‘Tough’ Gareth Bale is ‘unjustly’ criticised, believes Tottenham and Wales team-mate Ben Davies… and full-back says the on-loan Real Madrid winger will be ‘vital’ in top-four bid
- Gareth Bale scored in both legs of Spurs’ Europa League win over Wolfsberger
- Ben Davies described Bale as ‘incredibly tough’ to deal with intense criticism
- Spurs have gone from being title contenders to fighting to stay in the top half
- The north London club have lost five of their last six Premier League games
Few players attract an ever-changing narrative like Gareth Bale. One moment he’s the forgotten man at Real Madrid, finished under Zinedine Zidane and pretending to be asleep in the stands with a face mask over his eyes.
Then he’s the Prodigal Son back at Spurs, set free and ready to show the vintage Bale the Premier League remembers. Blink and he’s struggling for starts with Jose Mourinho raising questions over his fitness and Instagram posts.
Now, look. Goals in both legs of Tottenham’s Europa League victory over Wolfsberg. Assisting Spurs’ only goal in their defeat to West Ham. With Mourinho’s side in torrid form in the Premier League, all of a sudden, Bale could be the one to give them hope. The narrative has changed again.
Gareth Bale is starting to find form for Tottenham after his loan move from Real Madrid
Spurs left-back Ben Davies (right) says team mate Bale has received a lot of ‘unjust criticism’
‘When you have players of his quality, the levels he has reached in the game, whether it be Gareth Bale, Cristiano, Messi, everyone has a story about them being great now or poor the next day or not reaching the heights they have reached,’ said Tottenham and Wales team-mate Ben Davies.
‘Gareth has had a lot of criticism, probably unjustly, when he was at the top of his form. He is an incredibly tough person to have to deal with some of the stuff he has had to deal with off the field and still perform the way he has throughout his career. Even after four Champions Leagues, what he’s done for the national team, what he did for Real Madrid, he still gets questioned about his ability. That must be tough to take. I think he deals with it pretty incredibly. He is a terrific footballer and a great bloke.’
Just two Premier League starts is not what Spurs fans would have hoped for since hordes of supporters flocked to the club’s training ground to welcome their former star back with a fanfare.
Jose Mourinho has seen his side go from title contenders to scrapping for a European spot
‘Expectation is all opinionated,’ said Davies. ‘You might have had a different expectation to what I had. Gareth is Gareth. He always gives his best and I think we have seen in games this year, he has scored goals and made assists. He has got the quality there. I am sure we will see it for the rest of the season.’
Mourinho will hope so. Five defeats in their last six in the Premier League. Talk of title contenders just a few months ago has turned into a scrap not just for Europe but to stay in the top half.
‘We want to finish as high as we can and we certainly don’t want to be where we are now,’ said Davies. This season is a bit mad to be honest. It’s very up and down. If we go on a little run, and it doesn’t need to be too drastic, we can be back in the mix. It has been very strange, it is definitely a blip but one we want to put to bed now and turn it around.
‘We all know the quality Gareth has and we are going to have a lot of games where he is going to be vital for us. I am looking forward to seeing him out on the pitch.’