Glenn Hoddle column: Bale challenge, Hudson-Odoi handball and Tottenham vs Arsenal Europa League final?

Glenn Hoddle
·3-min read
<p>Rolling back the years: Gareth Bale’s upturn in form continued against Burnley</p> (Getty Images)

Rolling back the years: Gareth Bale’s upturn in form continued against Burnley

(Getty Images)

From what he has seen that has got him excited about Gareth Bale to his views on the penalty controversy at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, here Standard Sport’s columnist Glenn Hoddle answers your questions and picks out the player he will be watching closely this week.

Julie asks

How much of a difference could a Gareth Bale in this sort form make to Tottenham for the rest of the season?

It has taken some time but he is now performing how we wanted him to. If he can keep reproducing anything like that then that is going to be a massive shot in the arm for Tottenham.

The next step for Gareth is doing it against better opposition. No disrespect, Burnley did not turn up on Sunday and Wolfsberger are not the strongest side in Europe. I am not taking anything away from Gareth, because he looks like he has got his fitness and his sharpness back, and to me he looks confident.

He did not look worried about receiving a ball, he was looking at what he was going to do with it, the next two or three things he was going to do, and that is the sign of a player getting your mentality right and the confidence right.

If he can stay like that for the next 10 games or so, that will elevate Tottenham. And it will take a bit of pressure off Harry Kane and Heung-min Son. Those front three could be absolutely sensational, as we all spoke about when Gareth returned. Now they have to turn it into bigger and better performances against the top teams.

Rebecca asks

Who are your favourites to win the Europa League?

It is a tough one. It would be lovely if it was a Tottenham vs Arsenal final wouldn’t it! That would be something special. There are a lot of teams who could win it, it is very open. It would surprise me if one of our English clubs do not get to the final.

A few people fancy AC Milan but they are not the AC Milan of old. I would expect Manchester United to beat them over two legs.

Getty Images
Getty Images

David asks

What did you make of the Callum Hudson-Odoi handball incident in the Chelsea game?

As a football man, for football’s sake, I was pleased it was not a penalty. But I can understand if you are Ole Gunnar Solskjaer or a Manchester United player that you would be disappointed when you see others like that being given.

It depends which referee you have got and it depends on the day, and we should not be going down that route in football. It is too big of a business and too important to everyone’s lives. Let’s get back deliberate handball. If it is deliberate handball, then it is handball.

Getty Images
Getty Images

I really do think football is causing itself problems with the rules. There have been matches when there have been worse handballs given than that. And this is the inconsistency that is happening with these handball scenarios. Deliberate handball should be the punishment for a penalty if it is deliberate, and you could tell that was accidental.

My player to watch this week is...

With what he has done in the last two games, I have got to go for Gareth Bale. I am working on the Fulham game on Thursday and I want to see him keep going.

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