Gareth Bale's Inexperience Will Prevent Immediate Success at Real Madrid
Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images
Amid all the hype about the world-record money in the deal that sent Gareth Bale to Real Madrid last Monday, it’s easy to forget that the now-former Tottenham star has played in only 10 Champions League games and never won a trophy. This lack of big-game experience will prevent him announcing himself to La Liga with a string of dominant performances.
The pressure is immense, but that's not been an issue for the Welshman so far. So many times last year did he pull results from nowhere when Tottenham Hotspur found themselves overwhelmed. The pressure to perform and carry the team to victory grew with each game, yet Bale continued to deliver.
Gareth Bale admits he felt like the new kid at school on his first day of training at Real Madrid http://t.co/V8AYDX0leR— The Sun - Football (@TheSunFootball) September 7, 2013
However, the Premier League is not La Liga, as so many players have discovered to their cost. There's no reason why Bale shouldn't thrive—after all, he's hugely talented—but it will take some adjustment before he is able to find his role.
It's the first time he's moved away from the English league, and at 24 he already has a couple of position changes behind him. For the £86 million Real paid, they received a player with a remarkable amount of growing to do.
He must be allowed time to make his mark, but that transfer fee hangs heavy around his neck. Time is a luxury unavailable to those in demand.
Paul Clement, Real's assistant coach, insisted to Saj Chowdhury at BBC Sport that Bale will not be guaranteed a start; that he will instead be forced to earn it. While this is an admirable sentiment that allows the new player some breathing room, the Bernabeu faithful will grow impatient with every minute he sits on the bench.
Bale will make his entrance and the learning will begin for real.
His transition from barely-adequate left-back to dominant left-winger to overall midfield phenomenon has been remarkable to watch, but he'll need another one if he is to succeed under the Madrid microscope.
After all, Cristiano Ronaldo already functions in the way we saw Bale play for Spurs under Andre Villas-Boas. Controlling the left side while drifting in to impact centrally with vicious drives at goal, Ronaldo's game is eerily reminiscent of the Welsh player. They are expected to play on the same team, but the departure of Mesut Ozil leaves them without a complementary link.
Will Gareth Bale be an instant success at Real Madrid?
Crucially, Bale has already conceded to Ronaldo, with Neil Moxley at The Daily Mail reporting the Welshman's outspoken desire to learn from the Portuguese magician. It's entirely possible that Bale drops into a role akin to his displays as a left-winger under Harry Redknapp—feeding Ronaldo while retaining the freedom to cut inside as the game requires.
It's unclear as to Bale's position within the club, but the fact that Ronaldo and Isco are already on the team seems to stand in the way of immediate success. The intense scrutiny of the fans further piles on the pressure.
It's pointless to ask supporters to give the most expensive footballer in the world some slack, but that's exactly what he needs. A lack of instant-impact performances—coupled with the fury that greeted the Ozil sale—could form the beginning of a backlash.
The next couple of months are going to be really interesting to watch.
What is the duplicate article?
Why is this article offensive?
Where is this article plagiarized from?
Why is this article poorly edited?