The fact that we are still debating Gareth Bale’s best position makes it something worth looking into. At the age of 30, with 4 Champions Leagues under his belt, it seems bizarre that there is still debate surrounding how to get the most out of the Welshman. But it’s still up in the air after all this time.
Starting on the wing
When I was Juande Ramos’ assistant at Tottenham, I remember trying to convince him to play further forward. He played on the left, and his incredible potential stood out, something we thought he could exploit even more if he was closer to the goal.
Back then, he didn’t want to change position, as he told us he needed space to run forward and make the most of his pace. For me, his best performance was in the Champions League against Inter Milan, when he tore apart proven defenders like Maicon, Zanetti and Walter Samuel. At that point, I was managing Brighton and remember enjoying his destructive runs.
From left to right
Soon after he started playing further forward and continued to impress the whole league, which led to him signing for Real Madrid, becoming the most expensive footballer in history at the time.
He soon found though that in the Spanish capital, a certain Cristiano Ronaldo owned the left-hand side of the field, meaning he had to change his game and adapt to the right. And after 14 titles, including 4 Champions Leagues and 4 Club World Cups, it hasn’t done him any harm.