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THERE has been loads of talk about a bailout this week — but it’s the thought of seeing a Bale in which really excites me.

The first appearance in the second coming of a man I rated as the third-best player in the world when we last saw him in a Tottenham shirt.

5Gareth Bale could be set to make his debut for Tottenham against West Ham Credit: Getty Images - Getty

And that’s not bad given he was trailing only Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo!

All being well, Gareth Bale will today play his first game in a season-long loan back in N17.

And we should all be rubbing our hands at the prospect . . . I know I certainly am.

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What a forward line Jose Mourinho has got now — Harry Kane, Son Heung-min  and Bale.

In my book that stands  comparison alongside Liverpool’s (above) . . .  and  any around in fact.

Imagine if you’re a defender and you see those three names on the teamsheet. It’s mouth- watering for most but knee- trembling for anyone trying to stop them.

I’ve heard people saying that the Bale we see now won’t be a patch on the one who left Spurs for Real Madrid seven years ago — but I’m not having that.

Gareth is a naturally fit lad and looks after himself. And even if he has lost half a yard of pace, possibly even a yard,  so what?

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He was that quick he’ll still be faster than 90 per cent of those he comes up against.

There is so much of Gareth’s game that reminds me of Ronaldo. It’s scary how good he is.

Bale can pick the ball up on the edge of his own box and before you know it, he’s beaten half-a-dozen players and is in the opposition one.

But it’s not all about pace, so forget any idea that he won’t be half the player if he’s not as fast as before.

5Tottenham will be hoping Bale can replicate the form that led to his megabucks move to Real Madrid Credit: PA:Press Association

His left foot is like a sledgehammer and he’ll smash a few in from 30 yards, for sure.

And, like Ronaldo, the rest of his game is so good that you  forget how dangerous he is in the air, too.

It just amazes me that Zinedine Zidane fell out with him, because Gareth is such a nice kid that I’d think that was almost impossible.

Maybe Zidane just didn’t fancy him and Tottenham fans should be thanking their lucky stars for that, because it means they’ve got a great player on a great deal.

Oh, and one more thing for anyone who thinks that at 31 Bale is over the hill . . . he’s four years younger than Ronaldo, so he’s hardly drawing his pension.

5Tottenham's summer swoop for Gareth Bale could prove to be a shrewd financial moveCredit: EPA

Spurs have played a blinder  because they aren’t even paying a fee. There are bang-average players on loan and clubs are forking out £2m or £3m for the privilege.

Tottenham won’t be paying anything like some of the silly figures I’ve seen guessed at towards his wages either. It’s a great move for Gareth and a great one by Daniel Levy.

How ironic that he’s likely to make his return for one of my old clubs today against another, in West Ham.

They’re in good form themselves, so I know they’ll fancy it. But with the squad Spurs have they should be title challengers this year — even if some think I’m mad to say so.

5Jose Mourinho has some formidable attacking options with Bale, Harry Kane and Son Heung-min in his squadCredit: PA:Press Association

Pretty much two internationals in every position, strength in depth . . . Jose knows they have got to be in the mix.

Let’s face it, Spurs should be up there. They’ve got the best stadium, the best training ground and now one of the best squads as well.

I remember the old training ground wasn’t too shabby either, by the way. It was certainly a world away from the one I left  at Portsmouth when I went there in 2008.

Actually, we didn’t even have one — our sessions were on a university pitch and we had to be off there at 11am so they could use it.


We were training on a public park with no hot water for about four months, with players like Teddy Sheringham, Patrik Berger and Eyal Berkovic.

I walked into Spurs and thought, ‘This is unbelievable’ — and that was before they moved into the current one.

When the work started on that, I always wondered why Daniel never asked me where I wanted my office to be.

Gareth Bale tears up Tottenham training and scores wonder goal leaving fans drooling about first game back

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Man Utd fans most delusional supporters in Premier League with Aston Villa fans most modest, shock data reveals

MANCHESTER UNITED fans overestimate their side more than any other supporters in the Premier League.

That is according to a new study based on fan predictions throughout the early weeks of the new season.

4How Kiss My Score's league table looks after the first weeks of the season

The Red Devils certainly struggled to get into gear, falling to defeats against Crystal Palace and Tottenham.

And free football betting app Kiss My Score has revealed just how wide of the mark United supporters have been when it comes to predicting their scores.

Data from over 65,000 fans who use the app show the Red Devils coming in worst off, ahead of Liverpool and Burnley.

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United fans have accumulated a goal difference error rate of MINUS nine.

That means their predictions put the team on a goal difference of plus-six, when in reality it is minus-three.

Liverpool fans, perhaps understandably after last year's achievements, are 8.9 goals ahead of their team's real goal difference, of zero.

Burnley (-8.1), Manchester City (-7.5) and Wolves (-6.9) also sit in negative territory having experienced some shock results in a mad start to the 2020-21 season.

In fact, only THREE sets of fans have underestimated their side's potential.

4Manchester United's goal difference took a big hit in the 6-1 loss to TottenhamCredit: Reuters 4Not even Aston Villa fans saw their trouncing of Liverpool comingCredit: AP:Associated Press

Brighton fans are 0.9 goals behind their side's minus-two goal difference.

West Ham supporters have predicted results that would give David Moyes' team a goal difference of zero - when it is actually plus-four.

But surprise packages Aston Villa have the most modest fans when you compare predictions to their side's true performances.

Their forecasts are 7.6 goals behind their real total goal difference total of plus-ten.

Victories over Liverpool, Leicester, Fulham and Sheffield United have Dean Smith's side second with the division's only 100 per cent record.

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Kiss My Score puts together each fans' prediction to reach an overall fanbase prediction.

From this, Leeds fans have managed an incredible 100 per cent accuracy in deciding whether their team will win, lose or draw.

At the other end of the scale, Burnley's supporters have not got a single result correct amid Sean Dyche's poor start to the campaign.

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