Luis Suarez 18’ 34’ 49’ Wigan 0 - Liverpool 4 Alex Livesey/Getty Images Europe Et tu, Bale?
The morning blog - Next level
Bale does it again
Sitting in our college apartment, watching intently, desperately hoping (well, personally) for the gap to fourth place to narrow, I said these exact words to my friend, a Tottenham fan, before it happened: “He can’t do nothin’ from here.” At this point, I should have known better.
As you may have gathered, unless you’ve somehow managed to evade Sportcenter’s Top 10, Twitter, and every friend that falls into the 25-and- under age demographic, Gareth Bale definitely did something on Monday night, adding another spectacular, unbelievably impeccable, incomprehensible-tweet prompting (i.e. “OMG, BALE ahhh mkmsnfsdxsgds”) game-winner to his collection this season.
His wonder goal only serves to intensify the well deserved hype surrounding the Spurs winger this season and strengthens the argument of him being one of the best players in world. In truth, he has a long way to go before he breaks that mold. He is still, strangely, bewilderingly and extremely, one-footed — not every defender will back off and show him his left — and his general play overall has to improve (positioning, link up play, decision making, etc). Long term though, that’s not a worry, especially if he works at it as much as he has been with his free kicks.
What’s more important, however, is that on his way to becoming that top player, Gareth Bale has skipped levels of development and jumped to being the most crucial type of footballer there is: the match winner. The fact that he’s done that almost renders every flaw that he, and his team, has irrelevant. Quite frankly, who cares what you do for 90 minutes as long as during two of them you’re doing something brilliant? Right? No, not convinced yet?
Well, consider the following:
The conference finals have debuted in contrasting ways
Let’s be honest, it’s been a pretty ordinary postseason up to this point. Sure, we’ve had a few lengthy series, and some pleasant surprises along the way. Not many thought that a seemingly star-less Nuggets team could push Lakers to seven, and not many foresaw the Sixers doing the same against Boston. On the same token, Lebron James and Dwayne Wade were expected to step up in their do-or-die Game 3 against Indy, yet their legendary second half performance still brought a heightened wow factor to proceedings.
Overall however, the playoffs have indeed been pretty average. The usual amount of star power has been lacking, while the series that have gone the distance are unlikely to become ESPN classics anytime soon.
But alas, the real playoffs have arrived, doing so in a highly intriguing fashion. And what the NBA’s second season has lacked in excitement it has already begun to make up for with the start of the conference finals.
AC Milan v Juventus, Lyon v PSG, Spurs @ Arsenal, Carling Cup final, Napoli v Inter, Bayern v Schalke, Atletico v Barca
There are not enough TV’s in the world to enjoy this weekend
Props to the FA, who despite wanting the League Cup to maintain importance, have allowed the North London derby to remain scheduled for the same day.
I was not aware such levels of incompetence were attainable.
Just seen London Times writer Tony Barrett retweet someone reporting that Eden Hazard has agreed a summer move to Tottenham.