Born to play for Spurs
We're a one man team. Funny that. Last time I looked I could see eleven players in Lilywhite with a fair few sitting on the bench.
We'd never win any games if it wasn't for Bale. Really? You mean, hold on, let me think about this for a second. Are you saying that if you took away Tottenham's best players...say, practically all of them, we'd not be very good? Same logic if you plucked out just the one then? That's a shocking indictment at the state of depth at the club. Whatever next? If Tottenham's players were blindfolded we'd be relegated?
If you haven't gathered, the above was a polite (be it condensing way) of displaying how many f**ks I give for all the haters out there. He's a Tottenham player so deal with it.
Gareth Bale's metamorphosis continues. But this is no caterpillar to butterfly. This is Godzuki to Godzilla with a Welsh twang to his roar. This is a player not just believing he is good enough to be one of the worlds best but physically and mentally smashing his way through the barriers of expectancy that are meant to obstruct him at every turn. He's still only twenty-three years of age. That much maligned criticism from many citing arrogance and misplaced personal hype was just a growing pain for the player. Left, right, through the middle...he plays where he wants. No anchor, no chains, the freedom of expression and devastating destruction. Anyone care for a Ronaldo step-over?
Part of me, that part that romanticises football in the face of steely pragmatics believes that if Tottenham qualify out right with certainty for the Champions League that perhaps (with long term contract in mind) the agenda would be to retain Bale for one last swan-song if not longer. Sure, that romance I dare to flirt with has me hoping that a footballer of such immense ability experiences an epiphany that sees him remaining loyal to the shirt he wears currently, knowing that iconic status would be chiselled into the echelons of history forever if he allowed a team to be built around him. Or just give us another season of his progression in a white shirt. The white of N17 rather than the white of a Spanish storm.
Gareth Bale will no doubt want a new experience abroad, much like me (in a wholly different capacity), he has his own romantic notions of what will constitute achievement and ambition. If a players heart belongs elsewhere, he'll follow it. So my energy is better reserved for the present and immediate future, that of this season and our push for another journey to the promised land of elitism and Champions League football. That thing we pretend to love to hate when we're uncertain of attaining it.
With so many big bad bullish games on the horizon, there might be ample opportunity for Bale to make history for Tottenham again and trigger that epiphany. Especially with clashes of titanic proportions not that far off against a variety of red and blue evil.
You might have tagged me with being overtly melodramatic but I simply cannot help but immerse myself with each game he plays knowing that the summer will be tenfold in comparison to the media's continued drive to broker a deal for Bale to Madrid/Barcelona. I wear my heart on my sleeve and I'll be damned to do otherwise. We should embrace and enjoy such talent in our midst and not hold back with our love for it.
His free-kick, deliciously dipping to beat Krul in the Newcastle goal. His second match-winning effort on the break, pelting away from the chasing black and white stripes, cruel for Tim as the ball beat him again, but unstoppable is the force of Gareth Bale. Their keeper saved twice more in the game from Bale shots and there was one wasteful mortal effort over the bar that should have seen the ball kicked to the ground rather than over the woodwork.
Do we rely on him too much? Of course we do. Don't all teams look to their key player for inspiration? I'm not one to waste time contemplating our lack of dimension when we all know the reality of our forward headache. But we do have other dimensions available to us. One or two are sleeping whilst the other is still fledgling having arrived from Germany early.
Talking of which, I've written a bundle of words and haven't even mentioned any other Spurs player, so perhaps we are a one man team and everyone else focusing on that one player is being matched by my obsessive positive commentary on him.
Of course we're not (a one man team). We've got plenty of ammunition, we're just low on trigger men.
Holtby impressed again, more so centrally than out wide. A couple of his efforts already have me basking in belief he will score some vital goals for us in the coming season(s) and more importantly crop up with them on a more consistent basis thanks to his role behind the most forward of players. Having Adebayor back will also be a bonus, if he doesn't lose his way to training next week. Bless him, it's been a wasteful season when compared to the impact he had last term. Protracted transfer saga, injuries, erratic form and misinterpreted on-field responsibility (mostly in the channels and on the flanks and not in the middle of the pen area waiting for a cross). But there are enough games for him to make amends - every one a cup final rather than an inconvenience. That ought to be the mentality. I hope he decides to accept the challenge and not muddle his way through the motions.
We didn't dominate Newcastle and we didn't test Krul enough (till the final chapter of the game) but then Lloris had little to do and the goal that beat him was a deflection off Dawson's back (he dived to tackle and turned too quickly - but then again, when he plays we don't tend to lose). When he (Hugo) was called into action late on, he was alert and decisive to stop a late Toon army equaliser, conceding a corner instead.
Dembele, so fortunate he hasn't joined Sandro on the sidelines. Nasty challenge. He was however a little misplaced with position for the most part of the game, too deep, not enough ownership of offensive space. Also credit to Clint Dempsey. From Honduras back to training and then playing almost 100 minutes at the Lane. Although arguably 100 minutes of ineffectual impact. He's testament to our reluctance to sign another forward.
One more? Lennon and his relentless tracking back.
But back to Gareth Bale we go and he was the difference, no doubting we'd be saying the same if we had that mythical 'star striker' available for us up front banging in the goals. Or the virtuoso conductor sitting deep in central midfield recycling possession with one-touch mastery. Or the brick wall of a defensive midfield guarding with utmost resolve like Gandalf against the Balrog.
There's no striker. There's no Luka. There's no Sandro (for now). But there's Lloris, Vertonghen, the returning Kaboul, Dawson, Lennon, Holtby, Dembele and many more. And Welsh lad named Gareth. Tottenham are hardly a one man team. We're a side that simply chooses to use their weapon of mass destruction rather than keeping it in reserve. What else are we meant to do? Restrain him? We may as well use up all the detonators before they're exported.
They might double up, they might congest the space he roams into, but they can't always contain for the full ninety and it's in those moments of escape that he can do so much damage. I'll take that every game.
Would be wonderfully refreshing if Gareth Bale is still in our white shirt next season. Would also be wonderfully refreshing if we kept on winning till the seasons end. I'm going to enjoy this moment and every moment he continues to offer us.
Bale > Godzilla
Godzilla has power but no pace and his footwork sucks.