Gareth Bale may have seen the light at the end of the tunnel in Real Madrid‘s game against Real Sociedad, using his frightening pace to outpace Kevin Rodrigues before deftly chipping the ball over Geronimo Rulli to make the score 3-1, but there are still things he needs to improve upon.
The 28-year-old winger has failed to recover his best form at Real in recent months, but the goal was reminiscent of when he first arrived in Spain, using his pace and power to get on the scoresheet.
While he scored, it was not a trademark performance by Bale as he continued to look on a different wavelength to many of his teammates, yet he has retained the faith of head coach Zinedine Zidane.
The first half at Anoeta showed that Bale was disconnected from the team, looking to go wide while his teammates made moves through the middle, while he only touched the ball 43 times in the 90 minutes. He began the game as a false striker alongside Borja Mayoral but failed to find a rhythm with his strike partner.
Bale made too many backwards passes and was often wasteful when he attempted to dribble at the Real Sociedad defenders. He also tried starting moves from far too deep, meaning that it was difficult for him to either get a shot away or to create something when he did receive the ball. For Bale to succeed, his teammates need to find him in space.
The return of Cristiano Ronaldo to the line-up in the Champions League tie against APOEL helped Bale as he had a player to find and created two assists in the match as a result, while it also allowed him more space to roam. The imminent return of Ronaldo to LaLiga matches will likely see the Welshman’s impact in matches increase.
Real Madrid have now scored in 73 consecutive matches, which means that rival teams must score at least one goal if they want to take anything away from Los Blancos. And when opposition pushes forward, that leaves space in behind their defence and that is where Bale becomes most deadly, with his goal on Sunday coming after a long ball of Isco which saw Bale run 73 meters, reaching a top speed of 35 km/h.
In the game against APOEL, whistles were once again heard against Bale but his teammates came to his defence. When he was substituted, some sections of the crowd booed but, poignantly, Bale’s teammates applauded; something that will go a long way with the player himself. If he truly recovers his best form, the whistles will soon be forgotten.
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vibehubs.com | credit:marca.com |The five things Bale must improve on to recapture his best form.