What exactly are the qualities that make for a world-class central midfielder? Now I don’t mean a solely defensive midfielder as such. Or for that matter a flair player with no defensive attributes. Let me explain.
Qualities in no particular order;
ENGINE: For me he must be able to run all day long. His lungs taking in oxygen as though there’s no tomorrow. Yet still the opposition cannot keep him shackled.
FIRST/SECOND TOUCH: Being able to bring instantly under his control any balls laid into him. As we all know those extra few seconds of time can make the world of difference in how you play the game.
VISION: Taking in the movement of those around you. Being able to play it safe or pick that killer pass.
LEADERSHIP: Should you “lead” by example or by the vocality of your personality. Either way a good midfielder can become a great one should he have this quality.
GOAL SCORER: something that will get you noticed for sure. But yes it is a string that will add to your bow.
TACKLING: Breaking up play as professionally as you create it.
Now then the reason I ask you these questions is simple. But before I carry on here is one more. What would you say Gareth Bales better position is?
For those of you who wish to continue with him as a left-sided winger I say that’s fair enough. He plays well there in fact so much so that he has become one of the worlds best players in that position. Though he has been marked out of games that he really shouldn’t have been.
You might also be of the mind to side with Harry who would see him long-term as a left back. Giving him more pitch to run in to, though for me you would indeed lose a lot of his positive impact on the game should he play in that role.
Now then here’s my thought. For a while now I have been pondering how Bale could utilise his talents more. After all being either a winger or left back you are usually on the periphery of the game, and with someone like Bale you want him involved as much as possible. Though if you were to move him in-field where you could appreciate more often those talents mentioned above, surely then this would aid both the growth of Gareth and Tottenham Hotspur.
Where would you like to see Gareth, pushed out on the wing where you can double up on him,giving him no room to move? Or further back in a predominantly defensive position, where he has even less impact on the game?
Or how about smack bang in the middle of the park where he has all the room in the world to run at you. Powering into the box with the ball at his feet?
ENGINE: Probably one of his biggest assets. He’ll run that midfield all day long with those powerful lungs of his? This was also one of Vieira’s main talents.
FIRST/SECOND TOUCH: Another of Gareth’s qualities is his ball control giving him time in an area of the pitch renowned for the lack of such. Something Patrick had in his locker too.
TACKLING/VISION: Breaking up play before spraying it out with that lovely left foot of his? Vieira was also renown for his defensive game.
GOAL SCORER: Then there’s the goals. Gareth has scored thirteen goals in eighty-two appearances for Spurs from set pieces or coming in from that wide position. And five in forty for Southampton. So we know he is capable. Now how many would that be where he involved more in the play? Whereas Patrick Vieira scored forty-five in four hundred and fifty-six games.
LEADERSHIP: Now I saw him encouraging Emmanuel Adebayor on Saturday after he wanted to come off with that facial injury. Seeing him running down the opposition would also inspire me where I on the same team. So he does have these qualities too. And I’m sure much more to come.
Yes there will no doubt be an argument against him moving in-field. There may also be people wondering why I’m comparing Gareth to Patrick, one of Arsenals Greatest ever players. Well its simpley for that reason alone. He was one of the best players to grace the Premiership and so is Gareth.
As you know points of view are always welcome here. However all I ask is the next time you watch Spurs and you see Gareth move inside with ball possession,where he drives at the opposition defense just consider, could this be the new Welsh Patrick Vieira.