Profile of Gareth Bale…
Name: Gareth Frank Bale
Position: Left Winger / Left Back
D.O.B: 16th July 1989
Club: Tottenham Hotspurs (Spurs)
- PFA Championship Team of the Year: 2006-07
- Football League Young Player of the Year: 2007
- FAW Young Player of the Year: 2007
- E.ON Player of the Round: 2009–10 5th Round
- Premier League Player of the Month: April 2010
- Tottenham Hotspur Football Club ‘Young Player Of The Year’: 2009–10 / 2010–11
- Wales Player of the Year Award: 2010
- BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year 2010
- BBC Wales Carwyn James Junior Sportsman of the Year Award 2006
- PFA Premier League Team of the Year: 2010–11
- PFA Players’ Player of the Year: 2010–11
Best Moment: Scoring a hat trick against Inter Milan in the Champions League
Gareth Bale started his promising career at Southampton in 2006 as a 16 year old boy to become the second youngest player to play for the club, the youngest being that of Theo Walcott. Bale’s first ever goal for the club came on the 6th August the same year, a stunning free kick got the score level to 1-1 against Derby County.
Bale went on to play a total of 45 games for Southampton during two seasons and managed to score 5 goals before being sold to Tottenham in May 2007 for a final figure that reached £7m after an early settlement.
The following season Bale signed a new 4 year deal with the club and was presented the number 3 jersey, but was later dropped from the squad in favour of Assou-Ekotto after some poor performances.
Fast forward to the 2009-2010 season and Bale had started to show some great promise, especially towards the end of the season,which see him named Player Of The Month for April. He then signed a new 4 year deal with the club as a reward for helping Spurs reach the Champions League through the qualification process.
2010/2011 season and Bale was on fire, especially with some impressive wins in the Champions League in which he set up all four goals when they played Young Boys as they beat them 6-3 on aggregate after losing the first game 3-2. He then went on to score an amazing hat trick against Inter Milan after being 3-0 after just 35 minutes at the San Siro. The return leg he set up 2 goals and Spurs knocked Inter out of the competition with a 3-1 win at White Hart Lane. He was later handed the Player Of The Year (PFA) Trophy on 17th April 2011.
After an impressive season Gareth Bale has been linked to numerous clubs including Chelsea and Manchester United. Tottenham however will be keen to keep the Welsh wizzard at all costs.
So who is going to win next season’s Premier League crown???
Lets break it down into the teams who I think are most likely to be up there at the end when it matters most!
We all know how good a team they are, no matter the problems they have and their top players retiring, you know United are going to be up there near the top what ever happens.
- Fergie has been busy in the summer transfer window and is keen to freshen up his squad after some key players retired last season.
- Ashley Young and Phil Jones have already been signed, with Wesley Sniejder and Luka Modric being eyed up.
- Alex Ferguson as their manager!
- The partnership between Wayne Rooney and Hernandez should hopefully kick off were it began, with Berbatov and Owen waiting in the wings on standby.
- The youngsters in the team look as good as ever, the twins Rafael and Fabio and Chris Smalling among them with Danny Welbeck and Fabio Macheda who have been out on loan for much of the season
- Next year will be a test though as a few of their more experienced players have now retired including Gary Neville, Edwin Van Der Sar and Paul Scholes.
- Ryan Giggs has one or two more seasons left, but his problems off the pitch towards the end of the season might have an affect on the Welshman’s game.
- Rio Ferdinand is also in football terms ‘getting on’ and his back injury could see the defender missing a few games next season.
- With the new transfers there could be some ill feelings in the squad, especially with Nani who has more competition now and was left out by Fergie against Barca in the European Cup final at Wembley.
- Berbatov becoming angry at not getting enough game time with the new partnership up front creating all the headlines.
The arrival of Guus Hiddink looks a real possibility and that could be the difference this year, plus their billionaire owner has said he will pump a reported £150m into the football club for fresh players.
- A new manager is just what the club needs, and if Hiddink gets the job then the players already know his style as he was caretaker manager for the team a few seasons back
- John Terry and Frank Lampard calling the shots
- I think Fernando Torres will have a good season under the new manager and he will hit at least 15 goals for the blues
- The arrival of some fresh players will ignite the team
- If they can hang on to Didier Drogba, then I think they can put up a pretty good title challenge
- They lost it last season and had a poor string of results, when they lose their first game this term then the players might have flashbacks of last season and go on a downward spiral.
- Bringing in the wrong players could unsettle the older members, and Drogba and Anelka could be fighting for a place to get in the team.
- Cech, Terry and Lampard are not getting any younger, and some of the more quicker players in the league could take advantage of this.
- They might concentrate more on winning the European Cup rather than the Premier League.
Expected to be busy again in the transfer window, they now have one of the most expensive teams in the world, and after getting their first trophy in years by winning last years F.A Cup, they have now got a taste for silverware.
- Their team is covered with superstar players, their bench alone is the envy of most managers.
- The money the team have to play around on the transfer market.
- Getting into the Champions League for next season is a massive bonus and will attract more major players and revenue for the club.
- They will have more desire to win the league next season after tasting success in the F.A Cup.
- Carlos Tevez has vowed not to return to the club next season, which is a bad loss for the City squad as he was one of their best players and got a lot of goals along the way.
- With a ‘super squad’ many players wont want to be left on the bench and they could lose some valuable players by this.
- Balotelli blows hot and cold and Kolo Toure is out for at least 6 months with a drug ban.
They way they play, the Gunners should have won a lot more in recent season but they always seem to chuck it away like last season.
- Jack Wiltshere had a fantastic season for the club and he is going to be even better this time around.
- The way they play, they pass most teams off the pitch.
- They have a good bunch of youngsters coming through the ranks.
- With Cesc Fabregas saying he is happy at the club will bring a relief to the fans and squad for now.
- Rumours of Fabregas and Nasri, and a host of other top players not being happy by the lack of silverwear could mean them going elsewhere in the summer.
- The way they lose to the smaller teams, especially last season. They seem to give up too easily
- Their defence and goalkeeper problems. They need to buy two good central defenders and a reliable goalkeeper if they are to at least make a challenge for top spot.
These are the 4 teams capable of winning the League next season, I also think that Liverpool and Tottenham will be up there as well, but I don’t think they can win it next year. Liverpool could be in with a shot the following season if they can add to their players and build it up over the coming games and gel as a team. Spurs however have a lot to do, but a top four finish for either teams will be possible.
My League Prediction:
- Manchester United
- Manchester City
Football Training – Shooting
Although this is mostly for strikers and attacking players, it will help all outfield players to be good at hitting the target. To win a game you must obviously score goals, so being able to shoot properly is a big factor in football. We’ve all seen it, a player one on one with the goalkeeper and he blazes it high or wide, and leaves with an embarrassed look on his face and a furious manager. In training he would of probably buried it, but on the actual day in front of fans with your league status or cup run at stake, some players can crumble!!
So how do you improve your shooting??
Well as stated in the previous sessions accuracy, you will need to practice hitting a target with the football. And not just a 10 minute kick about, you will need to do this day in, day out if you are serious about being a good footballer.
OK so gimme some simple methods I can use…
- If you have a goal then good, if not improvise and use coats/jackets etc, oh and you need a friend! let your friend be the goalkeeper and practice one on ones with him, both start running towards each other at the same time, and try and take the ball round him and score
- Alternate the above method, and try and slot the ball past him just before he gets to the ball. These methods will help you out in a real match and improve your reaction times.
- Like stated in accuracy, find an empty bin and lay it on its side, then shoot at it from different distances and try to get the ball in the bin
- Practice at your goalkeeper with side footed shots and then shoot using your laces to get the feel of different shooting techniques, a side footed shot will often be more accurate, but a laces shot will have more power and often swerve more, thus tricking the goalkeeper.
- When taking laces shots remember to keep your body balanced and your head forward, or you risk over hitting the football and kicking it into space.
- Remember though to have fun whilst training, if you keep missing shots do not give up. Keep your head down and keep doing it over and over and you will get there. Practice makes perfect as they say.