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Clever positioning makes Gareth Bale predictable

davidscwnewAfter his hat-trick against Inter Milan in the San Siro, Tottenham Hotspur’s Gareth Bale has been the name on everyone’s lips. I’m sure Sir Alex Ferguson has noticed and I’m sure he had a wry chuckle to himself when he watched his team cleverly nullify Bale’s threat.

I remember some years ago when Manchester United were playing Chelsea the team forced Chelsea to play the ball through Michael Duberry by clever positioning of their midfielders. United won 1-0 after a mistake by Duberry.

At the end of last month when Gareth Bale was threatening the goal at Old Trafford in the second half the United manager introduced Paul Scholes to cut down space in midfield and got Wes Brown to show the Spurs star inside into the middle where there was no where to go.

A game that had been much more open, with the likes of Rafael van der Vaart, Luka Modric, Berbatov and Nani enjoying the space between the backlines and front became tighter and that left Bale, alone to pose a real threat on the counter-attack. Brown, introduced as United tightened, had clear orders to make play predictable for the United players by showing Bale infield, blocking his sprint on the outside.

Working on positioning with your players can make play predictable so your team can deal with the threat the opposition poses.

Watch the clip below of Bale’s hat-trick against Inter Milan:

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