A Bit Of Bale Sanity, PleaseBy: Robert Reed | June 2nd, 2013
News just in!
Craig McLachlan, who played Henry in Neighbours, thinks Gareth Bale would be mad to turn down Real Madrid; ‘You just don’t say no when a team who haven’t reached the Champions League final for over a decade start ruthlessly tapping you up,’ roared the Aussie ex-hunk.
Meanwhile Glynn Edwards, who played the Barman in Minder, yesterday advised the Welsh wonder to stay put; ‘Many have chased the European dream only for it to turn into a nightmare. He should stay at Spurs for another season at least,’ the (possibly dead?) veteran actor told our Madrid correspondent.
OK, a slight exaggeration, but it seems every Tom, Dick and McManaman (oops, already said Dick) has got their own piece of erudite career advice for Gareth Bale. Like he needs it.
It is the worst kept secret in football that Bale has agreed to stay at Spurs for another season. Some will doubtless want to jump down my throat now and say, ‘Oh yeah how do you know that?’ along with sarcy comments about crystal balls etc. Well it’s not being ‘ITK’ or clairvoyant, but just observation and common sense.
Bale has three years left on his contract, and Daniel Levy simply will not let him leave at this time. Modric, so desperate was he to become a nonentity in Madrid, tried to force a move with his disruptive behaviour. He was disrespectful to the club and the fans and his teammates, doubtless in the belief that it wouldn’t matter because he’d be gone soon. It can’t have been a very pleasant experience to have to stay for another season when it didn’t work.
Gareth Bale is not that type of person. By all accounts he is very grounded and well brought up; a credit to his parents. If he were to leave I believe it would be in a dignified manner, having given some of his best years to the club.
There has been absolutely no indication that the player wants to leave, except one. The recent goo goo eyes his agent has been making towards Real Madrid. Of course though, anyone who has the most basic understanding of the football world (and who isn’t deliberately misunderstanding in order to sell a newspaper) will appreciate that the statements his agent has made coincide nicely with said agent negotiating a new big money contract with his current employer, Tottenham Hotspur.
Young Gareth is away enjoying a well earned holiday (probably somewhere in Wales with his mum) and has left his trusted representative to thrash out the deal. What kind of an agent would he be if he arrived at Levy Mansion and said, ‘Hi Daniel, Gareth has already decided he isn’t going anywhere this season but we’d still like a huge pay-rise all the same’? A sacked one.
The saying that there are no definites in life except for death and (unless you live in Greece) taxes is largely true so it isn’t impossible that Bale could leave us at this time, but I think it really incredibly unlikely. It would take a suicidal digging in of the heels from Daniel Levy regarding wages, a falling out between Bale and AVB or an eye wateringly huge bid in the £90-£100m region. I cannot see any of those things happening, and as I said even if relations broke down Levy wouldn’t sell this summer (barring the stupid money bid).
What is keeping this story alive though is the annual circus at Real Madrid. The ludicrous, arrogant posturing regarding who will be bestowed the great honour of being worthy of joining their ranks. The Spanish sporting press make the Daily Star look like the Financial Times. They are idiots, to be frank. Every day is a back page headline about some done deal to bring the world’s best players, usually Bale, to Madrid; regardless of whether the story makes the remotest sense.
The latest news is that Madrid want Bale to hand in a transfer request to prove how much he wants to join Real Madrid. Really? I might email Posh Spice and tell her I’m up for it on the condition she gives Beckham his marching orders first. Real Madrid need Gareth Bale a hell of a lot more than he needs them.
The Spanish side are not nearly the force they once were; the last time they reached the Champions League final was in the 2001/02 season and they do not look like they are about to take the competition by storm next season either. They don’t even have a manager, maybe they should be sorting that out before they start blatantly tapping up our best player. Aren’t there meant to be rules against that sort of thing? Or don’t they apply to Madrid?
Also the money being mentioned is not realistic. If £85m were true and not just paper talk, £50m would be up front and the rest would be based on all sorts instalments and conditions.
Some fans think we should bite their hand off. ‘Chelsea won the league with £100m, we could build a whole new squad!’ Even in the imaginary situation where Madrid payed us £85m for Bale, how much do you think would be invested straight into the playing staff? Levy would put half of that towards the stadium.
Now I am a realist. I know that Gareth Bale is turning into one of the best players on the planet and, as much as I love my club, Tottenham will not be enough for him long term. He will be here next season, and if we can get top four I believe we can persuade him to have one last Champions League run with Spurs in the season after that. Then he will be gone for sure, sadly.
That said, I do not think it in any way inevitable that Bale will eventually end up at Real. Clubs like Bayern Munich and Barcelona are much better suited for a player who wants achieve great things in the game, as much as that may stick in Real’s throat.
And for all concerned, Glynn Edwards is still alive; I just checked. It’s the barman in Only Fools And Horses who’s brown bread.