Alright, we get it, he can score an overhead kick.
Gareth Bale pretty much won life at the end of last season after his performance in the Champions League final.
The Real Madrid man came off the bench to help his side beat Liverpool, collecting his fourth European winners medal in the process. Impressive stuff.
It’s safe to say the Premier League would welcome Bale back this summer, a career move that the Welshman failed to rule out after his side’s final victory over Liverpool.
The former Spurs star got his big move to Spain after his remarkable form at the North London club caught the attention of Los Blancos.
Part of Bale’s legacy at Spurs were two PFA Player of the Year awards, the first coming in 2010-11 and the second in 2012-2013.
It’s the first of those honours bestowed upon the Welshman which, when you take a look back at his performances in the Premier League that season, makes for suspicious reading.
Cast your mind back to 2011, a simpler time, a time when we all feared the world would soon end and ‘Gangnam Style’ wasn’t stuck in your head.
Bale was just 21-years-old at the time and had failed to impress consistently at White Hart Lane since his £10million move from Southampton.
The Welshman’s form and injury record meant that he was often overlooked at left-back for professional Patrice Evra wannabe, Benoit Assou-Ekotto.
His performances improved towards the end of the 2009-10 campaign, with Spurs fans excited at what was to come from Bale under the stewardship of Harry Redknapp the following season.
In Spurs’ second game of the season, a 2-1 victory over Stoke, Bale scored both.
The standout goal being a volley where his left foot was level with his chin, the goal would later be awarded August Goal of the Month.
Bale continued his impressive early season form, cementing his place in the starting eleven and moving forward to left wing to accommodate Assou-Ekotto.
The Welshman set up all four goals as he helped Spurs overcome Young Boys in the Champions League play-off to reach the group stages. Make a note of this being a European game and not in the Premier League.
In October 2010, Bale really announced himself to the footballing world, the Spurs man scored ‘that’ hat-trick against Champions League holders Inter Milan in a 4-3 defeat.
Everyone remembers the game, including Maicon, who occasionally still has nightmares thinking about it.
Again, another impressive performance in Europe for Bale… EUROPE.
He added his third and fourth goals of the season in a 4-2 win over Blackburn in November, Bale also crossing for Roman Pavlyuchenko to score, in what would turn out to be his one and only assist of the Premier League campaign.
Spurs’ No3 added his fifth goal just a week later in a 3-2 win against North London rivals Arsenal.
Bale registered his sixth goal of the season in December, helping Spurs beat Newcastle 2-0.
The Welshman’s good form earned him a new contract at White Hart Lane and he extended his stay until 2015… *spoiler alert*, he didn’t see that contract out.
In the New Years Day fixture against Fulham, Bale score his seventh and final goal of the season.
His final goal of the season was at the start of January… I know.
The Welshman played out the rest of the campaign without contributing a goal or assist, as Tottenham finished 5th and missed out on Champions League qualification.
On April 17, Bale received the top individual award in England, being named PFA Player of the Year, as voted for by his fellow players.
So, how exactly did this happen?
How can you finish the season with seven goals and one assist in 30 appearances, not pick up a single Player of the Month award, yet still be considered the best in the league?
Man United strikers Dimitar Berbatov and Carlos Tevez both ended the season with 20 goals each.
Robin Van Persie scored 18 and even DJ Campbell chipped in with 13 goals, my second favourite DJ after Tim Westwood.
Or, what about a shout for Joe Hart? Back when he was actually good, Pep Guardiola’s best mate picked up the Golden Glove award after 18 clean-sheets that season.
Man United defensive lynchpin Nemanja Vidic had a typically solid season, yet he was also neglected of the top honour.
Rafael van Der Vaart finished the season as Spurs’ top scorer with 13 goals, as well as registering eight assists.
The Dutchman, who was on the shortlist for the award, produced better stats than his team-mate, so why was Bale named Player of the Year?
Bale also fought off competition from Samir Nasri, Scott Parker, Carlos Tevez, and Charlie Adam (crazy, I know), to win the award.
Bale was beaten to the Young Player of the Year award by Jack Wilshere, and was snubbed of the Football Writer’s Footballer of the year award, which went instead to Scott Parker.
It’s no great secret that footballers aren’t the sharpest tools in the shed.
It’s more than possible that a few of them got their wires crossed, mistaking Bale’s impressive Champions League performances with his hot and cold showings in the league.
Considering he hadn’t scored since January, it’s not like he was in-form at the time when the voting would have taken place at the end of March.
You can’t even throw in the Kevin De Bruyne argument, and claim that he was part of a team that produced anything spectacular in league.
Spurs finished fifth and ran out of steam in the second-half of the season, Bale just deciding to stop showing up after January.
The following season, Bale’s performances improved once again, he scored nine times and picked up eight assists in 36 appearances.
He missed out on Player of the Year because of the goal scoring antics of Van Persie down the road.
After the 2012-13 season Bale was rightfully named player of the year, the incoming Madrid star racking up a remarkable 21 goals and four assists in 33 games.
Nobody can debate his second award, but it’s that first fraudulent one that leaves a particularly sour taste.
I vote that the first Player of the Year award is taken off Bale and I’m prepared to argue with strangers online about it.