Premier League

February 9, 2013



2 - 1


Premier League

12:45 +00:00, February 9, 2013

White Hart Lane, England

AVB fears losing Bale

Manager Andre Villas-Boas claimed Gareth Bale quitting Tottenham would have equal consequences to Lionel Messi leaving Barcelona or Cristiano Ronaldo exiting Real Madrid after the Wales international earned his side a 2-1 win over Newcastle.

As a result of his continued brilliance, he has been linked with moves abroad for the last two seasons and a clearly irritated Villas-Boas insisted that would not be happening, comparing any possible exit to that of Messi from Barcelona or Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid.

"Obviously, we have spoken about that at length and are not going to go through it again,'' the Portuguese said. "Most teams have to hang on to their best players, Barcelona losing Messi would be a disaster, Real Madrid losing Ronaldo would be a disaster so this is exactly the same.

"Teams are dependent on great organisation and also great individuals when they are able to express their football to the maximum.''

It is often said that every player has his price but, in a league where buyout clauses do not exist, Villas-Boas does not expect his club to feel the need to cash in.

"There isn't a release clause in English football, it's very difficult to negotiate with Tottenham as you know and we are not willing to let our best assets go. We can't turn this into a debate every time a player does well,'' he said.

Villas-Boas sported a T-shirt at his post-match press conference which read 'Get Well Soon Joe', a message to the son of goalkeeping coach Tony Parkes, who was involved in a car crash this week, and dedicated the win to him.

"It was a great individual performance and it was outstanding to see a player enjoying his football. Gareth is, whatever position he plays,'' he said. "Great teams are made of great individuals too and Gareth is decisive. I am happy for him and this is a win we want to dedicate to Tony Parkes and Joe his son, as Joe tries to hang on to his life.''

Bale put Tottenham ahead with a fifth minute free-kick and then won it 12 minutes from time with a wonderful solo effort that started on the halfway line. In between times, Yoan Gouffran levelled for Newcastle although he was later carried off following an innocuous challenge with Kyle Walker.

The France international received oxygen on the pitch as he was treated and manager Alan Pardew is hoping his January recruit has not suffered a break.

"He's had an impact on his shin which was a nasty gash, he'd have probably come off with a gash anyway but it's whether there's any bone damage. He's gone for an x-ray and we cross our fingers that comes back okay,'' he said.

"I haven't seen it back. I think when you see a big gash it disturbs you as a player. The doctor was 50-50 from his experience of looking at it (as to whether or not it was a break).''

Ultimately, though, it was Bale who was the difference, helping Tottenham extend their unbeaten Premier League run to 10 games - their last defeat coming at Everton on December 9.

"I thought we contained him quite well. We didn't want to open up the goal to his left foot,'' Pardew said of Bale. "It's difficult, he's so quick and agile and works it on to his left side and you know you'll get a fantastic hit.

"That's the consistency he has. He has real fine technique and showed how dangerous he is.''

Scoring Summary

Tottenham Hotspur Newcastle United
Gareth Bale (5')Yoan Gouffran (24')
Gareth Bale (78')