Friday 15 December 2017

Gareth Bale should be MORE selfish at Real Madrid, say Frank Lampard and Thierry Henry

Real Madrid's Gareth Bale, left, and Schalke's Matija Nastasic go for a header during the Champions League round of 16 first leg soccer match between FC Schalke 04 and Real Madrid
Real Madrid's Gareth Bale, left, and Schalke's Matija Nastasic go for a header during the Champions League round of 16 first leg soccer match between FC Schalke 04 and Real Madrid

Simon Rice

Gareth Bale should be more selfish, despite having been booed by Real Madrid fans this season for exactly that, say Frank Lampard and Thierry Henry.

The Welshman has come in for criticism this season for his decision making, seemingly opting to take shots on himself rather than pass to team-mates.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema were visibly furious with Bale during a match with Valencia last month after the former Tottenham player went for goal when a pass seemed the better option. Real Madrid fans have also been regularly booing the world's most expensive player.

As criticism has increased, there is evidence it's had a detrimental affect on Bale's goalscoring. The Welshman scored eight goals in 12 games prior to his current run of five matches without finding the back of the net. The latest of those was the 2-0 win over Schalke in the Champions League - a game in which Bale failed to make much of an impact.

The downturn prompted Manchester City midfielder Frank Lampard to suggest Bale should return to his selfish ways.

"I get the feeling he is a nice boy," Lampard told Sky Sports. "There is a bit of ego and he should have some because of what he has achieved in the game, but maybe there is a moment when he thinks 'should I go for goal and take it on or should I look for the other option in case I get criticised?'

"I hope that goes out of his game very quickly because if that is there it is going to affect him."

Lampard suggested that any criticism that has been levelled at Bale can only have a negative impact on the player.

"If he hasn't passed to Cristiano (Ronaldo) once and it's not come off and there are a few boos then it's only going to be detrimental to the team and to those two as individuals.

"I would like to see Cristiano come out and say there is no issue because he is the boss really and he maybe needs to say that.

"He (Bale) might come through this phase even stronger. He might beat three players next week and put it in the top corner."

Thierry Henry, also talking on Sky Sports, appeared to agree.

"You can’t keep everyone happy," the former Arsenal player said. "You need to be your own man and do what the game is asking at the time, it isn't easy sometimes.

"I don’t know if he’s trying to overcompensate but when you play with a big man like Cristiano Ronaldo, we’ve all been in that position where you have to feed the guy of the team."

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