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

L

ove it when Jose accuses others of being defensive, cynical and playing to win. If I was Wenger, I'd get that quote laminated and framed - surely the biggest compliment he's ever received from Mourinho. You've got him riled Arsene - you're relevant again!

suarez_blind
Mourinho blames pitch, weather for defeat

I

t's wrong to be making a joke out of Bender's name at the expense of gay people. It's the kind of childish, uncivilised thing that Football365 would deride and ridicule if it was another media outlet saying. Why is there a need for jokes like this? Does it make your writers feel like men? F365 might suggest that I 'lighten up', but it is genuinely traumatic for people who have been oppressed all their lives to be the butt of jokes, and to be told...

anamsport
The Beeriod Gossip

Y

ou can't blame De Gea for wanting to leave, he has enough to do in front of goal as it is as well as taking on the role of Man Utd's version of Derek Acorah in trying to contact and organise a defence that isn't there.

rodger's gusset
Van Gaal downbeat on De Gea

Footer 365

Everton duo John Stones and Kevin Mirallas picked up knocks on Sunday

Roberto Martinez has reminded Chelsea that Everton are a "big club with nine league titles" - and do not need to sell John Stones.

Arsenal 1 Chelsea 0: Gunners win Community Shield

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scored as Arsenal won the Community Shield with a 1-0 victory over Chelsea, with Arsene Wenger finally beating Jose Mourinho.

Jose Mourinho blames pitch and weather after Arsenal beat Chelsea

Jose Mourinho was critical of the weather and the Wembley pitch after "the best team" Chelsea lost 1-0 to Arsenal in the Community Shield.

Mail Box

Not Just A Friendly. This Had Meaning...

Arsenal fans are very excited about beating Chelsea (don't remind them about last year), while there is criticism for BT and a football fan tired of being screwed by TV...

Neville Has It Wrong On Chelsea...

One Mailboxer says that the Neviller has it slightly wrong on Chelsea. Plus thoughts on sexy Saints, pre-season reviews, Connor Wickham and televised analysis...

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