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Bale bursts on the scene when least expected

And then suddenly, it’s Bale to the rescue.

The Welshman came on for the second half against Arsenal to straighten out a game that had been going badly for Real Madrid. With his long stride, an excellent left foot and a fighting spirit that he doesn’t always show, he was decisive in turning a feared disaster into a respectable 2-2 draw.

His awakening coincided with that of Asensio. Only the Spaniard’s game was cut short due to a serious injury that will see him out for quite a few months. And in light of Asensio’s long period on the side-lines, many are wondering if it would be wise to keep Bale for another season. The idea is being fuelled, of course, by this latest good performance. But the question is whether the situation will soften Zidane’s stance on the player?

Bale is misusing his undeniable talent 

Bale is undoubtedly a great player, but he sells himself as something greater. I’m starting to think that he is the archetypal British ‘sportsman’ of the 19th Century – playing sport for pleasure, without taking it too seriously.

Florentino Peréz brought in Bale as a foreseeable replacement for the Portuguese star. But that idea was overly optimistic considering the difference in nature, attitude and level of ambition between the players.

They pay him lot, and, of course, he takes the money and has every right to do so. But he is not willing to face up to the demands and responsibilities that such a salary entails. When he launched that string of complaints about the torment of a footballer's life, he showed that. For him, it is more fun to play golf at a pleasant time and place that suits him, than to be dragged here, there and everywhere to play two football games per week. No wonder then that a serious coach like Zidane distrusts a player of Bale’s ilk and wants to see him go.

Florentino Peréz, who always had a tainted view of Cristiano Ronaldo, brought in Bale as a foreseeable replacement for the Portuguese star. But that idea was overly optimistic considering the difference in nature, attitude and level of ambition between the players. For Cristiano, all the work, in training or in matches, was a joy and, as such, took little effort. For Bale, football is a tiresome thing he has to live with to make a living. God gave him undeniable talents, but he is misusing them.