Gareth Bale may not have it all his own way this time around

Gareth Bale was used to having it all his own way at Tottenham… but his brief cameo may have been football’s way of telling him it’ll be different this time around as chance to hit winner goes begging with West Ham netting three AFTER he came on

  • Tottenham let a three-goal lead slip to draw 3-3 with West Ham on Sunday
  • Gareth Bale made his return in the 72nd minute with his side leading 3-0 
  • It was his first piece of action since rejoining the club during the summer 
  • The Welshman’s involvement was scarce as his side threw away their lead

It was the last thing West Ham’s beleaguered players wanted. They’d just spent 72 minutes suffering at the hands of Harry Kane only to see Gareth Bale emerge from his seat on the bench, stripped and ready to come on for his second Tottenham debut.

His hair in bun and wearing the No 9 – 30 days after re-signing – Bale was back home, seven years after departing for Real Madrid.

As is it turns out, West Ham players and David Moyes didn’t need to worry.

Gareth Bale’s first game since rejoining Tottenham did not go according to plan

Bale was straight into the thick of the action immediately pulling rank to take the free-kick that allowed his introduction in place of Steven Bergwijn.

His strike from fully 35 yard was easily dealt with Lukasz Fabianski – even by Bale’s sky-high standards scoring with your first touch from a free kick is beyond realism.

Yet, there was a slight tinge of disappointment when Bale’s effort didn’t rocket past Fabianski.

It’s how Tottenham supporters remember Bale. Goals, assists – their very own Superman.

The 31-year-old forward came on in the 72nd minute with his side leading by three goals

He was super-human when he left to become a Galactico in 2013 – everything he touched turned to gold.

Things change, though. Indeed, it may be wise for Tottenham fans to temper their expectations of Bale.

At 31, it remains to be seen whether the Wales international can replicate those barnstorming performances that saw him become the hottest property in European football.

The Premier League certainly hasn’t got any easier as Bale found discovered first hand on his return to the English football.

Bale showed some glimpses of his former self but his involvement in the game was scarce

Spurs were 3-0 up when he came on, they were clinging on for dear life by the end as West Ham scored twice in in quick succession to set up what would turn out to be a phenomenal finish to the game.

Bale’s involvement was scarce as he came on, the majority of his time spent trying to thwart West Ham’s increasingly dangerous forays forward.

Yet, we were still treated to glimpse of his utter brilliance in injury time, Bale searing through the Hammers defence to see the whites of Fabianski’s eyes – only to fire wide when it appeared easier to score.

It was exactly what we remember of Bale. Power, pace and trickery – only the precision that was missing.

The Welshman and his side threw away their lead as West Ham pulled off a stunning comeback

But then Bale was served a cold reminder of exactly how unforgiving England’s top-flight can be.

Agonisingly close to 4-2; moments later Spurs had thrown it all away as Manuel Lanzini thundered home an audacious equaliser to leave Bale’s homecoming in tatters.

When Bale left for Spain, he was used to having all his own way. His 18 minute cameo maybe football’s way of telling him it’ll be different this time around.

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Gareth Bale joined by Carlos Vinicius in Tottenham training session

Gareth Bale steps up return to fitness following knee injury as he’s joined by fellow new recruit Carlos Vinicius in Tottenham training session under the watchful eye of boss Jose Mourinho

  • Gareth Bale has not made his second Tottenham debut yet due to a knee injury
  • Bale re-joined Spurs in the summer transfer window on loan from Real Madrid 
  • But he completed training ahead of a return after the latest international break 
  • He was joined by a smiling Carlos Vinicius who has joined on loan from Benfica 
  • They were under the eye of Jose Mourinho who will see the session as a boost

Gareth Bale began his journey back to full fitness after he was pictured in Tottenham training with fellow new signing Carlos Vinicius for the first time since the duo’s arrival.

The 31-year-old Welshman has yet to make his second Spurs debut after re-joining the club from Real Madrid in the summer window following a knee problem sustained on international duty last month.

But having returned to individual training a week ago, he appeared all smiles as he took part in collective training on Wednesday with Brazilian striker Vinicius, who arrived last week on a season-long loan from Benfica.

Gareth Bale and Carlos Vinicius took part in Tottenham training for the first time since joining

They completed the session unscathed under the watchful eye of Spurs boss Jose Mourinho

The 25-year-old – who arrives as back-up to Harry Kane – was also pictured equally as happy as his Welsh team-mate as he got a feel for his new surroundings and joined up with his new colleagues under the watchful eye of boss Jose Mourinho.

Vinicius had only featured twice for the Portuguese side this season before his move to the north London side, so it is expected he will need a few weeks to build his fitness before he can make his debut.

But he did not let the fact his first Spurs appearance may be a few weeks off distract him as he, along with Bale, completed the session unscathed and with a seemingly positive mood. 

Bale has yet to make his second Spurs debut due to a knee injury sustained on Wales duty

But he appeared to enjoy training with Mourinho’s men as he starts his journey to be fit again

Bale and Vinicius were joined by other Spurs stars including goalkeeper Joe Hart and forward Lucas Moura, who are in buoyant mood following the club’s 6-1 thrashing of Manchester United put them into sixth place in the Premier League table.

Bale hasn’t joined up with Wales to allow the forward to recuperate from his latest injury.

Ryan Giggs men’ are in action on Thursday when they are expected to take on an experimental side from Gareth Southgate’s England. 

But Giggs admits the absence of the Welsh fans will take the edge off his team’s bid to win at Wembley for the first time since 1977.

Vinicius also got used to his new surroundings after he arrived on loan from Benfica last week

Vinicius had only featured twice for Benfica this season so will need time to build up his fitness

‘It would have been so much better with fans, if there was a full house and thousands of Welsh fans coming to support us,’ said Giggs, who led Wales to qualification for Euro 2020. ‘Unfortunately that’s not the case but it’s still a special occasion and one that I’m looking forward to.

‘As a player you remember the defeats in big games more than the wins but of course I had happy memories there, in the FA Cup and the Community Shield. Hopefully there’s another happy memory after this game.

‘To go to Wembley and a win is a big thing for any team. When you play a top-ranked country like England, who have such an array of players to choose from, then it would be a great achievement to win it.’

The duo were also joined in training by Lucas Moura (left) and goalkeeper Joe Hart (right)

Bale will not feature for Ryan Giggs’ Wales against England in their friendly at Wembley

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