Gary Neville has delivered his verdict on resurgent Tottenham Hotspur superstar Gareth Bale amid the latter’s upturn in form.
Expectations were high when the left-footed winger reunited with Tottenham last summer, but the 31-year-old has failed to live up to the challenge.
Bale returned to London to rediscover his mojo and re-establish himself as a difference-maker but has since found his first-team opportunities at a premium.
Jose Mourinho has handed his star forward just a handful of chances, fielding him from the first minute in seven Premier League matches to date.
Four goals and three assists in his last four games.
Gareth Bale is showing signs of his best 💪 pic.twitter.com/PdaiCEzrbe
— B/R Football (@brfootball) February 28, 2021
Not long ago, the Wales international looked destined to return to Real Madrid following an underwhelming loan spell at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
However, something has changed in Bale’s approach over the past few weeks as he is now becoming increasingly valuable to the London outfit.
After scoring in back-to-back Europa League meetings with Wolfsberger, he has carried his predatory form into the Premier League.
Bale’s master-class showing against Burnley on Sunday comes as a further confirmation of his resurrection.
The Welshman stole the spotlight away from Harry Kane and Son Heung-min, scoring two and assisting one in Tottenham’s 4-0 thumping of the Clarets.
Bale’s inspiring performances have prompted the Spurs supporters to believe their talisman could lead his side back into the top-four race.
Mourinho’s men bridged the gap on fourth-placed West Ham United to six points over the weekend and still have a game in hand on David Moyes’ team.
And if the world’s eighth most expensive player ever does manage to regain his best form, Tottenham’s chances of fighting their way back into the top four will grow exponentially.
Neville urges Bale to show more desire
Often criticised for his lackadaisical attitude and off-field antics, Bale has hit the headlines for all wrong reasons since returning to the Premier League.
His class and the ability to tip the scales have never been brought into question, but a lack of discipline and intent has prevented the Welshman from making an impact in the white jersey.
The pacey winger’s display against Burnley only highlights how talismanic he can be when he is at the peak of his game.
However, it takes more than one match to confirm that Bale is forcing his way back to European royalty.
Neville has urged the dazzling forward to continue to deliver similar performances week in, week out.
“A player as great as him, who has achieved what he has achieved, I do not get the feeling that he has been banging on the manager’s door – I do not think it is his style,” he commented on his latest podcast.
“I do not mean going to have an argument with the manager, but it is looking like there is a real intent to come on the pitch.
“You look at (Edinson) Cavani, when he was warming up earlier in the season when he was at United and was not playing, I got the feeling he was five minutes away from grabbing Ole (Gunnar Solskjaer) by the scruff of the neck and saying get me on that pitch.
“Whereas they are different characters, I know, but I just felt Bale was too nice, and it was too easy for him to sit there and watch.
“He’s got the experience and quality, and Tottenham are under pressure, and the team has struggled.
“[He should be saying] #I am here, get me on there now, and I will stop this rot. Kane missed a few games – I am the one who will stand up’.
“And now it looks like he is started to do that, but it has been needed. I have not seen that desperation in him to really come on.
“He is a brilliant player, and it is time now that he does deliver.”