No-show Bale is set to lose player respect
GARETH BALE has been told he risks losing the respect of his team-mates unless he pulls his boots on again soon.
Bale sits out Wales’ friendly against the Republic of Ireland in Cardiff due to a foot injury he claims has plagued him for most of pre-season.
The most talked about player in world football has been training alongside the Wales squad this week.
But with his world record £100million move to Real Madrid yet to be rubber-stamped, the Tottenham midfielder again won’t risk the “problem” cynics claim is a smokescreen to ensure his dream move isn’t scuppered by a serious injury.
The Republic’s assistant manager Marco Tardelli warned Bale he’s playing a dangerous game, saying: “If he wants the respect of the other players he must play.
“He’s a very good player. At the moment Bale is up there with Cristiano Ronaldo and players of that calibre.
“I don’t know if he’s worth as much as they’re talking about, but if someone pays it, then that’s his value.”
The Republic’s Stoke midfielder Glenn Whelan doesn’t blame Bale for his Cardiff no-show, “I’m not surprised he’s not playing. He’s got a bigmoney move lined up,” he said.
“No-one knows if it’s on or off, but if I was Gareth I’d maybe be wary of playing before any deal is made.”
The winger isn’t expected to be fit for Sunday’s Premier League opener against Crystal Palace, but he met up with his Wales team-mates on Monday.
Top-flight bosses have hit out at the timing of friendlies on the eve of the big kick-off in the English top flight.
The Republic face two key qualifiers in September, and skipper John O’Shea admits it’s a tough balancing act for gaffers between club and country.
The Sunderland defender said: “It’s tricky given the timing and I’m sure if one day I’m a club manager I’ll sympathise with them.”
INJURED: Gareth Bale