Bale is unjustly criticised and can still be vital for Tottenham - Davies

Gareth Bale, Tottenham, Europa League 2020-21
The 31-year-old has played a limited role at Spurs this season but his team-mate is confident he can help turn their form around

Tottenham left-back Ben Davies believes Gareth Bale is harshly criticised and is confident the winger can play a key role in the team's bid to climb up the Premier League table.

Bale has started just two of the eight Premier League matches in which he has featured since he returned to the north London side on loan from Real Madrid.

The 31-year-old has been the subject of a lot of criticism since he first joined Madrid in 2013 and some pundits, including former Spurs star Dimitar Berbatov and manager Glenn Hoddle , have been disappointed by his input this season.

What has been said?

Davies told reporters: "When you have players of his quality, the levels he has reached in the game, whether it be Gareth Bale, Cristiano [Ronaldo], [Lionel] Messi, everyone has a story about them being great now or poor the next day or not reaching the heights they have reached.

"Gareth has had a lot of criticism, probably unjustly, when he was at the top of his form. He is an incredibly tough person to have to deal with some of the stuff he has had to deal with off the field and still perform the way he has throughout his career. 

"Even after four Champions Leagues, what he’s done for the national team, what he did for Real Madrid, he still gets questioned about his ability. That must be tough to take. I think he deals with it pretty incredibly. He is a terrific footballer and a great bloke."

He continued: "Expectation is all opinionated. You might have had a different expectation to what I had. Gareth is Gareth. He always gives his best and I think we have seen in games this year, he has scored goals and made assists. He has got the quality there. I am sure we will see it for the rest of the season."

Spurs' slump

Tottenham have won just one of their last six matches in the Premier League and have dropped to ninth ahead of Sunday's match against Burnley.

Davies is confident his side can turn their fortunes around and has tipped Bale to make an impact.

"We want to finish as high as we can and we certainly don’t want to be where we are now. This season is a bit mad to be honest. It’s very up and down," he said.

Article continues below

"If we go on a little run, and it doesn’t need to be too drastic, we can be back in the mix. It has been very strange, it is definitely a blip but one we want to put to bed now and turn it around.

"We all know the quality Gareth has and we are going to have a lot of games where he is going to be vital for us. I am looking forward to seeing him out on the pitch."

Further reading