Bale simply unplayable – Harry

Shorn of their two first-choice full-backs, Norwich had to put out

a makeshift back four in the Premier League encounter at Carrow

Road and Bale took full advantage, scoring both goals in the 2-0

win which puts Redknapp’s team within seven points of the top of

the table. The 22-year-old latched on to Emmanuel Adebayor’s pass

to put Tottenham ahead in the second half before scoring an

exquisite lob after racing half of the pitch to seal the win for

the visitors soon after. The brace took Bale’s tally to eight for

the season and came as part of a changed formation which saw the

former Southampton man play closely off the shoulder of targetman

Adebayor, with Rafael van der Vaart occupying the same role on the

Togo striker’s other side. Redknapp was delighted to see the move

pay off and admits no-one can stop Bale when he is in such

devastating form. The Spurs boss said: “I played him and Rafa up

there, rather than sticking him out on left wing because when he

picks it up and runs at you through the middle and he pops up in

positions between midfield and defence, it’s difficult to pick him

up. When he finds those holes, he is unplayable. “I like it when he

plays there. I just think sometimes when he stands out wide people

go and mark him and then it’s difficult to get him in the game

sometimes. “Once he turns and runs with it like he did for the

second goal, he is unstoppable. There was no catching him tonight.

“He did ever so well. He is a special talent. He has everything.”

Bale looked set for a torrid evening when he spurned two first-half

chances. The winger blazed over and fired at John Ruddy before the

break and also had to endure taunts from the home fans, who took to

calling him a “chimp” in an attempt to get under his skin. The

taunts may have helped spur his star man on, but Redknapp was

sickened to hear the taunts. He said: “That’s disrespectful. What’s

that all about? It’s just sick. Why do people say things like that?

It’s not on.” The win moved Tottenham seven points behind leaders

Manchester City with a game in hand. With Arsenal, Chelsea, City

and Liverpool all drawing over the past 24 hours, Redknapp admitted

taking three points to consolidate their hold on third place was

vital. “I was delighted with the performance and the three points,”

Redknapp said. “It was a big game for us. Results had gone well,

but we had to make full use of that by getting a result tonight.

“It shows how hard it is to pick results. Liverpool was a home

banker against Blackburn, I fancied Chelsea to win Fulham. “I

didn’t see Arsenal not winning against Wolves either. “I thought

everyone would win and we needed to win to keep pace with them but

they all dropped points.” Norwich acquitted themselves in the first

half, but rarely tested Spurs goalkeeper Brad Friedel. The closest

they came to scoring was in the second half when Andrew Surman

floated a free-kick just wide of the American’s goal. Canaries boss

Paul Lambert admitted afterwards that his team were no match for

Tottenham. He joked: “Spurs are poor, aren’t they? “I thought we

gave a good account of ourselves but we were against a team who are

vying for the Premier League title and who are looking to quality

for the Champions League. “Bale is top class. He did ever so well.

I was disappointed with the goals we conceded but you have to

remember who we were playing against.” The Norfolk side have

surpassed all expectations this season, and are 11th in the table,

seven points clear of danger. Lambert’s team host Fulham and then

travel to QPR in the next six days and he hopes his team will

bounce back quickly to make sure they do not slide down the table.

He said: “We now have got Fulham which is also a tough game but

hopefully we can give a good account of ourselves.”