Tottenham squad in Gareth Bale’s first debut in 2007: where are they now?


With Gareth Bale replacing for Tottenham against West Ham in the 72nd minute on Sunday, we posted this recollection of the last time he made his first appearance for the club.

Gareth Bale was a Tottenham Hotspur player for just over three months when he was named to the first team, on the left wing, against Manchester United on his debut on August 26, 2007. Having been linked with a move to United and Arsenal, he had joined Spurs from Southampton for a bargain price of £ 5million (plus £ 5million in add-ons), although the 18-year-old Welshman still couldn’t find a position and was swinging between defense and midfielder.

Obviously, Bale had potential, but his Spurs career started off in a disastrous way. United lost 1-0 thanks to Nanithe club’s first goal; he then suffered a late-season injury in December and failed to claim a win in his first 24 Premier League games for Spurs, until the drought was broken two years later against Burnley in September 2009.

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Bale’s career took off after that and although he failed to help Spurs win a trophy, he won the PFA Footballer of the Year award in 2011 and 2013, his last season at White Hart. Lane scoring 21 goals in 34 Premier League games. Soon he was on a plane for Real Madrid, having signed for a record £ 85.3million at the time, where he won two La Liga titles and four Champions Leagues.

Returning to Tottenham on loan after his time in Madrid turned sour, we look back at Bale’s first round with the squad 13 years ago and see where that squad is today.

GK: Paul robinson. The goalkeeper won 41 caps for England and remained No.1 for Spurs until 2008 when he was replaced by Heurelho Gomes. He moved to Blackburn for £ 3.5million in July 2008, then spent time with Burnley from 2015 to 2017 before retiring in July 2017. He is now a TV expert, studying for his badges coach and plays cricket for the local Knaresborough team with a former goalkeeper. Nigel Martyn.

DF: Pascal Chimbonda. The right-back moved to Sunderland in 2008, made three Spurs appearances, then embarked on a nomadic career that led to Blackburn, QPR, Doncaster Rovers, Market Drayton Town (where he played for free), Carlisle United, AC Arles-Avignon, Washington and Ashton Town. He now runs the PC39 Academy in Manchester.

DF: Ricardo Rocha. Rocha’s time at Spurs was disappointing, and he only made 18 appearances before leaving for Standard Liege in 2009 with a free transfer. The Portuguese defender spent his last three years at Portsmouth from 2010 to 2013, where he tried to land a post of director of football. He is now doing expert work on television in Portugal.

DF: Anthony Gardner. England’s one-stop center-back made 143 appearances for Spurs before moving to Everton and Hull City on loan. He joined Hull permanently in 2008 for £ 2.9million, and spent time at Crystal Palace and then Sheffield on Wednesday before retiring in 2014. He now plays poker for fun under the name D user MaceWindu1 and is part of the Two Touch football agency.

DF: Lee Young-pyo. The South Korean left-back joined Borussia Dortmund in 2008 for £ 450,000, after making 92 appearances from 2005 to 2008 at Spurs. He went on to play for Al-Hilal and the Vancouver Whitecaps before retiring in 2013. He is now avid cyclist, running and badminton, while making a few appearances in charity matches.

MF: Destrier Malbranque. The French midfielder joined Spurs in 2006 from Fulham for £ 2.7million and spent two seasons at White Hart Lane before moving to Sunderland for £ 4.5million in 2008. He has then spent time with Saint-Etienne, Lyon, SM Caen and MDA Chasselay and left there in 2019 it looked like he was going to retire. But, remarkable fact, in September – at the age of 40 – he signed for FC Limonest of the National Championship of France 3.

MF: Jermaine Iénas. The England midfielder made 201 appearances for Spurs, and after periods on loan at Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest he left for QPR in July 2014 with a free transfer. In January 2016, he was forced into retirement at the age of 31 after an ACL injury and is now a successful television expert and co-commentator.

MF: Tom Huddlestone. Huddlestone, who won four caps for England, enjoyed seven seasons at Spurs before moving to Hull City in August 2013 for £ 5.2million. After 161 appearances there, he then moved to Derby in 2017 and was released in July after 183 games for the Rams. At 33, he is looking for a new club.

MF: Gareth Bale. The outrageously talented Welsh winger left Spurs for Real Madrid in September 2013 and won four Champions Leagues – scoring an incredible aerial kick in the 2018 final against Liverpool – and two La Liga titles, but s ‘is found in disgrace under Zinedine Zidane. He almost switched to Jiangsu Suning’s Chinese side in July 2019, but the deal fell through, so he had another season at Real Madrid before returning to Spurs on loan in September 2020.

FW: Robbie keane. The prolific Republic of Ireland center-forward ended his career in November 2018, leaving an outstanding legacy in the game and 364 goals in his 21 years of club and international football. He left Spurs in 2008 for Liverpool on a contract worth £ 21million, but then joined Tottenham six months later for £ 15million. He then spent time on loan at Celtic and West Ham before joining the MLS LA Galaxy team in 2011. He returned to Villa on loan and had a brief stint with the Indian team ATK in 2017 before moving on. hang up his boots a year later. He is now embarking on a coaching career and has been an assistant for Ireland under Mick McCarthy, and again at Middlesbrough under Jonathan Woodgate.

FW: Dimitar Berbatov. The Bulgarian made 102 appearances for Spurs and scored 46 goals before joining Manchester United for £ 30.75million in September 2008. Four and a half years later he moved to Fulham and then spent periods in Monaco , PAOK Salonika and Kerala Blasters before retiring. April 2018. The Mercurial striker is now working as a football expert and plans to take his coach badges.


GK: Radek Cerny. The Czech keeper spent three seasons at Spurs before joining QPR in 2008 on a free transfer. He made 78 appearances there, then joined Slavia Prague’s childhood squad in 2013 for free before retiring in July 2014. He is still at the club as a goalkeeper coach.

DF: Paul Stalteri. The Canadian right-back joined Spurs in a free game from Werder Bremen in July 2005 and made 56 appearances. Spells at Fulham and Borussia Mönchengladbach followed until his retirement in March 2013. He is now deputy manager of the Canadian Premier League team York9 FC.

MF: Didier Zokora. The Ivorian midfielder played for Spurs until 2009 before spending time at Sevilla, Trabzonspor, Akhisar Belediyespor, Pune City, North East United and Semen Padang. He is currently a graduate in sports management at Félix Houphouët-Boigny University in Cocody and is a sports advisor at the National Technical Directorate of Côte d’Ivoire.

MF: Adel taarabt. The talented midfielder has had no impact at Spurs and has spent much of his three years on loan at QPR. He joined them on a permanent contract in 2010 and spent time on loan at Fulham and Milan before moving to Benfica in 2015. He spent time in Genoa, still on loan, for the 2017-18 campaign and is still with the Portuguese giants where he started his first league game this season against Famalicao.

FW: Jermain Defoe. The 37-year-old is still ruthless in front of goal, causing problems for Scottish Premiership defenders with Rangers. He left Spurs in 2008 for Portsmouth but was brought back the following January for £ 15million. He spent another five years with Spurs until leaving for Toronto FC in 2014. Spells at Sunderland and Bournemouth followed and he is now with Rangers after joining Steven gerrardpermanently (after a loan) in July 2020. He also left a long-standing legacy on the international stage with an impressive 20 goals in 57 games for England.

DIRECTOR: Martin Jol. Jol was sacked by Spurs at half-time in their UEFA Cup game against Getafe in October 2007 and was replaced by Juande Ramos. Jol went on to lead Hamburg, Ajax, Fulham and Al-Ahly. He is now technical director of the Dutch Eredivisie Ado Den Haag team.

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