Martin Keown's Premier League bootroom: Bale It's just like watching Barcelona…
22:59 GMT, 22 February 2013
01:25 GMT, 23 February 2013
Gareth Bale is an incredible talent. I watched Barcelona play this week and I thought how nicely he would fit into that team.
If he were playing for Arsenal there would be a lot of talk about: 'Can they keep him'
But it doesn't apply in the same way at Spurs, where he's on a long-term deal.
The real deal: Gareth Bale has been in world-beating form at Tottenham of late
Class act: The Spurs winger fires in a freekick against Lyon in the Europa League
Last season Robin van Persie was the best player in the Premier League, so Manchester City tried to buy him.
But he went to Manchester United instead and now they are benefiting from that switch in power.
Bale is in the same bracket: the sort
of player who makes things happen. It will be Bale who decides if
Tottenham can finish in the top four.
They need to make sure he stays fit
and it will be a delicate balancing act with the Europa League. I think
he is one of the best players in Europe right now.
Running with the ball in full flight,
there are not many better sights in football. He looks like he could
take off. I also like the defiance in his game.
When his team are losing he is
providing the answers. He's also been working hard at his free kicks,
which means he's thinking hard about his game and trying to improve in
Tottenham have other good players:
Emmanuel Adebayor, Jermain Defoe and Mousa Dembele, who has added power
to the Spurs midfield, but they are all playing cameo roles compared to
Their manager, Andre Villas-Boas,
said this week that he has yet to unlock Adebayor's potential and I
agree. Maybe he just needs to understand him a bit better.
You have got to keep Adebayor hungry
without showering him with too much praise. He improved more than any
other player who has worked under Arsene Wenger.
When he came to Arsenal he was an
incredible athlete but his finishing was wayward, his touch wasn't clean
and he struggled to get that big frame around the pitch.
When he left he looked like a world beater. I think Adebayor needs to benefit from this period of stability at Tottenham now.
The manager needs to get behind him but the Togolese striker also needs to push himself, just like Bale has done.
FIFA have finally agreed to use
goalline technology at the 2014 World Cup. Isn't it ridiculous it has
taken them this long It won't be the end of the debate, though.
Instead of analysing TV replays, we will argue about the accuracy of the technology.
We also need to educate people that the whole of the ball has to be over the white line for it to count as a goal.
Keep your hair on, Fellaini
Marouane Fellai ni thinks he gets booked so often because of his flamboyant hairstyle.
Sorry Marouane, but it's nothing to do with your hair: it's your reaction that counts against you.
He is seldom the first offender when
the cards come out. I felt sorry for him in his spat with Ryan Shawcross
but he has to learn not to react.
Keep your hair on: Marouane Fellaini
You have to be able to look after yourself but you just can't rise to it – although I was sometimes guilty of that, I admit.
P.S. Arsene Wenger has accused his
critics of 'superficial analysis', but I would love to know his thinking
behind the triple substitution he made against Bayern Munich.
I've never seen him do that before.