Tottenham Hotspur: Why Gareth must Bale

Image available under Creative Commons via Jan S0L0

Image available under Creative Commons via Jan S0L0

Justifiably scooping no less than three player of the year awards, and putting to one side Sky Sports’ trademark hyperbole, Gareth Bale really has had a dream season. Personally speaking.

Here’s why he can’t afford to ignore the overtures from Zinedine Zidane and Real Madrid.

Contributing 21 league goals in Andre Villas Boas’ debut season at White Hart Lane, Bale, in truth, single-handedly dragged Spurs within touching distance of the Champions League ahead of arch-rivals Arsenal. In the end, it was almost too obvious that he would score the only goal of the game on the final weekend, for what turned out to be a futile three points.

Bale’s goals earned Tottenham far more Premier League points than they perhaps deserved, thanks to a winger playing like a man possessed every week and turning in consistently high quality performances. Comparisons being made to Cristiano Ronaldo’s last two seasons at Manchester United were perhaps slightly flattering, but understandable. What is comparable is the influence Bale has on his team.

But what baffles me is the notion that Spurs fans feel they ‘missed out’; that finishing 5th was a failure. If anything, they were lucky to finish where they did. Had Bale not enjoyed a ‘Roy of the Rovers’ season, then they may well have been on a par with Liverpool or Everton. I understand the argument that taking away any team’s top goalscorer will leave them considerably worse off – but most team’s top goalscorers aren’t left wingers.

Up front, Tottenham were found wanting on far too many occasions. Indeed they started the season with only two out-and-out strikers of any pedigree in Defoe and Adebayor, whilst also strengthening with scoring ‘forward’ Clint Dempsey. Defoe finished 2012 in prolific form, rolling back the years to devastating effect, however he found form hard to come by in the second half of this season – perhaps a reminder that he is now past his peak.

Adebayor failed to live up to expectations, while Dempsey notched a fairly respectable 7. But all in all, certainly goals-wise, Bale’s teammates simply did not pull their weight.

A player of Bale’s consistent quality demands a better team around him, and no, this wasn’t a fluke season. He could do a lot worse than follow in the footsteps of Real Madrid’s Portuguese number 7 and talisman Ronaldo at the Bernabeu, especially with the mooted departures of Di Maria and Higuain to Monaco and Juventus respectively.

The quality he possesses also demands to be showcased, not in the Europa League, but in the Champions League, an arena where great players can truly prove their world class credentials.

It is far from certain that Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy will back Villas Boas significantly in the transfer market, despite whisperings of possible bids for Leandro Damiao, Roberto Soldado or David Villa.

Without the Champions League windfall they were hoping for, I’m sceptical that Levy will strengthen the squad to the same degree as he would’ve done had they finished 4th. A possibility Bale, and certainly Bale’s agents, will be more than aware of.

Such a transfer represents a once in a lifetime opportunity for Bale, who must prioritise doing his undeniable talent justice on the world’s biggest stage. If not, he may spend the next few seasons regretting staying put; his progress stunted by carrying a team that might breach England’s top four, but then again, might not.

Have your say – should Gareth Bale leave Tottenham this summer?

In other transfer news, read why Liverpool should not fear losing Suarez.


  1. where's_the_white_ball_going? says:

    …And how!

    Levy will definitely cash in if Madrid seriously offer anything like £40m. He’s a businessman first and foremost – he sold Modric, Bent, Carrick and Berbatov for massive profits each time Spurs fans have started to believe their team is on the verge of greatness (or top 4 at least).

    Bale was purchased for just £7.5m and Levy is currently looking at recouping 6 times that amount – possibly more. Why wouldn’t he sell while his biggest asset is at his peak? Also interested in a deal is Bale’s agent Jonathan Barnett, who has been touting his star product on Spanish TV.

    Bale himself must surely want CL football to enhance his personal brand. His sponsors would be delighted with a move to Real Madrid, where worldwide exposure is guaranteed. Recently, Bale purchased intellectual property rights to a logo bearing his ‘heart’ goal celebration and number 11.

    On a purely footballing level, Bale would be a fool not to go and test himself among and against the best in the world, and though it would be hard to bear for Tottenham fans, even they must surely admit that Bale is destined for bigger and better things.

    • I absolutely agree. Levy has previous when it comes to cashing in his ‘assets’, clearly a businessman. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Though as you allude to, he sells when stock is highest – when Spurs are performing well and are within touching distance of the top 4.

      A Bale sale will set them back, but with the right investment, and we’re talking tens and tens of millions here – I don’t think this will necessarily set them back for next season. AVB has impressed me despite the critics he’s received.

      Bale money could provide three or four excellent additions, and with many of the alleged Top 4 in transition, this is an exciting time for Spurs, with or without Bale.

  2. Student of Spurs says:

    Piss off! I’m not some deluded fan who thuinks Spurs will potentially win the league next season, I know where we come in the football club food chain. But, bearing in mind Gareth is still young, he has an excellent squad around him that, it could be argued, are talented enough not to hold back his football development ,yet which is modest enough to play their football around his strengths. Sure, they called Spurs ‘Bale F.C.’ last year because our strikers were admittedly shit, but Bale had a lot of quality playing around him last season, and will even more this season.

    I fully expect him to be gone by next season ending, but not every footballer is a money grabbing glory hunter (though it seems to dissapoint some that he isn’t). Gareth is grounded and has enough perspective to know that he has many years in the future to give to a ‘big club’, but right now, he has a young family, has just turned 24, and is developing well with AVB.

  3. Student of Spurs says:

    Also, when he does leave, please don’t let it be Real Madrid, I hate that club because of their sense of entitlement (and no, not because they knocked us out of the CL, and pilfured Luka Modric from us). Unlike Barca, they have no class for such a big club. It’s embarrasing we have a club partnership with them.


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  2. […] Also from Adam Widdrington, Why Gareth must Bale […]

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  4. […] new campaign, there is no doubt that he’ll have a huge weight of pressure on his shoulders. Will he be worthy of a new world record transfer if he joins Real Madrid, or will he be worth Spurs turning down such a fee? Either way he needs to deliver having raised […]

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