Okay then. I got one thing wrong. Judging by Andre Villas-Boas press conference quotes, Gareth Bale has not been asked to stay away from training. He just hasn't bothered to turn up, I guess feeling 'let down' by Daniel Levy and the delay in completing his move to Real Madrid. A move that was always on the cards and has been protracted all summer long (even if some of you still believed it was completely fabricated by the media and Madrid and that Spurs had no intention of selling).
These are the quotes from AVB:
On Bale's absence: "I don't think it's correct behaviour"
On the transfer: "It's a dream move for him. This can happen in a different way, but Tottenham will accept most likely the biggest transfer in world football. He is involved in a big transfer move to Real Madrid and in the end if it happens, we wish him all the best, but the fact that he hasn't turned up is no the correct behaviour.
This is the position they chose to take and it's up to the club to decide if it's a fineable offence.
On the deal completing: "It could happen very, very soon".
So finally, we have actual confirmation after all the denials and deflection - Spurs have commented on it and told the world what the world already knew.
The media prefer not to report on negotiations but instead on the hype that would suggest negotiations are temperamental and chaotic - because that's far better entertainment that reporting on two clubs attempting to agree on a payment plan.
I've stood by Gareth Bale regarding his professionalism. The last blog I wrote citied why he hasn't been vocal. No reason for him to comment on any of this, not when dealing with a transfer worth around £90M or so. The only reason I can think of that has influenced his AWOL behaviour is that he's been told by his advisor's/agent not to turn up for training (even though I'm sure Spurs have 'parked' him until the deal is done to avoid any injury that would threaten the deal) to somehow apply pressure for this saga to end. Shame, for all the love he does have for Spurs, he could have handled this a little better.
Supporters are more likely to remember how it ended rather than all the good times. Although, with time, they'll remember the good times more. You hate your ex-girlfriend because she did the dirty on you, but then you remember those nights in, messing around in every room in the house, positively tantric. When it was good it was good, so don't pretend it wasn't.
Always works like that (unless you up and leave us for them lot down the road). Perhaps in an ideal world Spurs and Madrid could have agreed from the off and Bale might have been able to comment on his desire to go to La Liga from the off. But this is a record breaking transfer we're talking about here. Nothing comparable to say Sheringham to Utd.
Bale is however still contracted with us. He can't train because of that potential of injury (actual injury) but the fact he's staying away suggests that the player/Team Bale are concerned and don't trust Levy to a degree - believing this deal could fall apart at the last second. Otherwise, it's petulance, even if the inevitable is you'll never play for Spurs again.
Not sure I get the diplomacy of 'not turning up' if I'm honest. We are willing to sell him. He wants to go. Everyone chill the **** out, right?
Look, Bale has been phenomenal for us. In fact he's career at Spurs, almost runs parallel with our progression over the past several seasons. From a side that couldn't win a game to a side that can't stop winning games. He gave us some amazing moments, some truly explosive football. Iconic moments. Could have given us truly glorious moments had he chosen to stay another season, but this is the reality of the game.
Footballers thrive on taking their chance, to fulfil ambition and they live for the moment in the moment and without the risk of regret. He wants to go to Madrid more than he wants to stay at Spurs. If he doesn't go this summer the chance might not be there next. Sure, it's arguable that Bale is only wanted because Barcelona bagged Neymar. But Bale is hungry and ambitious. He wants to be the very best. He wants that in Spain and not in England. I still wish him luck.
As for Andre Villas-Boas. Class apart. At least he'll always have that touchline hug with Bale.
In a twisted way, his no-show in training makes it a little easier to take. Detaches me from the emotive reflection, leaving me looking ahead.
It's a new era. New players. A time for new heroes. Players come and go. We're stuck here forever. Take that as a blessing.