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

E

ven if United were to sign CR7 & Messi to play upfront, the fact remains Fletcher and Cleverly are playing in midfield. That's where the problem is. Fletcher is too slow with an awful pass, while Cleverly is simply rubbish

mrunited4life
Di Maria - A Signing of Necessity, or Opportunity?

T

hese days, these days, you can't say something racist without somebody saying that you're a racist.

tk421
'Wrong' Views Not Silenced By Shouting...

D

rop Rooney (he's so disappointing, overrated and overpaid), and play Di Maria and RVP upfront, much like the set up at the Netherlands team with Roben and RVP...

eric bush3
Di Maria - A Signing of Necessity, or Opportunity?

Footer 365

Champions League: Emergency keeper sends Ludogorets through to group stage

Emergency keeper Cosmin Moti saved two penalties as Bulgarians Ludogorets Razgrad made the Champions League group stage.

Arsene Wenger confirms injured Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud will be out until New Year

Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud is unlikely to play again this year after having surgery on his injured ankle.

Villa and QPR shocked, Leeds lose

Aston Villa were shocked 1-0 at home by Leyton Orient in the Capital One Cup second round, while QPR lost at Burton and Bradford beat Leeds.

Mail Box

Should Kagawa Play Ahead Of Mata?

That's one question posed in the afternoon mailbox, although it looks like the Japanese playmaker could soon be on his way. Plus, tipping Palace to go down under Warnock...

Well, This Isn't Going That Well Is It?

Plenty of fall out from Manchester United's shambolic 4-0 League Cup defeat, plus thoughts on Van Persie, Arsenal strikers, Benik Afobe, Celtic and Astroturf...

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