The pictures were hardly comforting to Spurs fans, Gareth Bale being stretchered off the White Hart Lane field, plastic splint wrapped around his lower right leg, head in hands in apparent emotional and / or physical distress.
Were Spurs fans watching their team’s chances of retaining top four EPL positioning dwindling before their very north London eyes?
Bale rolled his right ankle near the end of Tottenham’s 2-2 Europa League draw Thursday with Basel. Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas told the BBC there was “a lot of pain, but hopefully not as bad as it could have been.”
Even a short-absence could be damaging. A peek at the schedule shows why it’s a particularly tough time for Tottenham to go without their top man. Bale would seem unlikely to be ready for Sunday’s match at home with Everton, one of the pursuers for Spurs’ current hold on the Champions League berth.
Following next week’s trip into Switzerland for the back half of the Europa League quarterfinal series, Bale and his boys travel across London to meet Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, then have a week to get ready for Manchester City’s visit.
So Tottenham’s next three league matches are against teams sitting 6th, 4th and 2nd in the Premier League.
By the way, as far as “Bale as England Player of the Year,” he already has a pretty swanky endorsement. This is what none other than Zinedine Zidane said earlier this week about his personal choice (Bale):
He’s unique. He makes things look easy, his pace is frightening, his acceleration is unbelievable because of his ability to go through the gears in very little space. Plus, he’s very good technically which is also important. We mustn’t forget that he plays football very well!
“And he’s really impressed me. I’ve seen him two or three times live, including recently at Lyon, which wasn’t necessarily his best game, but where every time he got the ball he can surprise you.”