Did Gareth Bale play a good game against Barcelona? It's quite easy and reasonable to state that he did not, but the Welsh player is not to blame for the loss in El Clásico either. Unluckily enough for him, he's under the Spanish press' spotlight. Newspapers like Marca and As have been trying to point at his bad performance while covering Sergio Ramos' mistakes on both goals scored by the blaugrana and Iker Casillas' shaky reaction to Suárez's shot.
While this is not shocking, it certainly is unfair. First of all, Bale has done nothing wrong to lose his place in the Starting XI, as some polls suggested after the match. Furthermore, nobody on the bench is making a big impact to be considered as a potential starter, as Jesé has been disappointing since he recovered from ACL surgery. When James Rodríguez gets back, this could be an entirely different conversation, given that Ancelotti could start the Colombian on the right wing, but for the moment Bale's spot on Real Madrid's XI should be and actually is undisputed.
Bale will now surely be used to this criticism. And these reports on the Spanish press are causing controversy between the fans as well. Nobody states that Isco could have played better too, and almost nobody will say that Ramos single-handedly cost Real Madrid the game. Some will say that Isco, Ramos and Casillas have earned a status within the club with all their good performances since joining Real Madrid, but that exact same thing will not be said about Bale, who won the Copa del Rey title for the team last season and scored the winning goal in the Champions League Final as well.
He is under-performing, there is no question about that. But Gareth Bale wasn't to blame for the 2-1 loss in El Clásico and nobody else has done enough to get him dropped from the Starting XI. It took other players like Karim Benzema, Marcelo and even Luka Modric some time to figure this club out and become the players they are now. Gareth Bale should be given that same treatment and his quality as a player should not be questioned. Some fans want him to score, assist, attack, defend and help the midfielders but are not as demanding when it comes to other players.
The whistles and reports out of proportion have affected Bale's confidence. He will now need to get that monkey off his back by putting up some good performances consecutively.