TOUGH FIRST GAME

Tottenham midfielder Gareth Bale has said that he is extremely excited about the start of the new season. The fixture list for the 2012-13 Premier league season was recently revealed.

Tottenham have a tough opening match, which will test them to the core according to Gareth Bale. Tottenham be taking on Newcastle United in the first match of the season, but they will not be having this match at home. Due to the fact that this match is being played at the St James’s Park, it is not being viewed as the ideal match for getting three points in the opening fixture for Tottenham.

Gareth Bale, who has been linked with a move away from the club in the summer, has said that he does not think about losing the opening match of the campaign, but is extremely looking forward to the match against Newcastle.

Newcastle United came extremely close to testing Tottenham in the closing stages of the season for the final fourth place. However, Tottenham managed to sneak past Newcastle in the final few matches of the campaign to finish in the fourth place, although they were denied an opportunity to play in the Champions League later.

“It’s important to get off to a good start. It will be difficult, especially away from home, but it’s a good early test for us. Newcastle had a fine season. No-one really expected them to be right up there and maintain it throughout the season. They all worked hard, they worked together and that counts a lot in football. They’ve some great players and it will be a case of keeping those players quiet and trying to impose our game plan,” said Gareth Bale after the announcement of the new fixture list for the 2010-13 Premier league season.

BALE WILL STAY

Former Tottenham player Alan Mullery has said that he expects Tottenham to retain the services of Gareth Bale beyond the end of the season.

The Tottenham midfielder has been linked with a move to either Barcelona or Real Madrid in the summer, with both teams looking at the possibility of playing around £ 30 million for the exciting winger. Due to the fact that Tottenham have now missed out on the Champions League for next season, many have been predicting that it will be very tough for the London club to keep hold of stars like Gareth Bale and Luka Modric.

They faced tough competition for their star names in the summer after missing out on the Champions League. Now, it will be the second consecutive season without top-level European football, which will be tough to digest for the stars at Tottenham. Luka Modric came extremely close to signing for Chelsea in the summer transfer window for £ 40 million only for Tottenham to convince him to stay for another season. Alan Mullery expects only Luka Modric to depart the club in the summer, while they can keep hold of Gareth Bale for another season with the promise of Champions League football at the end of it.

“They have got into a situation where they may lose one or two of their best players, and there are going to be lot of questions asked over the next few weeks. The one person who has got to remain strong is the chairman and my belief is that Daniel Levy will. I think big clubs will come in and if huge sums of money are submitted, like if someone bids £40million for Gareth Bale, there is always a temptation to sell,” said Alan Mullery regarding the future of Gareth Bale.

MORE DEFENDING PRACTICE NEEDED

Legendary AC Milan defender Paolo Maldini has said that Tottenham’s star player Gareth Bale is a very good player, but he does lack in the defensive area of things. Paolo Maldini is regarded as one of the greatest defenders of recent times and he represented AC Milan for more than 20 years at the top level.

However, he is of the opinion that Gareth Bale may be extremely good at in terms of the attacking sense, but he needs to learn defending as well in order to be one of the absolute greats in world football. Gareth Bale has definitely come of age since Tottenham appointed Harry Redknapp.

He has been one of the main reasons for Tottenham continuously challenging for the Champions League football in the last few years. He initially started out as a left back when he was originally signed from Southampton for around £ 8 million. There was a time during his career when he simply was not able to be on the part of a winning team mainly because of this poor defending. It consequently led him to be dropped from the team altogether, but the arrival of Harry Redknapp revealed his career. Instead of using him as a left back, Harry Redknapp used him as a left winger.

This move paid off great dividends, as Gareth Bale has been one of the main players for Tottenham since then. “Most left-backs now are converted midfielders, much more likely to attack. The rule is: if you cannot get back, you must not go forward. The current best specialist is Marcelo, who gets it right in both areas. Bale [has been] unmasked: [he] knows only how to attack. Just like [Milan’s Urby] Emanuelson,” the former Italian international mused to Il Corriere dello Sport.