Gareth Bale has expressed his approval with interim manager Ryan Mason’s new attack plan following his brilliant hat trick in Tottenham’s 4-0 win over Sheffield United.
Tottenham held on in the Champions League qualifying race, with Chelsea, fourth, five points ahead of them with four games to go.
Bale was unplayable and brought his Premier League goal tally to eight in the last eight games, but that must give some idea of what could have been this season.
The Welshman was alarmingly underused by former boss Jose Mourinho, even when he had regained peak condition, and playing freely in a four front with Harry Kane, Heung-Min Son and Dele Alli, Spurs were a constant threat and far from the pragmatic style that held in Mourinho’s time.
After scoring his first hat trick at Tottenham since 2012, Bale said Sky Sports: “It’s always nice to get another hat trick and another match ball.
“I remember my last hat-trick – Villa away, I think. It was awhile ago and it’s good to have a hat-trick, but more importantly it’s three points for the team and we move on.
Gareth Bale scored the seventh treble of his club career, including three at Tottenham Hotspur (four for Real Madrid). Welsh’s other hat-trick for Spurs came against Aston Villa in December 2012 in the Premier League, and in October 2010 against Inter Milan in the UEFA Champions League.
“It was an excellent performance from everyone, especially Serge [Aurier, who provided two assists]. I said if it was three assists he could have the ball of the game.
“Winning always makes everyone happy and gives the locker room a winning mentality. It won’t happen overnight, but I feel like we are taking a step in the right direction.
“Obviously you have to take your chances when they come, and luckily I had a few tonight. I feel great. Like I said before, I just needed to play some. games and doing a series of games and I do it now so I’m happy and when I’m happy I normally play well.
“It was a great performance for the team. From the first whistle I felt we were on the front foot and took control of it and played some good football. I had it. ‘feel like we’re taking a step in the right direction and playing more like the Tottenham Way. “
Could Bale stay at Spurs?
Of Bale’s elegant performance, Tottenham interim boss Ryan Mason said: “I’ve always said that Gareth didn’t and wouldn’t lose that ability in the final third to produce moments of excellence. He’s a world-class player – he’s proven that over many years. The nicest thing about him tonight was his attitude, his run for the team. “
Asked if Bale’s loan to Real Madrid could be further extended, Mason said: “I think it’s a discussion once the season is over. Our priority is the next game.”
Mason “ shocked ” as Fleck avoids dismissal
Mason said he was shocked Sheffield United’s John Fleck escaped a red card for appearing to dab Giovani Lo Celso’s head.
The incident happened in the second half as Lo Celso fell under the challenge of Fleck and the Sheffield United player then raked his boot to the side of the Argentinian’s head.
Lo Celso later left and was seen with a large ice pack strapped to his head.
“I’m so shocked it wasn’t a red card,” Mason said. “I’m shocked the VAR team didn’t at least tell the referee to take a look. I think that’s a red card.
“I don’t think there’s a clearer red card. You see the replay once and he put an opponent in danger. I can’t believe it wasn’t given as a red card. C ‘is preventable. “
Mason himself had to retire from the game after suffering a broken skull while playing for Hull City in 2017.
The Lo Celso incident hasn’t eclipsed a second win in two league games for Mason, who is in charge until the end of the season following Mourinho’s sacking.
Heckingbottom: We need the fans’ feedback
Sheffield United have collected just four points out of a possible 51 available away from home this season, losing 15 of their 17 such appearances.
Last season, the Blades gained more points in their first three away games, losing just six times on their trips to the league.
Paul Heckingbottom has seen his Sheffield United side concede 15 goals in their six Premier League appearances in charge, and the interim Blades manager has been frustrated by his side’s display with the sole pride of playing during a disappointing campaign.
“We have to be at our best every week to get a result and we haven’t been,” he said. The first half upset me the most. It wasn’t good enough. There is anger in this first half. I don’t like to watch this. The first objective is so passive. The second is a counter from our corner. The third is a giveaway in a bad area. We cannot afford to offer these kinds of opportunities to these players.
“When we came out in the second half it was a much better attitude. It’s a question of attitude and mentality. By the end of the season, it has to be a team ready to fight. has been wreaking havoc since. the first lockdown and we’ve had a staff change. We need the fans’ feedback. But how we approach the last four games is important. “
Regarding the Fleck incident, he added: “There is no room for it on a football field, but the VAR examined it and it was deemed accidental and unintentional.”
Tottenham will travel to Leeds on Saturday 8 May for a 12:30 p.m. kick-off, while Sheffield United will host Crystal Palace on the same day (3 p.m. kick-off). This match is live Sky Sports Premier League.