Could Tottenham Hotspur Cope with the Loss of Gareth Bale?

Sam Tighe@@stighefootballWorld Football Tactics Lead WriterDecember 12, 2012

Andre Villas Boas fears losing star man Gareth Bale (via The Sun) in the summer, and if it's not 2013, it's probably going to happen at some point.

The player himself has spoken of his interest in playing abroad (via The Metro), so with his departure inevitable, the question must be asked: Could Spurs cope without him, and what's the plan going forward?

 

Unique

Bale is a unique player who has changed a significant portion of his play over the past three years.

He was once the cursed left-back, with the Welshman making around 25 appearances for the White Hart Lane club without winning a single game. With Spurs 3-0 up, some would plea for Bale to be brought on in order to break the curse. It was as real as the Madden Curse, of course.

Now he's a monster.

Bale's immense blend of speed, strength and technical ability has made him close to a left-footed version of Cristiano Ronaldo.

Harry Redknapp utilised him strictly in wide areas, with star player Luka Modric controlling the middle, but Andre Villas-Boas has given Bale a freer role in midfield and allowed him to do what he wants.

He can shuttle, shoot, counterattack, come inside or stay touchline wide for a fizzing cross. He's their playmaker and so much more.

 

Belgian surprise

Of course if there's one man in North London that eases fans' concerns regarding Bale's possible departure, it's Moussa Dembele.

The midfield maestro is the glue that holds AVB's side together, and the team suffered greatly in his absence—losses to Manchester City, Wigan Athletic, Norwich City and Arsenal all occurred while he was sidelined.

He's a classic Martin Jol experiment, where the mad Dutch professor has transformed one of his player's natural position into a completely different one, with Dembele in particular moving from striker to defensive midfield.

 

Questions

Does the emergence of Dembele put to ease your concerns of losing Bale?

How integral to the side is he and how would you go about replacing him—a new tactical system or a like-for-like player?

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