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Is Gareth Bale the Best British Footballer Playing Today?


After an astonishing performance in Milan, there surely can’t be any doubt that the answer is a categorical yes. Who else is playing as well? Who else is having such a major impact? Who else has scored such a brilliant hat-trick on such a stage?

Had such a magnificent, irresistible hat-trick being scored by someone more high profile, someone more fashionable perhaps, he would be hailed as a new superstar. But Bale seems modest and unassuming. He is a workhorse with nuclear powered lungs and the work ethic of the Energizer Bunny.

Somehow, he seems to run as hard as fast and as direct in the last minute as in the first, leaving flagging defenders in his trail. His direct style of aggressive running, taking a man on and not only beating him but having sufficient composure to fire the ball three times unerringly into the corner of the net, beyond the reach of the keeper is thrilling, boys own stuff.

All the more astonishing that he was a left back for so long because he is so devastating as a progressive left-side midfielder.

It was interesting that after the game Redknapp was already on the defensive about keeping Bale at Spurs. He’ll know this performance will have revealed his talent for all the world to see and such talent will always attract the biggest, richest suitors.

At just 21 his career looks set to be a stellar one. There are so few players who come along with a game as irrepressible as Bale’s. It put me in mind of Rooney’s early days when he was an unstoppable force of nature, before being tamed into a more measured but less exciting player.

Hopefully Bale will continue to thrill us with such scintillating performances for the next decade and not end up in three years pissing in the street, smoking fags and bitching about his club’ s ambition.

The rise and rise of Gareth Bale is real British success story and one we should all rejoice in.

Editor’s Note: Johnny’s new book: “We Ate All The Pies: How Football Swallowed Britain Whole” has received the massive honour of being listed as one of William Hill’s Sports Book Of The Year 2010 – the biggest, most prestigious sports books prize in UK.

Buy it here via Amazon US or Amazon UK.

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  1. JoeLeeds

    December 15, 2010 at 11:35 pm

    everyone has completlely ignored alot of English national footballers John Terry, Chelsea’s star centre back, Arguably the best centre back in the world. Steven Gerrad, Champions League winner and runner up, God to many Liverpool fans the way they treat him. Joe Hart, Man City’s 23 yr old goalkeeper, he is only 23 and he is nearly as good, noitcie how i say nearly as Petr Cech, Buffon, Pepe Reina who are older than him couple of years he will be one of the worlds if not the world best keeper he has until he is 40 unless injury, he can only get better and FFS 23 YRS OLD and he is probably in the worlds top 10 if not top 15 and the worlds best under 25 keeper. I mean he’s up there but he isn’t the best british yet.

  2. Nazone

    November 3, 2010 at 10:20 am

    Gareth Bale is Welsh not English.. So he will never play for England.

  3. stefan

    October 24, 2010 at 6:11 pm

    Wilshere is a completely different type of player. Bale is a typically british player i.e very fast, strong, good crossing and shooting, Wilshere on the other hand will be a pure footballing genius. Comparing them is absurd

  4. Matthew

    October 22, 2010 at 8:59 pm

    I haven’t read any of the posts above but as a welshman I can say that gareth bale will last the difference and I really believe that he could be up there with the very very best in the world eventually. I remember being at the millenium stadium in about 2007 when the lad was about 18 and he was ripping teams apart at wing back. Suddenly old genius redknapp started playing him with absolutely no attacking threat and the world thinks hes awful! I cringed seeing him play left back with assou-akkoto ahead of him! (youtube a couple of crackers hed already put in for wales if u think im ranting!) Then wen harry realised his mistake, were lead to believe that hes been ‘discovered’, started showing ‘form’ or old harry has brought the best out of him! Southampton did the years earlier and spurs are luckt he kept at it before they ruined him, not improved him cos the talent has always been there and some….rant over

  5. jesse

    October 22, 2010 at 9:02 am

    bale is out of this world..he’s not scared of anyone..not even those inter thugs maicon or zanetti..thats why hes awesome… supporting spurs is never boring : )

  6. Gareth van der King

    October 22, 2010 at 7:22 am

    Funny how everyone wants to nominate a player from the team they support.
    Bale is worth much more than any of the others mentioned and its not even close.
    Football today is so much about pace and power.
    The machine is simply different class.
    and the boys is only 21.
    Yes I know the other Arse “kids” are young but neither has the size and strength of The Machine.

  7. JC

    October 21, 2010 at 11:43 pm

    I’ll take Joe Hart.

  8. Jack J.

    October 21, 2010 at 11:22 pm

    Right now Bale is the most in-form British footballer playing. Best? I wouldn’t go that far.

  9. Diriye

    October 21, 2010 at 5:33 pm

    Excellent player. No question he is playing better than anyone at the moment, may be the English Ozil, Wilshare, is close.

    I really think Real Madrid made a bad deal in overlooking Bale and bringing Di Maria for 25 million euro.

  10. lefthog

    October 21, 2010 at 4:19 pm

    If Jack Wilshere is the best british player at the moment than British football players must really really average.
    Dont get me wrong Wilshere is a good and immensely talented player but he is not even close to world class – yet. So far he has not done anything against the big boys.

    Agree on the article. Since this spring Bale has done it against all up and comers. Good teams, bad teams; small clubs, big clubs – dont matter, Gareth Bale has delivered.
    Too bad the welsh national team is in such a bad shape (he might share Ryan Giggs’ fate: no big tourneys)

  11. MennoDaddy

    October 21, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    Okay, granted, there’s an awful lot of hyperbole in declaring Bale “Best British Footballer.”

    But Bale’s run of form has been positively stellar so far this season. Last night was only the most recent example. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that Bale is playing as good (or better) RIGHT NOW than any other British footballer, and his name should be up there when you talk about the best British footballers playing today.

    Bale’s an outstanding talent. I hope he stays a Spur for a good number of years.

  12. Dave

    October 21, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    Stay on point people. No one is saying he’s rubbish but the best footballer in the UK? A bit hyperbolic me thinks.

    Maybe him being Welsh is taking away from his hype as people gush over Jack Wilshere, Adam Johnson, Theo Walcott or Josh McEachran but that doesn’t mean he eclipses them either. And goals aren’t a good litmus either.

    Besides this all changes week to week. The first few weeks of the season is all Theo Walcott and how he is finally going blossom and them on the play that got Rooney his first real goal in months he went down. Then it was all Adam Johnson, and now all about “Union Jack Wilshere” 24/7 as the Three Lions’ savior.

    My point is Bale hit his hat trick and now he’s the talk. And as Gaffer pointed out they’ve spoke of this before- but they have of Walcott and Wilshere too. So if they go and have phenomenal games this weekend should we expect a _______ is the best footballer in England right now type post?

    Lets these kids grow into their skins before we hand them the world I say.

  13. matt

    October 21, 2010 at 4:00 pm

    he scored one of the most outrageous volleys ive ever seen against stoke to, whether inter (triple title holders) were slightly switched off or not they were world class goals, also he creates havock for defenders in the best league in the world every week not just in europe

  14. Joe Chen

    October 21, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    People forget that Werden Bremen were down 4 goals and Inter didn’t allow them to bang in goals like it didn’t mean anything.

  15. remi online

    October 21, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    i really hope that you are could he be best british footballer?

  16. Rob

    October 21, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    I think you’d find that Bale is worth far more than Wilshire, Walcott or Johson. Bale is a far superior athlete, he’s larger, incredibly quick over distance and doesn’t get tired. His crosses are great and improving, and his decision making seems to be improving every game. I don’t mind people under-rating him, though, I’d like him to stay at Spurs for a while.

    • Phenoum

      October 21, 2010 at 2:35 pm

      wow, i’d bet on walcott in a foot race with bale any and every day.

      a ‘far superior athlete’? Really now…
      Wipe your drool son, your *purs are showing…

      • Rob

        October 21, 2010 at 4:29 pm

        I wouldn’t doubt that Walcott has a quicker first step, but I’d take Bale over distance any day of the week. Superior athlete in that he is able to move well despite a larger size, and he’s shown he has the upper body strength to keep people off him even while running at full speed with the ball.

        If Bale continues to play as he is and manages to improve where he can, I don’t think we’ll even have a debate here.

      • Rob

        October 21, 2010 at 4:41 pm

        I don’t doubt that Walcott has a quicker first step, but it would surprise me if he was as fast as Bale over distance.

        Bale’s shown himself to be an incredible athlete by making runs spanning from his half to the opposing goal from the starting whistle to injury time, and he’s strong. Time and time again he brushes defenders aside while sprinting full speed with the ball.

        I’m not saying he blows the others out of the water, but he’s clearly on the path to leaving them behind, as far as I’m concerned.

        • Darren

          October 21, 2010 at 4:52 pm

          I dunno. I have watched both play and as fast as Bale is… I do think Walcott is faster over distance. But then it hardly matters since Walcott tends to run into corners and cannot cross very well.
          Bale crosses the ball extremely well.

          • Rob

            October 21, 2010 at 5:39 pm

            Oops, double post…didn’t think the first one took…

            It would be interesting to see a side by side comparison between the two (Bale/Walcott) at full sprint.

  17. Bob

    October 21, 2010 at 12:53 pm


    • Doug

      October 21, 2010 at 1:34 pm


      • Thomas

        October 21, 2010 at 1:56 pm


        • MennoDaddy

          October 21, 2010 at 4:04 pm

          “This isn’t an argument! This is just contradiction!”

  18. Dave

    October 21, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    Um, no?

    Adam Johnson, Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott healthy are all far more talented. Also he scored 2 of those 3 after Inter had gone so far ahead made subs and were lallygagging.

    There’s no doubt Bale has promise but I don’t think he’s the best.

    I also personally believe that Josh McEachran (Chelsea) is a superstar in the making. Already at 17 his footwork is so effortless and natural. Reminds me of Henry the way the ball just sort of hovers at his feet when moving and how effortless his passes seem.

  19. Ian

    October 21, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    It does’t matter if you’re 4-2 up or 4-0 up, you defend like you’re losing 1-0!
    Inter’s defence coulnd’t handle Bale’s pace, plain and simple…..But best British player at the moment?…..some debate about that, indeed Wilshere has a shout in there, especially with his display against Donestk.

  20. nc

    October 21, 2010 at 11:32 am

    Bale is great. Take nothing away from his three goals against a good Inter Milan team. But two of those goals came when the game was in hand. The entire second half of that match was two sides going through the motions. If you want to make a case for Bale, I would rely too heavily on last night’s match. Does Inter’s defense allow those last two goals if the score is 1-1?

    • nc

      October 21, 2010 at 11:33 am

      sorry….”wouldn’t rely”

    • MennoDaddy

      October 21, 2010 at 1:27 pm

      Rubbish. Bale’s first two goals were carbon copies of each other, and both were absolutely magnificent strikes. And then to score again a minute later? Sure, he caught Inter off guard on his third, but that’s when teams are most vulnerable, right?

      All three were quality goals, and it doesn’t matter when in the game they come.

      • Robert

        October 21, 2010 at 1:56 pm

        Precisely because I agree that they were quality goals, I disagree that they don’t matter when they came in the match. I agree with nc–the strikes should be taken in context. They were individually brilliant goals against the run of play, in what appeared to be an Inter rout. Certainly he is in consideration for one of the top English players in the Prem right now, but at the same time, I didn’t necessarily expect the Inter players to track back intently as they might have with the game on the line. Had they come in a period of sustained build-up by Spurs, I imagine that Inter would have thickened up and attempted to prevent them.

  21. Phenoum

    October 21, 2010 at 11:30 am

    Didnt even read the article…


    That is all

    • Robert

      October 21, 2010 at 1:41 pm

      Thanks for your input, Phenoum. The level of discourse on this site is improved greatly by your comment.

      • Phenoum

        October 21, 2010 at 1:47 pm

        My comment is as well thought out as the title of this article.

        A guy goes and scores a hat-trick in a game that’s over and a blog writes a post about him being the “greatest english footballer playing today”??

        That’s absolutely absurd, and just goes to show how the media (and this site) blow single occurrence events waaay out of proportion. Eduardo diving, etc.

        So yes – a ridiculous overstating reactionary article deserves a ridiculous overstating reactionary comment.

        • Robert

          October 21, 2010 at 2:04 pm

          Thanks for your input, Phenoum. The level of discourse was actually, in this case, improved greatly by your comment.

          Phenoum, I agree with you! Bale’s performance, as great as it was, doesn’t make him the top British footballer today. But there’s a difference between criticizing the site for front-running and providing snap judgments (which, good lord, it does) and saying, “bwaHAHAHAHAHA!!!”.

        • The Gaffer

          October 21, 2010 at 2:04 pm

          Phenoum, we’ve been raving about how good Gareth Bale has been for months. Here’s some articles from spring 2010:

          The Gaffer

        • jason

          October 21, 2010 at 5:33 pm

          I question weather or not Phenoum has actually watched any football in the past 12 months. Also, if you are going to refute someones argument shouldn’t you at the very least have someone who trumps Bale?

          I can’t think of any British player, even though he is Welsh, that would fetch a higher transfer fee currently. He’s at the very least in the conversation as best current British player.

          • Phenoum

            October 21, 2010 at 5:39 pm

            I’m quite certain that both Theo and Jack would be rated higher than Bale in the market at full health – remember Theo’s start to the season?

            Sure he’s in great form at the moment, but let’s see how everything progresses over the season.

            I’m also gooner so there goes my objectivity 😛

            Besides – If Bale really gets up to speed his ear-o-dynamics will surely hold him back – no?

          • Up the Chels!

            October 21, 2010 at 6:28 pm

            Ashley Cole.

          • Jeff

            October 21, 2010 at 10:24 pm

            Theo and Jack? Give me a brake. Theo is so overated it’s ridiculous. He had a few good games in the beginning of the season – that’s it. And Jack Wilshire has a lot more games to play before we can make any judgment on him. Bale on the other hand has been one of the EPL’s best players for the last year.

          • Phenoum

            October 21, 2010 at 10:31 pm


            First off – if you want a brake – go hop in the car and pull on that lever.

            Secondly – what you JUST said about Theo can very well be the case with Bale in 6 months – just think about it. It’s been an ebb and flow with Theo, but assuming he can stay healthy – look out.

            And saying Bale’s been one of the best EPL players for the past YEAR is a bit much. He’s been solid yes, but one of the best? Up there with Drogba, Nani and the likes that would garner 30m+ on transfers? I’m not really quite ready to say that yet.

          • Jason

            October 21, 2010 at 11:04 pm

            Jack is definitely up there…no doubt about it. He’s had a great year thus far sans that red card. With that said you really can’t argue that Bale and him are both in the conversation which makes your initial post laughable….

          • Phenoum

            October 21, 2010 at 11:06 pm


            As an Arsenal fan I’m obliged to start off with that reaction 😀

  22. MJD

    October 21, 2010 at 11:25 am

    So I guess there’s gonna be a Rooney mention/bad joke in every article until January…

  23. Darren

    October 21, 2010 at 11:19 am

    You could certianly make an argument for Bale for being the most ‘inform’ British player right now.
    I would also insert Jack Wilshere into that discussion. Are there any other canditates?

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