Garde: I'm a big fan of Bale

Remi Garde wishes he had been alerted to Gareth Bale's talents earlier - so he could have tried to lure the Tottenham winger to Lyon.

Last Updated: 13/02/13 at 20:22 Post Comment

Remi Garde: Admits Bale is the man his players must stop

Remi Garde: Admits Bale is the man his players must stop

Lyon travel to White Hart Lane on Thursday knowing they will have to stop Bale if they are to stand any chance of making the last 16 of the Europa League.

The 23-year-old has scored five goals in his last four matches to take his tally for the season to 19 - comfortably his best return since he made his bow in 2006.

Garde, Lyon's manager, needs no reminding of how deadly the Welshman can be. The 46-year-old was informed about Bale's talents by former Lyon youth director Georges Prost, who held the same post at Southampton from 2002-2007 when the winger was at the south coast club.

Back then Bale was just a gangly left-back, but Prost was still convinced the wide man was set for stardom.

"Georges Prost worked with Gareth as a youngster at Southampton," Garde said.

"He told me a few years ago about him, but he was about 16 at the time and he had already made his debut for Southampton. He was a young man but he was already expensive then, too expensive.

"Prost told me how quick he was then, how much skill he was blessed with even at that age, so it's not a surprise to me to see the top form Gareth has been in. "He is the sort of player that we do need to keep an eye on tomorrow."

This is the first time that Garde has returned to north London since his playing days with Spurs' bitter local rivals Arsenal.

Garde joined the club from Strasbourg on the same day as Patrick Vieira arrived from AC Milan in 1996, but both players' careers then took very different paths.

Vieira went on to become a Gunners icon, winning three Barclays Premier League titles, but Garde left three years later having made just 27 starts.

Although he only had limited playing time at Arsenal, Garde remembers his years at Highbury fondly and he admits the fact that this game is against the Gunners' biggest rivals adds an extra edge to the occasion.

"I can't deny that when I wore the red shirt of Arsenal the matches against Spurs were important moments for me," said Garde, whose team arrive in London on the back of two 3-1 defeats.

"It was important to beat Spurs and I suppose in truth those feelings are still there in my head now, even though that page in my career has turned now."

Spurs and Lyon are linked by goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, who joined Andre Villas-Boas in a £12million move last summer.

Lloris has been in superb form of late, but Villas-Boas revealed today that Brad Friedel will start in goal ahead of the France captain, much to Garde's disappointment.

"I suppose it's kind of a regret (that Lloris is not playing). It is for all of us," Garde said.

"He was very much loved at Lyon. He made a big impression.

"He was a great guy so it would have been nice to have the experience of coming up against him, rather than just seeing him in the corridor."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

m not sure about this distance covered malarky, plus that stat comes with *since February attached to it, that's just 1 month. I mean I have 27 open cases I'm 'working on' at the moment but believe me others with 10 cases work harder than I do. I just got back from a pub lunch, scampi and chips (+4 pints) in case you were wondering.

hurler
Wenger defends Ozil

C

isse should have appealed and explained that it was just a retaliation, just like Matic did. Apparently the FA are ok with retaliation.

Triangler
Cisse accepts FA charge

L

ove this guy. He's one of the few surviving players that I remember so vividly from Football Italia and Gazetta on Saturday mornings and Sunday afternoons.

HarryBoulton
Francesco Totti - The King Of Rome

Footer 365

Mesut Ozil defended by Arsene Wenger after Paul Scholes criticism

Arsene Wenger claims Paul Scholes "would have loved to play with Mesut Ozil".

Football Association names Martin Glenn as its new chief executive

The Football Association has named Martin Glenn as its new chief executive.

Arsenal's Gabriel Paulista out for up to three weeks with hamstring injury

Arsene Wenger has confirmed that Arsenal defender Gabriel has been ruled out for up to three weeks with a hamstring injury.

Mail Box

Why All The Hate For Robin Van Persie?

One Mailboxer can't work out why everyone is having a pop at Robin van Persie. Plus FA Cup anticipation, changing relegation, a Friday song and more Totti love...

Is Sissoko's Neck Very Distinctive?

Moussa Sissoko features in a really quite bizarre Distinctive Physical Features XI while we have mails on sexism, Angel Di Maria and Francesco Totti. Ramdom.

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company