Andre Villas-Boas reveals meeting with 'complaining' Gareth Bale that ignited the Tottenham player's season

Bale picked up the 2012-13 Footballer of the Year award at the Football Writers' Association's dinner in central London last night

Andre Villas-Boas thinks a meeting that he held with Gareth Bale earlier this season may have been the spark that ignited the Tottenham forward's devastating campaign.

Bale last night picked up the 2012-13 Footballer of the Year award at the Football Writers' Association's dinner in central London.

Just 11 days before, the Tottenham forward became only the third man in history to win PFA Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year for the same season.

After a season which has seen him bag a total of 30 goals for club and country, it is hard to imagine Bale having experienced any doubt about his abilities this year, but Tottenham's manager revealed last night that the player had sounded him out after a period where he felt he was not enjoying his football enough.

Speaking on stage at the Lancaster London hotel last night, Villas-Boas said: "I had Gareth knocking on my door once, not crying, but he was complaining a little bit. He said he wanted me to help him to enjoy his football a little more.

"We had a good conversation. Hopefully it turned out well for both of us. From that moment onwards his drive, his passion and his ambition towards the height of elite football has been immense and it shows through the great season he has had."

Bale claimed 53 percent of the FWA vote from Britain's football writers, pushing Manchester United marksman Robin van Persie in to second.

The FWA award has been running since 1948, when Sir Stanley Matthews was the first recipient of a long list which includes the likes of England World Cup winning captain Bobby Moore, the Charlton brothers and George Best through Kevin Keegan, Eric Cantona, Dennis Bergkamp, Thierry Henry and Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Welshman now hopes to round off his season by leading Spurs back in to the Champions League.

Wednesday's 2-2 draw against Chelsea leaves Villas-Boas' side one point off Champions League qualification with two matches left, but Bale is sure that he and his team-mates can edge Arsenal or Chelsea out of the top four by the end of the season.

The 23-year-old said: "When I first moved to the club six years ago, they showed me the plan for the club and it has obviously been a progression since then.

"The whole club wants to move in the right direction. We all want Champions League football, that's our target and it is something we can still do."

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

They fled war in Syria...

...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

Kelis interview

The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea