'Almost unstoppable': Dinamo Zagreb manager fearful of facing in-form Spurs star

Nathaniel Kay March 10, 2021
'Almost unstoppable': Dinamo Zagreb manager fearful of facing in-form Spurs star
Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

Dinamo Zagreb coach Zoran Mamic believes it will be tough for his side to cope with Tottenham Hotspur star Gareth Bale, speaking to the National.

Spurs take on Zagreb tomorrow in the first leg of their Europa League round of 16 tie (8pm).

Bale is likely to start the match after recently rediscovering his mojo.

Welsh wizard

The Welshman is on a hot streak of six goals in his past six appearances, including four in three Premier League outings.

Two arrived in the 4-1 conquest of Crystal Palace on Sunday, with Bale looking back to his brilliant best.

It’s the kind of return Tottenham fans expected from their talismanic forward after he rejoined the club on loan from Real Madrid in September.

History with Bale

This encouragement for Spurs will be cause for concern for the Croatian champions.

None more so than their manager, who has previously pitted teams against Bale.  

Mamic said: “We were speaking and joking the other day how Bale obviously waits when he will play against my coaching staff and me and then decides to play his best football.”

The pair did battle in the 2018 Fifa Club World Cup, when Bale was at Madrid and Mamic in charge of Al Ain.

“What can you say about a player of his quality?” Mamic continued.

Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

“When he is in good shape like he is at the moment he is almost unstoppable, and we will have to try to find a way to manage him.

“Actually, if you have any idea or advice, please let me know!”

Mourinho’s attacking menace

Supporters have had to wait a while for Bale’s party tricks but it has helped to reignite Spurs’ season.

Jose Mourinho’s side are still fighting for a top-four place, have a League Cup final to look forward to and will consider themselves favourites to progress past Zagreb in Europe.

Unfortunately for Mamic and Zagreb, Bale isn’t the only Spurs superstar they may face.

If Mourinho is looking to put the tie beyond doubt early, he may send out Harry Kane and Son Heung-min to make up Tottenham’s terrifying attacking trident.

Not many teams in world football have that kind of weaponry at their disposal. It would certainly be a shame to waste it.

With a north London derby on the horizon, however, Mourinho may want to manage his prized assets wisely.

On the other hand, he’ll want to finish off Zagreb early doors.

Cue Bale, Kane and Son.

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Nathaniel is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has worked at Burton Albion as part of their media team for two years. Nathaniel produces regular articles for the club’s official website and match-day programme. He covered the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in Brittany and has reported from grounds ranging from non-league up to the Premier League.