May 23 2013 Latest news:
Saturday, February 9, 2013
Manager Andre Villas-Boas claimed Gareth Bale quitting Tottenham would have equal consequences to Lionel Messi leaving Barcelona after the Wales international earned his side a 2-1 win over Newcastle.
Bale was in red-hot form at White Hart Lane, scoring both of Spurs’ goals as part of a scintillating one-man show which was worthy of the hat-trick he was denied twice at the death by opposing keeper Tim Krul.
The brace took Bale’s goals tally for the season to 19 for both club and country - comfortably his best ever return - and his form looks set to carry Spurs into the Champions League places at the end of the season.
As a result of his continued brilliance, he has been linked with moves abroad for the last two seasons and a clearly irritated Villas-Boas today insisted that would not be happening, comparing any possible exit to that of Messi from Barcelona or Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid.
“Obviously, we have spoken about that at length and are not going to go through it again,” the Portuguese said.
“Most teams have to hang on to their best players, Barcelona losing Messi would be a disaster, Real Madrid losing Ronaldo would be a disaster so this is exactly the same.
“Teams are dependent on great organisation and also great individuals when they are able to express their football to the maximum.”
It is often said that every player has his price but, in a league where buyout clauses do not exist, Villas-Boas does not expect his club to feel the need to cash in.
“There isn’t a release clause in English football, it’s very difficult to negotiate with Tottenham as you know and we are not willing to let our best assets go. We can’t turn this into a debate every time a player does well,” he said.
Villas-Boas sported a T-shirt at his post-match press conference which read ‘Get Well Soon Joe’, a message to the son of goalkeeping coach Tony Parkes, who was involved in a car crash this week, and dedicated the win to him.
“It was a great individual performance and it was outstanding to see a player enjoying his football. Gareth is, whatever position he plays,” he said.
“Great teams are made of great individuals too and Gareth is decisive. I am happy for him and this is a win we want to dedicate to Tony Parkes and Joe his son, as Joe tries to hang on to his life.”
Bale put Tottenham ahead with a fifth minute free-kick and then won it 12 minutes from time with a wonderful solo effort that started on the halfway line.
In between times, Yoan Gouffran levelled for Newcastle although he was later carried off following an innocuous challenge with Kyle Walker.
The France international received oxygen on the pitch as he was treated and manager Alan Pardew is hoping his January recruit has not suffered a break.
Ultimately, though, it was Bale who was the difference, helping Tottenham extend their unbeaten Premier League run to 10 games - their last defeat coming at Everton on December 9.