Bale could be set for striker role
WALES v AUSTRIA (Tonight, KO 7.45)
WALES boss Chris Coleman and captain Ashley Williams last night endorsed the view that Gareth Bale’s international future could be as a front line striker.
The Tottenham flyer is enjoying the most prolific season of his career so far with 11 Premier League goals already, including two stunners in the past week.
With Jermain Defoe sidelined and Emmanuel Adebayor involved in the African Cup of Nations, Spurs boss Andre Villas Boas revealed at the weekend he was planning on deploying Bale as a forward and Coleman hinted yesterday he’s ready to follow suit. Steve Morison has been Wales’ regular striker under Coleman but he’s currently sidelined through injury with few deputies in free scoring form.
“Apparently Tottenham rely on Gareth too much now, not just us,” Coleman quipped. “But Gareth can play anywhere across the attack, going on the outside on the left, cutting in from the right or through the middle. It’s not a problem for him.
“I played him as a lone striker against Croatia in the second half and he scared them to death.
“He can play that role in the Premier League without question, effectively.
“The way he’s playing at the minute, it doesn’t get much better than him. We have to look at ways to get the most out of him to win games. By playing him in the centre, maybe you maximise his goal threat. It’s something we are considering for the future, definitely.”
Skipper Williams agreed that Bale would give defenders such as himself plenty to worry about as a striker.
“Gareth’s one of the best in the world, on form he’s unstoppable and playing upfront wouldn’t be a problem for him,” he said.