March 11 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, February 28, 2013
Tottenham’s Gareth Bale believes manager Andre Villas-Boas has played a significant part in his development and says the Portuguese has a more structured and tactical approach than predecessor Harry Redknapp.
Bale established himself as a star player under Redknapp but his game has improved immeasurably since Villas-Boas took the reigns during the summer.
Having previously operated as a winger, the former Southampton player has proved even more devastating through the middle and has almost doubled his goal tally from the 2010-11 season with at least 13 games to play.
He told Sport magazine: “Harry was more ‘go out there and play how you feel and express yourself’. With Andre, there’s a certain shape and a style we play.
“I think Harry was more free and let you do what you want. Andre does that too, but there’s a lot more tactical work.
“I think it’s something that’s good to learn. We’ve done well this year and I think that’s down to our defending as well as attacking.”
Villas-Boas and Bale face a huge test of their Champions League credentials this weekend when they face Arsenal at White Hart Lane.
Spurs will move seven points ahead of their bitter rivals in the race for Champions League qualification if they win.
Tottenham were thumped 5-2 in the reverse fixture three months ago, thanks partly to Emmanuel Adebayor’s early dismissal.
Bale thinks the big defeat will have no bearing on the outcome of Sunday’s match against the Gunners, who have finished above their neighbours every year since 1995.
Bale added: “I don’t think the 5-2 score really affects this game. We had 10 men for 73 minutes, which isn’t easy - especially at the Emirates against probably one of the best footballing teams.
“We just want to take all three points in this one, especially being at home. It’s a massive game and Arsenal are probably the one team we want to beat more than anything.
“[We’ve] got stronger every year since I’ve been here. I think the standard of players is going up and up. We’re still progressing now, and hopefully there’s a lot more to come.”