Football UK

Gareth Bale’s Tottenham return is a woeful move and shows how club has changed


Gareth Bale’s return to Tottenham is a woeful move by the club, a purely emotional piece of business.

It’s Jose Mourinho pulling the emergency rip cord and Daniel Levy looking for another distraction for supporters now the All Or Nothing documentary is starting to look a bit faded.

Bale’s return will tug on the heartstrings as fans reminisce about those warm, fuzzy feelings he gave them eight or nine years ago.

But in the here and now it smacks of the sort of moves Manchester United made after Sir Alex Ferguson left – a club going for any old marquee player who’s available because the foundations are creaking.

I’ve nothing against Bale, I love the player, and I’ve nothing against Spurs, either. I really like them as a club and have always respected them.

Spurs are paying Bale a huge salary to secure his services

But if they really are paying him £550,000 a week in wages for a nine-month loan then I can’t help thinking that money would have been far better spent on three, four, even five, top-notch loan signings who would have enhanced Tottenham’s squad far more greatly.

At 31, we know Bale still has some football left in him. The problem is, we don’t know how much.

He has suffered with injuries in recent seasons and what would concern me if I was a Tottenham fan is exactly how much of the season we will get out of him. Two-thirds? Half?

We’ll have to wait and see, yet for that sort of money we ought to know we’d be getting a player in his absolute prime week in, week out.

The Wales star was unveiled on Saturday

The other concern is that, if I was in that dressing-room, working my socks off week after week, for a fifth or sixth of the money earned by someone who isn’t playing every week, then that’s going to upset me.

So this deal just feels like back-pedalling by Spurs – a case of, ‘Let’s get the band back together’.

It’s like Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr being convinced to line up with a couple of jobbing musicians and people saying, ‘Great, The Beatles are back’.

Except it wouldn’t be, would it?

I know a lot of people think Bale doesn’t love football anymore, that he only loves golf, but I don’t buy into that.

What I do know, though, is that he’s not exactly shown a massive hurry to be playing football week in, week out.

Will Tottenham’s move to bring Bale back to the club backfire? Have your say here.

Doubts surround Bale’s ability to light up the Premier League as he once did

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He could have said at any point in the last couple of years, ‘You know what, I’ve been earning £650,000 a week for several years now – not just one or two – I’m not wanted here so I’ll go to somewhere for £100,000 a week and play again’.

He’d have had 10 massive clubs wanting to sign him, but instead, the only time he was tempted to leave was to go to China, the biggest backwater in world football, just for even more money.

By signing Bale at this stage of his career, Spurs look to be on the fast-track to the wilderness for four or five years, which is incredible if you look back to where they were under Pochettino.

I’m not pretending there were no issues towards the end of his reign but I’m certain they could have been ironed out.

Now it’s all about the smoke and mirrors you get with Mourinho these days, and after losing their first game to Everton and scraping through their Europa League qualifier on Thursday this smacks of them trying to pull another rabbit out of the hat.

Under Pochettino, Spurs were a forward-thinking, progressive club, but this move suggests that is no longer the case.

It is a disaster waiting to happen, the football equivalent of Boris Johnson’s Operation Moonshot.

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