It was Bale’s summer departure to Real Madrid that triggered upheaval at White Hart Lane, with the world-record fee of £85million being reinvested in a host of additions to the Portuguese manager’s squad. While Bale thrives in his new surroundings, his old team-mates, and the new faces at Tottenham, have struggled for consistency – and Premier League goals – without him this term. Gareth Bale believes Andre Villas-Boas deserves to be given more time to sort out Tottenham’s problems. They have scored just 11 times in 13 games in the top flight, and stand 10 points behind leaders Arsenal following Sunday’s 2-2 draw with Manchester United. Speaking ahead of that match, Bale said Villas-Boas has the qualities that make it worth mid-table Tottenham persisting with him during a rocky patch that was exposed by the recent 6-0 drubbing by Manchester City. “I think he should be given time,” Bale told BT Sport. “I think he’s a great manager – he showed that last year. They’re going through a little bit of a bad patch at the moment but I’m sure he’s a good enough manager to pull everybody through, get out the other side and hopefully go on a good run now, catch up the rest and have a good season.” Bale recognised that Tottenham’s finishing has been under par. He said: “I’ve been watching quite a lot of the matches. “They’ve been playing some good stuff. “I just think they’ve been very unlucky in front of goal, just haven’t been clinical enough really.” Press Association
Women’s and men’s head water polo coach Jovan Vavic has announced that long-time assistant Marko Pintaric will join him at the helm of the men’s program as co-head coach. Pintaric was previously the associate head coach for the men’s program as well as scouting director for the women’s side of the program. He will retain his position for the Women of Troy while moving up for the men. Pintaric has been a coach for USC for 15 years, all serving under his former coach, Vavic. “Pinta has been an integral part of our program as a player and now as a coach,” Vavic said in a press release. “He has developed some of the best goalies in NCAA history, and his energy, knowledge and innovative mind has brought a great deal of excitement to our team.” As a coach, Pintaric has been a part of eight men’s national championships as well as three national championships on the women’s side. Pintaric has specialized in goalie development, having coached four Trojans who represented their respective nations in goals during the 2012 Olympics. As a player, he was a two-year starter in 1997 and 1998. Pintaric was a pivotal player during the 1998 national championship run, scoring 44 goals that season. That year, Pintaric was also awarded National Player of the Year and was a first team All-American. Outside of USC, Pintaric has also joined Vavic as an interim coach for the men’s national team, leading the team to World Championship qualification at the 2013 World Aquatic Championship Qualification Tournament. The Croatian native graduated with a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in communications at USC. “Pinta is loyal, committed, hard-working and an unselfish young coach,” Vavic said. ”USC water polo would never be what it is today without Pinta’s great contributions. I am thrilled that he has accepted this new position and am looking forward to many more great years together.” The Men of Troy are coming off a season in which they fell to UCLA in the NCAA Championship game.