TEAMtalk comparison: Bale v Walcott

Former Southampton Academy team-mates Gareth Bale and Theo Walcott went head to head on Sunday - and TEAMtalk evaluates their displays.

Last Updated: 03/03/13 at 21:42 Post Comment

Gareth Bale and Theo Walcott: We evaluate their displays

Gareth Bale and Theo Walcott: We evaluate their displays

Both Bale and Walcott are having decent seasons on the goal-scoring front so we decided to put them under the microscope for Sunday's north London derby, which Tottenham won 2-1 to pull seven points clear of Arsenal.

TEMPERAMENT

With his superb form, it was no surprise to see Welshman Bale look to get on the ball as early as possible. However, the Spurs midfielder was initially well marshalled as Arsenal often doubled up to try to nullify his threat. However, Bale would not be caged and first moved out wide before then cutting back into the middle, where his off-ball running helped open Arsenal up just before the break.

Deployed wide on the right, Walcott was keen for possession, but often lacked support when attacking the last defender. However, the England forward stuck to his task and produced a fine free-kick to set up Per Mertesacker's header which pulled a goal back at the start of the second half.

LINK-UP PLAY

As expected, everything went through Bale as Spurs recovered from a poor first half-hour. Often drifting through midfield, out wide one minute and then coming into a more central role, Spurs fed off their talisman and made the most of Arsenal's static back line to strike a double blow just before half-time. Bale again was key as Spurs looked to hit Arsenal on the break, with a superb diagonal pass releasing Jermain Defoe clear.

Walcott put a shift in down the flanks, but was given little options by his team-mates when in promising positions around the penalty area. After some poor deliveries in the first half, the 23-year-old finally found his range with a good free-kick, which Mertesacker glanced in on 51 minutes.

FINISHING

Bale coolly despatched his first real opportunity to give Spurs the lead just before half-time, latching onto a perfectly-weighted pass from Gylfi Sigurdsson to guide the ball into the far corner. However, the Welshman's radar was off in the second half when be blasted a cross from Benoit Assou-Ekotto high over the bar after arriving late at the far post then shot straight at Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny with a fierce volley.

Walcott was hustled out of the one chance which did come his way in the first half, unable to get a shot off from just inside the penalty area. He headed a right-wing cross over on the hour before smashing a late 25-yard free-kick wide. Other than that, it was a frustrating afternoon of slim pickings for the 18-goal forward.

TEAMtalk Facebook Fan Page

The TEAMtalk fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

C

lassic management. Build them up and then knock them back. Raise expectations and then dampen them. Create a dynamic where by you demand the most from your team, but where the team are given room to manoeuvre unexpected or unwanted results. Classy work by Van Gaal, he really reminds me a lot of me. A smart cookie, make no doubt.

hump3.
Van Gaal: 'I struggle for first three months'

H

e will be the England left back for ten years or more, and then you will have to thank MUFC for that. *smiles*

london saint
Shaw: Criticism spot on

P

urely because of that little diva moment he had last night, I don't want him coming to my club. DESTROYED ? Grow up and give something back to the club that helped put you up there on the world stage.

bale doubt
Saints' Schneiderlin stalemate

Footer 365

Diego Costa gets two assists Chelsea's 3-1 win over Vitesse Arnhem

Diego Costa grabbed two assists as Chelsea beat Vitesse Arnhem 3-1 on Wednesday

Women's football: Natasha Dowie says Fara Williams can earn 200 caps

Fara Williams has enough ability to earn 200 caps for England, according to Liverpool Ladies team-mate Natasha Dowie

Women's football: Dunia Susi and Rachel Brown-Finnis out of England's game with Sweden

England Women’s boss Mark Sampson has been hit by two withdrawals from his squad ahead of Sunday's game against Sweden

Mail Box

Divock Origi Is Like Connor Sammon (Sort Of)

One Mailboxer inserts his tongue into cheek to offer his thoughts on Liverpool's newest signing. Plus thoughts on league-owned clubs, badges, and swearing...

Mails Come From A Land Down Under

We have an example of league-owned clubs from Australia while Kiwi boys want more respect for refs. Plus, Van Gaal won't stick with 3-5-2 and worried if Koeman will cut it...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property