Redknapp: Bale unplayable
Published 28/12/2011 | 07:22
Manager Harry Redknapp hailed the "unplayable" talents of Gareth Bale after watching the Tottenham winger rip Norwich apart at Carrow Road.
Shorn of their two first-choice full-backs, Norwich had to put out a makeshift back four and Bale took full advantage, scoring both goals in the 2-0 win which puts Redknapp's team within seven points of the top of the table.
The Spurs boss said: "I played him and Rafa up there, rather than sticking him out on left wing because when he picks it up and runs at you through the middle and he pops up in positions between midfield and defence, it's difficult to pick him up. When he finds those holes he is unplayable."
The 22-year-old latched on to Emmanuel Adebayor's pass to put Tottenham ahead in the second half before scoring an exquisite lob after racing half of the pitch to seal the win for the visitors soon after.
The brace took Bale's tally to eight for the season and came as part of a changed formation which saw the former Southampton man play closely off the shoulder of targetman Adebayor, with Rafael van der Vaart occupying the same role on the Togo striker's other side.
Redknapp was delighted to see the move pay off and admits no-one can stop Bale when he is in such devastating form.
He added: "I like it when he plays there. I just think sometimes when he stands out wide people go and mark him and then it's difficult to get him in the game sometimes. Once he turns and runs with it like he did for the second goal, he is unstoppable. There was no catching him. He did ever so well. He is a special talent. He has everything."
Norwich acquitted themselves in the first half, but rarely tested Spurs goalkeeper Brad Friedel. The closest they came to scoring was in the second half when Andrew Surman floated a free-kick just wide of the American's goal.
Canaries boss Paul Lambert admitted afterwards that his team were no match for Tottenham.
He joked: "Spurs are poor aren't they? I thought we gave a good account of ourselves but we were against a team who are vying for the Premier League title and who are looking to quality for the Champions League. Bale is top class. He did ever so well. I was disappointed with the goals we conceded but you have to remember who we were playing against."