Gareth Bale’s talents were well known to Spurs and Southampton supporters but he was somewhat of an unknown commodity until three weeks ago that is. His performance against reigning European Champions Inter, at the San Siro was spectacular and magnificent.
A hat-trick against arguably the best Defense in European Football is as clear an indication as any, about his exemplary skill. His efforts weren’t good enough as Spurs had allowed Inter to race into a 4-0 lead before half-time and they ended up losing 4-3. Bale would have his chance to get one back a fortnight later when Spurs would host Inter at White Hart Lane.
Would Bale manage a repeat of his 7-star performance? The answer was an emphatic yes. He didn’t manage to score any goals himself but his overall play bettered his San Siro efforts. He made Maicon look like an amateur and this is the Best Right Back in the World we are referring to here!
For long periods of the game, the home-side’s approach was just “Give it to Bale” and who can blame them when someone is at the peak of their powers like he was that night. Spurs won the match 3-1 and Bale in particular received plaudits from the world over for his virtuoso performance.
A couple of days later though, Bolton Wanderers did what Inter couldn’t: Stop Bale. Spurs lost 4-2 and Bale was kept under control by Bolton’s Gretar Steinsson and Lee Chung-Yong. The method they used is what most teams in the Premier League would. Inter rarely got stuck into Bale and that is exactly what Bolton did. Wingers in the Premier League have to adjust their style of play to be able to handle a more physical approach. Some have managed this transition better than others.
This debate revolved around the 3 best wingers/wide players in the Premier League right now: Bale, Nani and Malouda.
The factors used for comparison are: Goals, Assists, Shots on Goal and Fouls Suffered.