Tottenham: Gareth Bale injury casts doubts over top four finish
Tottenham opinion: Gareth Bale's absence gives Arsenal, Everton & Chelsea a renewed sense of optimism
I wouldn’t wish an injury on anyone, especially not a player of Gareth Bale’s quality.
This season he’s lit up the Premier League with some of his displays. The man’s a force of nature, he’s won matches single-handedly at times but his injury couldn’t have come at a better time for the neutrals - or fans of Arsenal, Chelsea, Everton and Liverpool.
Bale will be back in training within two weeks, Tottenham have confirmed. This is great news for Andre Villas-Boas' side, but in two weeks it might be too late.
The next two games are critical for Tottenham’s season. Two wins and they can secure Champions League football, two losses and they can all but kiss that dream goodbye. Not to mention the fact that if Arsenal beat West Bromwich Albion this weekend, Spurs could fall behind their arch north London rivals again.
You have to say that Tottenham had a much better chance against Everton and Manchester City with Bale than without. His movement has always been excellent but over the last season he’s added another element to his game.
He can beat players, make space and then hit balls, which have a way of finding the top corner, like no other player in the Premier League at the moment. So it is a huge loss for Tottenham. Whether or not they can beat Everton without him remains to be seen. But for me, City will be too strong for a Spurs side without Bale and so it's important he's back in time for the clash on 21 April.
Assuming Arsenal wins this weekend, they’ll be two points behind them with a game in hand. That’s got to bring back some awful memories of last season when, 12 points ahead, Tottenham capitulated to drop out of the Champions League places.
Chelsea too have something to gain from this, they could overtake Tottenham and finish safely in third, by beating Sunderland and then Fulham.
A draw for Everton at White Hart Lane won’t be enough, but if all the other results go their way Everton could end up with an outside chance of securing a top four finish.
An injury for any player is horrible, and I wish Bale well with his recovery, but coming at this time of the season, it adds a bit more excitement to the already fiercely competitive race for the top four.
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