Bale’s Spurs struggles prove that Zidane & Madrid were right to dump him

Carlo Garganese
Carlo Garganese Updated: 19 May 2021 15:43 BST 3 min read
Bale’s Spurs struggles prove that Zidane & Madrid were right to dump him

When Gareth Bale completed his return to Tottenham on a season-long loan from Real Madrid, a number of Spurs favourites queued up to hail the transfer.

Mauricio Pochettino, Peter Crouch and Ben Davies were just a few of the names who believed that the Welshman would once again light up north London – having scored over 50 goals in his first spell at the club.

Bale was coming off a miserable final season at Real Madrid where he had fallen out with both coach Zinedine Zidane and the Spanish media. He had also become something of a pariah within the Blancos dressing room.

On the pitch, he had struggled with injuries and form. He made just 16 La Liga appearances in 2019-20, scoring two goals and registering just two assists for a team who won the title. He also failed to score in Europe.

Some defenders of Bale blamed Zidane for the poor campaign, saying that the Welshman would show his real quality under a coach, Jose Mourinho, who wanted him.


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  • However, things have failed to improve at all this season for Bale. Again, injuries have hampered the 31-year-old this term as he missed 11 matches for Madrid and Spurs due to knee problems between September and October.

    Bale has failed to gain the trust of Mourinho and has been afforded only one start in the Premier League – a 1-0 win over West Brom back at the start of November.

    In total, between club and country, he has managed only two goals and two assists in 13 matches. Indeed, at his current rate, he is set to score less goals this season than the six in all competitions he managed last campaign for Madrid and Wales.

    His other key statistics are very similar to what they were while at Madrid last season. He is averaging more key passes per match (1.31 compared to 0.86) and slightly more shots (2.6 to 2.2) but far less crosses (0.54 to 2.8), slightly less dribbles (3.2 down from 3.5) and one less challenge a game. He is making more tackles, though, as Mourinho demands more pressing from his attackers (1.38 up from 1.14).

    But as his uneventful second half substitute appearance in Sunday’s 2-0 loss to Leicester proved, he is not justifying the whopping €22 million wages that Tottenham are set to fork out for him this season.

    He is not even shining in the Europa League, scoring only one goal in his six starts – despite Tottenham storming through their group with 15 goals and 13 points.

    He is a shadow of the player who scored 26 in his final season at Tottenham in 2012-13 and the player who starred at Madrid for so many years.

    Zidane’s decision to force Bale out of Real Madrid has most certainly been justified based on the first half of this season.