“Steady” Gareth could come back to haunt Swansea boss Rodgers
The world is raving about Gareth Bale but the manager with the task of finding a way to bottle up the “unplayable” Tottenham star on Saturday remembers when he was just “steady”.
Swansea manager Brendan Rodgers was in charge of Chelsea”s academy between 2004 and 2006 and remembers one game against Southampton”s youngsters.
“Bale was playing left back – he was not a stand-out player,” said Rodgers. “They had Nathan Dyer, Leon Best, Dexter Blackstock, Adam Lallana and guys like that. Bale was steady.
Welsh wizard: Bale (left) returns to his homeland on Saturday
“Then, when he first went to Tottenham, he didn”t get in the team. He nearly left.”
Times have changed and Rodgers must contend with that as Swansea look to halt a slide that has seen them win only once in their last eight games.
The manager”s job has been made harder by an ankle injury to right back Angel Rangel, who has only an outside chance of being fit to tackle Wales star Bale.
“That”s a challenge we must face,” said Rodgers. “But Tottenham have quality everywhere. They have a number of top players. I know Scott Parker very well from my time at Chelsea. He is a real good lad, an honest player with quality. You have Sandro alongside him who has also done very well.
“Steady”: Rodgers came across Bale when he was a young left-back at Southampton
“In front of them, in that diamond, you have Emmanuel Adebayor, whose movement and quality on the ball is there to be seen. Rafael van der Vaart has big quality and then you have Luka Modric.
“Modric and Bale are two genuinely world-class players. Any of the top teams would want to take Bale if he was available. We will be asked serious questions but that”s our job.”