ALAN Pardew has warned his Newcastle United players they will need to tame the Premier League’s best player today when they face Gareth Bale, writes MARK DOUGLAS.
The Newcastle manager believes Tottenham’s talisman, who is almost certain to be the subject of a £50m summer bid from Real Madrid, is one of the world’s best footballers.
Pardew is a massive fan of the Welshman, who has been in outstanding form this season, and believes that for his team to do well at White Hart Lane in this afternoon’s early kick-off, then they need to work out how to handle the Spurs superstar.
Pardew said: “Gareth Bale is definitely amongst those top five or six players in the world right now.
“If anyone picked a World XI, you would have Bale in at left midfield for sure. I can’t think of anyone who would dislodge him from there. That’s the level he is playing at.
“There are not too many in the Premier League who could get in that (World XI) team, but he would be one of them.
“I think what you have to do is make sure you contain him to the best of your ability and shape. But you can’t take your eye off the fact they also have Mousa Dembélé, Aaron Lennon and Emmanuel Adebayor.
“They have some really offensive players with great technical ability.
“But we did pretty well against Oscar and Juan Mata last weekend in the Chelsea game, so we can cope.”
Pardew believes that today’s match is a bigger test for his new-look side than last week’s game against the European champions, which Newcastle won 3-2.
Tottenham are fourth in the Premier League and playing some
excellent football under André Villas-Boas. They are a side Pardew greatly admires. He said: “Any away game is a test. I have said all along, since the day I walked in here, that we should win our home games. I don’t care who the opposition are.
“But away games are much more difficult and this one, with no disrespect to Chelsea, is much more difficult than last week.
“AVB has done a good job there. He’s gone quietly about his business, as he does, he’s a very thorough coach and I’ve got a lot of admiration for him.”
But, while Tottenham have Bale and a few others that cause any team problems, Newcastle now have more than a few that can do the same. All the talk last weekend was understandably about Moussa Sissoko, but Yoan Gouffran was almost overlooked.
Pardew believes his pace and direct style of play can be a potent weapon today.
He said: “Yoan was certainly was not lying when he said he was fast. He’s very direct and I like that about footballers.
“You look at Theo Walcott or Lennon, they are direct, go on and take people on.
“I always love players like that and that is what I see in him. He wants to attack people and that is a good mindset to have.”