Blogs & Opinion


David Jones remains adamant Gareth Bale is one of the world's top players

David Jones - David Jones Posted 27th February 2013 view comments

Gareth Bale was at his brilliant best again on Monday night - his brace helping Spurs to a 3-2 win at London rivals West Ham.

What a joy to watch Bale in full flight right now and I'm fortunate enough to say I've done so in person several times this season. My view hasn't changed, Bale deserves to be talked about among the very best footballers in the world.

Bale: up there with the best in the world, says Jones

Bale: up there with the best in the world, says Jones

How often does a player come along who can single-handedly win matches in the manner the Welshman has been for club and country all season Tottenham are a good top seven Premier League side but Bale alone adds the x-factor which is catapulting them towards another season of Champions League football at White Hart Lane.

His detractors say he can't be judged amongst the world's best because he hasn't done it in the Champions League. I refer them to the San Siro blitz when Bale destroyed Maicon with a sensational second half hat-trick which rescued Spurs from humiliation.

His detractors say he can't be judged amongst the world's best because he hasn't done it in the Champions League. I refer them to the San Siro blitz.

David Jones
Quotes of the week

That was two years ago and Bale has grown in stature and influence since. The one weakness to his game I would suggest is an area others cite as strength.

Of his 15 Premier League goals this season 11 have come away from home, which is often used as means to judge a quality goalscorer. But why?

Perhaps when Spurs play away opposition teams are less wary of Bale's threat and leave space behind in which he can torment teams with his blistering pace.

At White Hart Lane, teams tend to pack their defence, double up on Bale and try to frustrate him through sheer weight of numbers.

But even that argument is being blown away by his current form in which his long range shooting has come to the fore.

At home against Newcastle recently Bale almost beat them on his own, running from deep, picking up the ball in central areas where he seems to be at his best.

Is Bale good enough for Real Madrid or Barcelona?

Imagine how effective he would be with a more regular supply line - with Xavi and Iniesta or Xabi Alonso detailed to bring out the best in him.

And how much would he cost? You're talking telephone numbers because Bale is already in that unique bracket of player for his club ... irreplaceable.

On the show...

Why be a football manager? That's the question we'll ask on The Footballers' Football Show this week.

On the best of days your team will lift a trophy, you will be hailed a hero, lauded in the press and respected by your peers. But unless you are Sir Alex Ferguson those days come along only once in a career - if at all.

On the worst of days your team will lose, you will experience the despair of relegation, feel the stinging bitter resentment of anguished fans, lose your dressing room and face the sack, the ultimate public humiliation.

Since the start of July, there have been 43 managerial changes, 40 of which have come in the three football leagues. Which, using those figures, suggests there's probably less than a 40 per cent chance a football league club will end the season with same manager who started it.

Stale Solbakken, Paul Dickov and Graham Westley have all lost their jobs this season at Wolves, Oldham and Preston simultaneously.

Can they help to explain the short-termism which is making management such a dangerous job?

Watch The Footballers' Football Show, 10.30pm, Thu, Sky Sports 1 HD.

back to top

Other Football Experts:

Latest Posts in Football:

Jamie Carragher

Carra: Top four in sight for Spurs

Spurs can make the top four, says Carra, depending on how seriously they take their European duties....

Paul Merson

Merson's predictions

Merse expects a losing start for Neil Warnock, but wins for Arsenal, Chelsea and Man Utd....

Latest News RSS feeds

Sky Sports Today

Premier League build-up, Europa League draw and reaction plus all the manager press conferences.

Live transfer updates

Leicester sign Esteban Cambiasso, Crystal Palace land Wilfried Zaha on loan and Tottenham pursue Danny Welbeck.

Liverpool draw holders Real

Liverpool face holders Real Madrid in the Champions League while Manchester City are again grouped with Bayern Munich.

Hodgson: England future bright

Roy Hodgson is sure England are not heading for "mediocrity" as they prepare to enter a new era at a half-full Wembley.

Leeds sack head coach Hockaday

Leeds have sacked head coach David Hockaday just six games into his reign.

Features

Tottenham's Erik Lamela ready for Premier League lift off

Tottenham's Erik Lamela ready for Premier League lift off

Everyone agreed that Tottenham had acquired some fine players in the summer of 2013, but the notorious line that Spurs sold Elvis to buy the Beatles soon became a source of embarrassment. Not least because that cast young Erik Lamela as John Lennon, the most celebrated of the lot.

Analysis: Everton's signing of Samuel Eto'o can be significant on and off the pitch for Roberto Martinez's side

Analysis: Everton's signing of Samuel Eto'o can be significant on and off the pitch for Roberto Martinez's side

Saturday’s opponents Chelsea might have expected Everton’s Romelu Lukaku to come back to haunt them, but Jose Mourinho surely thought he’d seen the back of Samuel Eto’o. Instead he’s back in the Premier League and eyeing another challenge in his remarkable career.

Mario Balotelli's track record on the pitch makes him a gamble worth taking for Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool

Mario Balotelli's track record on the pitch makes him a gamble worth taking for Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool

When it comes to the art of signing players, few did it better than Brian Clough and Peter Taylor. In the latter’s book With Clough by Taylor he explained some of the science behind it in detailing how Nottingham Forest actively sought to buy players they perceived to have personal problems.