Why they all seek young Saint with the sweetest left foot
Gareth Bale was first spotted by Southampton at the age of nine. By the time he reached secondary school his left foot had become so good that his teacher banned him from using it when football was played in games lessons.
“We had to make up special rules Black Leather Prada Milano Purse for him,” says Gwyn Morris, the head of PE at Cardiff’s Whitchurch High School. “In a normal game we had to limit him to playing one touch and he was never allowed to use his left foot. If we didn’t make those rules he would have run through everyone, so it was the only way we could have an even Authentic Prada Handbags Uk game when he was involved.”
Over the past year Bale’s talent has flourished to About Prada Products make him Wales’s youngest-ever international at 16 years 315 days and, with Manchester United leading the hunt, the Championship’s most wanted young player. According to Southampton’s manager, George Burley, he has the potential to surpass Ashley Cole as the best left-back in Britain.
Bale’s Wales Amancio Prada Prada team-mate Craig Bellamy says: “We’re so lucky that he’s Welsh. We’ve got a real player, a real force for the next 14-15 years and someone who is really going to excite Welsh football.”
Matthew Le Tissier, who played alongside Wayne Bridge at Southampton when the left-back, now with Chelsea, was 17, rates Bale as the better prospect at that age. “Most of Southampton’s forward play comes from his impetus at left-back,” he says.
Bale’s strengths are his energy and stamina rather than electric pace, allied to the sweetest of left feet. It is a combination which allows him to patrol the left flank with deadly efficiency. He has scored six goals for club and country this season; five have australia prada come from free-kicks in and around the Bergdorf Goodman Prada Mens Shoes penalty area and, although he must improve the defensive side of his game, it is this attacking talent which sets him apart.
An ability to strike a football up and over a wall with power and accuracy has prompted comparisons with David Beckham. Like Beckham in his younger days, Bale is known for his willingness to spend hours alone after training honing his free-kicks. Georges Prost, the technical director of Southampton’s academy, says: “The first time I saw Gareth play was when he was 13, in my first year here. He was playing as a left-winger then and had such a lovely left foot. Repetition is the best way to improve – the more repetition you have the better, and I often saw Gareth taking free-kick after free-kick in his own time.
“All Authentic Prada Fairy Bag Sale that practice gave him accuracy and made him believe, and now he takes them with so much confidence. He hits them with pace and a lovely technique.”
Bale’s willingness to work at his game underpins another asset which is certain to have been noted by Sir Alex Ferguson. Unlike Theo Walcott, his former room-mate at Southampton’s academy, it was not always assumed by staff at Saints that he would make the grade so he has already shown an ability to overcome setbacks. Indeed, although he has played for Southampton at every level there were doubts about whether he would have the physique to succeed. He now has a 10m valuation and yet Saints considered making what would have been the costly mistake of releasing him at the age of 15.
Rod Ruddick, who manages Saints’ satellite academy in Bath, recruited Bale at a Welsh Under-9s six-a-side tournament in 1998. “Between the ages of 14 and 16 he had growth spurts which affected his mobility and strength,” Ruddick says. “He had a horrendous three years because he had a couple of injuries as well. But because of his character he kept going. There was some doubt whether he would get a scholarship but I never had any doubts about him. You could see from an early age he had something special.”
Initially Bale had Authentic Prada Vitello Daino to be encouraged by staff at the academy to come out of his shell and speak more, but his stature and confidence on the pitch have grown substantially over the past year and he has been unfazed Agatha Ruiz Dela Prada Shoes Sale by his elevation this season to All Prada Nylon Bags first-team regular.
“Gareth has come on in the last few months and filled out a bit,” says Saints’ captain Claus Lundekvam. “He is just going to get better and better and his attitude on the pitch is excellent. He is still very, very young – he has only been in the frame for about six months. It’s very easy to forget that he is young.
“He’s come on so strongly lately, he is playing like an adult who has been playing Are Prada Nylon Bags Worth The Money for a long, long time. The gaffer has done tremendously with him and he can be as good as he wants to be.”