‘Tottenham used data to tell Harry Redknapp where to play Gareth Bale’

Damien Comolli reveals Spurs used data to get the best of Gareth Bale

Kieran Beckles
By Kieran Beckles

Tottenham Hotspur convinced Harry Redknapp to play Gareth Bale on the left wing using compelling data, according to their former director of football Damien Comolli.

The Wales international’s days appeared to be numbered at the north London club, with Redknapp prepared to listen to offers for the £5m flop in late 2009.

Spurs actually told Harry Redknapp where to play Gareth Bale, because he wanted to get rid of him

Damien Comolli

But the Spurs winger managed to turn around his ailing career and blossom into one of Tottenham’s greatest-ever players before his record £85.7m switch to Real Madrid in 2013.

Speaking to Irish radio station Newstalk, Comolli revealed how Redknapp wanted to get rid of the Southampton youth graduate before he was told to play Bale on the wing.

Comolli said: “I’ve got to say, I’ve been working with data since 2005 or 2006 in terms of recruitment.

“We did it at Spurs. We used data in terms of team selection.

“Spurs actually told Harry Redknapp where to play Gareth Bale, because he wanted to get rid of him.

“Data was showing Bale would be an outstanding left winger when they were playing him at left-back [because of his running and skill].”

Comolli claimed that Spurs have used data to decide team selection and potential signings for a number of years, pointing to the capture of Rafael van der Vaart in 2010.

The Netherlands international scored 28 goals in 78 appearances during a two-and-a-half year spell at Spurs, but it was thanks to data that Tottenham signed Van der Vaart.

“Spurs have never come out publicly saying it, but I am saying it because I don’t work at the club anymore,” Comolli added.

“Spurs had the choice between signing Van der Vaart and another player, and Daniel Levy said we are going for Van der Vaart because data is telling us to.

“I won’t mention the other player who did nothing after that but Van der Vaart had a great two or three years at Spurs.”

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