So Spurs go crashing out the Asia Trophy after being thrashed 3-1 by Sunderland in heavy rain with accompanying swamp. I had the volume turned down and spent most of the game working with the occasional ironic tweet mocking the knee-jerk reactions of the masses as we performed without several first team players. To be factually correct, on my timeline, there was no hysteria. One or two attempted to report on the game like the formation and individual performances mattered. They do and they don't. They mostly don't.
These promotional friendly games exist only for the creation of money, for both the Premier League and the clubs involved. Sure, we're all giving back something to the profitable Asian market and their fanatical fans, but friendly games can be played out with far more relative comfort at home. Which we have done already, so I'm not really sure what my point is. I guess I'm bitter we haven't made it to the final.
Only talking point was Jan Vertonghen going off on a stretcher then apparently being asked if he wanted to return to the game. He's got an MRI scan and according to Andre Villas-Boas he might have sprained his ligaments (left ankle). The incident occurred six minutes after he came on post-half time. Those footballing Gods obviously warming up for the season ahead with a little teaser of hate.
Elsewhere, the Madrid momentum continues to push paranoia into the Spurs conciousness. No change to the normality of the summer months, but for the first time this I have this somewhat unnerving disposition with the whole affair. It must be paranoia. Got to be. I was only laughing at Madrid's obsession the other day.
How many times can AVB confirm he's had the chairman's word that Bale will not be sold? Even though he hasn't quite stated it with complete conviction, but then why would he? If Bale was sold, he'd look a mug for being so confident. Which means it's likely that Levy has been ambiguous with his commitment. Perhaps saying he doesn't want Bale to be sold rather than suggesting he won't be sold.
AVB is now distancing himself from the rebuttals because he can't be bothered answering the same question over and over again. Is that because he doesn't truly know the answer or is he fed up with being misquoted and thus feeding the headline hungry reporters? Even today, he suggested he was counting on Bale to stay, only for the articles to follow the press conference to cite that AVB was staying silent on the story...just because he referenced previous statements made to the press.
Do you see why my paranoia has been elevated?
Now there are reports that Spurs are seeking to buy/loan Fábio Coentrão from Real Madrid. Carefully placed rumours to ignite more Bale/Player swap stories or is there truth in it? If so, is the truth simply an interest in their player without any handshakes of doom concerning our prize asset?
I wrote yesterday that it serves no interest in the player (Bale) stating out right he's going to stay because his agent would disprove at such loyalty. The chairman, as ever, holds the key. I still believe Bale is content, happy even, to stay another season with us. But the crux of it still remains at the hands of Daniel Levy and his resolve and intentions if...if...IF Madrid actually bid for the player. Which they have not done so far.
Christ, this self-doubt has come out of nowhere and knocked me six.
Are they waiting for a green light? For Spurs to sign the players they wish to sign? Roberto Soldado is far from a dead deal (rumours of a transfer request). But then, why would you knowingly disassemble a gun when you purchase a magazine of bullets?
**** me, this paranoia is poisoning my blood and hurting my head. Brain pulsating, heart beating.
Bale will leave if Spurs accept a bid.
There is no bid.
But a bid might be forthcoming.
If it's forthcoming, Levy probably knows this.
Why take the risk of another season and lose out on a potential £60M now?
Can we even compare this to the stance made with Luka Modric? Why not? Even if Bale goes for £40M more, surely holding onto our best player signals a far more prominent statement of intent than banking the money and spending it on new players. It might be that in the long term this will aid the club substantially more. But can we not hold onto those dying remnants of hope and glory? It doesn't always have to be about best business practice. Making another stance isn't about obsessing and prioritising one individual over the club. It's about protecting the club as a whole with all its associated individuals locked in as one entity. A collected representation of THFC. Pick one out simply for financial gain is an acceptance of defeat. Even if it's inevitable at a later time.
Why would we weaken ourselves? Football, when you look back on it, should always be about the club but its the moments that are personal to you that define your association with it.
Those moments are made up of the players, individuals, wearing the shirt and I for one do not want to rationalise losing Bale this summer. I want to see more outrageous goals. I want to see further evolution. And I want to see us compete across a season and endeavour to fight every single obstacle that gets chucked in front of us even if it ends in tears again, I don't care because this club belongs to me and belongs to every one of you. And even if its still our club when the likes of Bale or whatever player that happens to be the star move away, its those lingering memories that are left behind that can never be taken away.
What? Is this too romanticised for you? I'd probably get my point across better with a triple rum in one hand and my other arm wrapped around your shoulder slurring this out back in the Bricklayers.
I'll wake up tomorrow and slap myself across the face, reading this back.
The inevitable is only so if you stand aside and let it happen. This is in our hands. Absolutely no doubt about it.
Do we want to survive? Do we want to compete? Or do we want to win?
At the end of the day, keeping Bale on and risking his valuation dropping (in a worst case scenario) is a gutless way of looking at it. We go on about the lack of loyalty with footballers in the modern age. Perhaps if we stopped rationalising them as commodities and investments then it would be easier. Perhaps if they stopped using clubs as stepping stones it would be easier. However, in this case, holding onto Bale is worth more than the £60M or whatever we would get for him if we sold him tomorrow.