On the ball: The new Bale, with a licence to thrill
We are seeing an evolving Gareth Bale (right). We”ve seen him play out-and-out wide left, but my dad thinks he”s got more to offer. Gary Speed played him in other areas for Wales and Gareth enjoyed that. His two goals last night came through central areas. When you are as good as Bale, you can play anywhere. He is world class. Why would you stick him out on the left where teams double up on him He is good enough to go looking for the ball. When he advances through the middle, it”s harder to mark him and he”s harder to stop.
Brazil star has all the power
Sandro has had to be patient for his chances this season with Scott Parker in such outstanding form. He hurt his knee playing for Brazil in the summer and then found himself out of the Spurs side. He”s a powerhouse of a player who is suited to the English game. He cuts out danger, gets around the pitch and could even play at centre half. He”s tall, quick and strong, and will be a regular for his country. Spurs need to give him regular games. As last night showed, Parker, Luka Modric and Sandro work so well together.
Where are the midfield goals
Strange to see so few midfielders in the top scorers” list. Frank Lampard has seven and Clint Dempsey (who can also play as an attacker) has six, but that”s it. Luka Modric has only one! Modern midfielders are rotated and expected to keep the shape for attackers such as David Silva (right) and Rafael van der Vaart. Gareth Bale (who has seven) isn”t included in this because he now has to be considered as an attacker too.
Slick Mick hoping for better days
Wolves should not be scrapping in among the relegation battlers. They are better than that, as they proved at Arsenal yesterday. When you look through the quality in their team, including goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey, they should be heading towards the top half. Surely they must go on a run soon to show what they have got. With a decent centre forward like Steven Fletcher scoring regularly, they shouldn”t lose as often as they do. Mick McCarthy must tear his hair out.
Little Britton a real star of the show
Leon Britton (right) has played in every division for Swansea since my dad let him go from West Ham. His pass completion is sensational (94.1 per cent), even when it is congested in central midfield. He is an example of how the game has changed; 10 years ago he would have been crushed by midfield monsters, but when he has the ball at his feet, he is a giant himself. Brendan Rodgers seems to trust him to control the tempo on the pitch and he makes them tick. I like watching him play and I like watching Swansea play.
Mackie is back in the groove for Warnock
It”s been a long way back for Jamie Mackie, after the terrible break he suffered at Blackburn last season. He”s a bright spark in the QPR team and popular with Neil Warnock. The QPR team have changed a lot since he was injured mid-way through last season and they now have money to spend on players. But he continues to prove his value to the team and scored an important goal at Swansea to end a run of three successive defeats. I”m pleased for him.