Tough love turned Bale into a star, says ex-Tottenham boss Redknapp
Former Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp has revealed it took a bout of tough love to get the best from Gareth Bale, according to the Daily Telegraph.
Writing in his autobiography - which is currently being serialised by the Daily Mail - Redknapp revealed he believed that Bale, then a left-back, was not aggressive enough to play in defence, having worked with the Wales international between 2008 and 2012, when Redknapp was sacked from his post at White Hart Lane.
In that four-year period, Bale become one of world football’s most dangerous players, eventually moving to Real Madrid this summer for a world record fee after catching the eye as a goal scoring winger, with a particularly prolific spell in his final season at Tottenham. Redknapp says he pushed Bale to a more advanced role because he was “too soft” to be a competent left-back.
“He was always getting a little knock in training,” Redknapp wrote in his book. “He’d go down then limp off, and I always thought the physios made too much fuss of him. It was the same pattern every morning: Gareth would tumble and stay there, and they’d all go running over. In the end I told them just to leave him alone.
“Gareth got up, got on with it and got better and better. It was all about building up his confidence.” Redknapp added that Bale paid too much attention to his hair in training, but admitted he was always confident Bale had the technical ability to succeed if he could match it with more fortitude.
Bale went on to score 26 goals in his final year as a Spurs player for a total of 55 in 203 games, having scored only six times in his first 76 appearances. He later netted on his Real Madrid debut.
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