Really interesting quotes from former Real Madrid coach and sporting director Jorge Valdano who has told El Larguero that Gareth Bale looks “downcast” in recent games due to fitness issues, the expectations generated by his world-record transfer fee and competition from Madrid starlet Jese Rodriguez.
Bale has been a peripheral presence in Madrid’s latest matches, while Jese, who came through the youth system at Madrid, has quickly became a fan favorite.
However Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti maintains that he will not be swayed by Bale’s fee in deciding whether to start Jese ahead of the Welsh star on current form, and Valdano believes the former Tottenham talisman is not yet showing his true worth.
“Bale has a strange anxiety because you do not notice it in the intensity of play,” media pundit Valdano said. “When someone is anxious, they play at a speed above what suits them, but it is like he is somewhere else. That is the strange sensation you get from him.
“The team are saving him. There are so many points to consider, among them Jese who is drawing so much attention.”
Valdano said it appeared that the regular injury absences, combined with the expectation generated by his record 101 million euro price-tag, were now weighing heavily on the Wales captain’s shoulders.
“I suppose it comes from his lack of regular games and the injuries,” he continued. “And also from being so closely observed because of what was paid for him. We have not yet seen the true Bale. You see he looks a bit unhappy at the moment. He looks a bit downcast.”
Ancelotti can publicly support Bale but when with two Champions League ties, as well as meetings with La Liga title rivals Atletico Madrid and Barcelona over the next month, actions will speak louder than words, and at the moment Madrid are better with a trifecta of Ronaldo, Benzema and Jese.
But politics is a big part of life in Madrid, and could Ancelotti really drop a healthy Bale for these big games? And if he does, what would that do to Bale’s confidence?