Monday, March 18, 2013
Bale's (lack of) display shows how dependent Tottenham is on him
Something over a week ago, Tottenham were strongly cemented in the 3rd position ahead of London rivals, Chelsea and Arsenal. Gareth Bale was leading Spurs to a Champions League finish and all looked too good for the Lillywhites, who were 7 points ahead of Arsenal.
Game against Liverpool could have gone in their favor, but for some horrific blunders from the defence that gave Liverpool the opportunity to tie the result and then take the lead from the spot kick, which they did on both occasions. Liverpool game was a disappointment, as it always is to drop the lead in the last quarter of the game, but the real disappointment and the ugly truth came next week against Fulham, game Spurs lost on their home turf with Berbatov scoring the only goal of the game after a counter attack that was enabled by the immobility of the Spurs defence.
AVB refused to blame fatigue of Europa League on the loss, even though the players endured a living hell at San Siro, just barely managing to get through to quarter-finals of the competition, after 120 minutes of intense pressure from the hostile and apparently racist crowd. Though the real problem seemed to be lack of motivation in a game against the Cottagers, mainly for the main threat, Gareth Bale, who's touch was shockingly off. His dribbling was well bellow par, as he was frequently being dispossessed and his unwillingness to instigate anything was rather surprising from the ex-Southampton man. Gareth Bale missed the 2nd leg clash against Inter Milan, due to a yellow-card suspension, therefore fatigue cannot be taken into factor when questioning his sub-par performance. Mousa Dembele, who has not had a breather for a while now has still managed to deliver in the midfield, even though he played the whole 120 minutes in Milan and was Spurs' best player in a 4:1 loss that saw them progress via away goal rule.
Before the Liverpool tie, Bale has carried Spurs on his back, netting 6 times in the 4 previous encounters, which Spurs managed to win, but when Bale was unable to find the net against Liverpool, or his game altogether against Fulham, Spurs have dropped the points and slipped behind Chelsea, who even have a game in hand and a point more than their rivals.
Lack of ability in the attacking area for Spurs has been quite notable this season, as Defoe and Adebayor, particularly, have been unable to find their best form. Defoe has started his season brightly, netting a total of 10 times so far, being the clubs 2nd best goalscorer behind Bale, but has picked up an injury and hasn't been able to find his form since, while Adebayor is constantly being criticized for his abysmal displays this season.
Tottenham find themselves in the 4th spot at the moment, but with a tough schedule ahead, question remains: Can someone else step up and be a hero or is it all up to Bale?