Bale is ‘very content’ at Spurs, says Tottenham and Wales legend
PUBLISHED: 11:58 27 March 2013
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Tottenham and Wales legend Cliff Jones says Gareth Bale is “very content” with life at Spurs, and he expects his countryman to stay at White Hart Lane for the foreseeable future.
Jones was widely considered to be the best left winger in the world during his playing days, leading to obvious comparisons with Bale.
The 23-year-old’s stunning form has led to speculation that he may be tempted abroad this summer – but he has just signed a three-year deal to be an ambassador and a pundit for BT Sport’s Premier League coverage, and Jones feels Bale will stay with Spurs, regardless of their final league position.
“Gareth is very happy with Tottenham,” said the 78-year-old. “You can put him up there alongside the likes of [Lionel] Messi and [Cristiano] Ronaldo at the moment.
“He is very happy, not only in the football sense but with life as well. He is very content, he’s had a baby daughter and he is very happy with his family life. His girlfriend is a Welsh girl and they like to get down to Wales.
“Of course Gareth and everyone linked with the club wants to be in the Champions League and he wants to be playing football at the highest level, but I think he will be at Tottenham for a while yet.”
Jones, who scored 159 goals in 370 games for Spurs from 1958 to 1968, added: “For me Gareth has been the best player to watch this season in the Premier League – but there have been a number of key players for Tottenham.
“[Mousa] Dembele has been quite impressive and [Michael] Dawson has always been a terrific player. Sandro is another great competitor and it was a shame he got injured. He reminds me a little bit of Dave Mackay – total commitment with a will to win. That is important to have in the side and he’s got it in abundance.”
Spurs are now preparing for Saturday’s trip to Swansea, and Jones will be an interested observer, having played for both clubs.
The winger moved from the Welsh outfit to Tottenham in 1958 and went on to win the Double under the great Bill Nicholson in 1960-61. Despite the divided loyalties, there is no doubt who he will be supporting this weekend.
“Both sides have had really good seasons up to this point,” said Jones. “Swansea have done fantastically well and are playing really attractive football.
“They’re a team that people like to see, and of course they won the League Cup as well so it’s been a terrific season for them in their centenary year.
“Tottenham have also been playing some great football and some very attractive stuff, but the week before the international break the wheels came off so we need to get back on track, starting at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday. I want to see them get the three points there, so I’m not sitting on the fence at all in any way.
“Tottenham need those points far more than Swansea, so I’ll go for a Tottenham win – hopefully - which they need to keep them in those top four places and to stay ahead of Arsenal as well, and perhaps even get third.”
Spurs won the European Cup Winners Cup 50 years ago in 1963 and Jones, who played a major part in that success, feels that Andre Villas-Boas’ current side are capable of achieving European glory this season.
“We certainly have the ability to go and win the Europa League,” he said. “Just recently we’ve let things go a little bit defensively - we were right on top against Liverpool and made two silly mistakes and gifted them the game.
“It wasn’t a very good defensive performance away against Inter Milan either, so we need to tighten up the defence and then we will start to get the results that we need.
“We have the ability, we have the team that can go on and win that trophy. We have Basel in the next round and, with two good results against them, there is no reason why we can’t go further.
“I don’t think you want to start looking any further than that. Take each game as it comes now - I’m sure that’s what the manager is saying to the players, and he has said all along that we’re in it to win it.”
The Spurs Show Live with Phil Cornwell returns to the 100 Club for its end of season party on Wednesday 22nd May. Special guests to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of our European Cup Winners Cup victory are Spurs Legends Cliff Jones and Terry Dyson. Tickets are available from www.wegottickets.com/100club/event/198441
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