League campaign in 2010-2011 season when Bale received wide spread recognition. In the San Siro, against Inter Milan, with Tottenham 4-0 down and with a man red carded, Bale smashed in a hat-trick, individually dragging his team back into the game. He picked up where he left off in the opposite fixture at White Hart Lane, terrorizing one of the world's top right-backs in Maicon. He humiliated him in every way possible, and provided two assists against the European Champions to go with his hat-trick. Since then, Bale has consistently been linked with a move away.
Gareth Bale wins the PFA Player of the Year
After a good season domestically in 2010-2011, Gareth Bale was given the PFA Players' Player of the Year award. Despite Tottenham failing to finish in the top four, Bale remained in North London.
Gareth Bale is one of the Premier League's top players
Gareth Bale is now widely regarded as one of the world's best players. Consistently scoring vital goals of beauty and determination, he is one of the most feared wingers around. The day will surely come when he departs Tottenham, but will it be this summer?