Gareth Bale Scores Wonder Goal—While Rory DeLap Provides A Lesson in Ball-Watching

By now you’ve probably seen Tottenham winger Gareth Bale’s astounding second goal against Stoke City in Spurs’ 2-1 win this past Saturday. (He scored the first goal with his face. Literally.)

It’s a spectacular strike and the early leader for goal of the year in the Premier League.

But what TF was Rory Delap doing on the play?

Check out the replay, and keep an eye on Delap, number 24 in red:

Could he be any more lackadaisical in tracking back there?

He’s having a leisurely jog, and he seems to be enjoying Aaron Lennon’s run on the right. Oooh, lookatthat Lennon, good lad. Where was that all that skill in South Africa?

Then he actually steals a glance at Bale on the left, wide open, hand up, calling for the ball! Oh, there’s Bale. Funny-looking geezer, a bit of Frodo in him. Ah but he’ll never get the ball. Would you look at this Lennon…—hang on!

Now he breaks into a halfhearted attempt to mark up Bale and—it’s way too late, as Bale crushes the ball magnificently into the top corner. Bollocks. Missed ‘im.

Fantastic goal, and an object lesson in the dangers of ball-watching.

Maybe Delap needs to take some time away from practicing his long throw-ins to work on basic defending.