Belfast Telegraph

Bale happy to take the hits

Tottenham talisman Gareth Bale has no problem being kicked by Barclays Premier League defenders - as long as referees keep sending them off.

The past eight days have seen Liverpool's Martin Skrtel and Wigan's Steve Gohouri both shown red for bringing down the flying Bale, who has looked looked virtually unstoppable in recent weeks.

The Welshman told Spurs TV Online: "It's not nice but I suppose it's a compliment when you're playing well and people want to drag you down. There have been two sent off in the last two games, so they can keep kicking me if they want as long as they get sent off."

Manager Harry Redknapp has urged officials to continue protecting his prized asset from over-zealous defenders.

Bale has become renowned for his lung-busting runs, devilish crosses and spectacular strikes, but Saturday's 2-1 win at Wigan saw him demonstrate another string to his bow as he headed home Luka Modric's corner.

"We've been speaking about making runs from corners," said Bale after what was his first Premier League goal since New Year's Day.

"It's always good to get you head on it and get a goal. Hopefully, I can score a lot more, on the floor and in the air."

Bale's new-found aerial prowess could not be worse news for Arsenal, who are set to be the winger's next opponents if he is rested - as expected - for the Europa League game with Shamrock Rovers.

The Gunners, who have a disappointing defensive record from set-pieces, travel to White Hart Lane on Sunday for the first north London derby of the season.

Bale said: "It's a massive game, even for the fans. We need to keep looking to win, get on a run, keep looking up the table. Hopefully, we can post a good win going into the international break."


From Belfast Telegraph