We need to talk about Gareth Bale, or, in truth, we need to talk about Spurs fans talking about Gareth Bale. The 2012-13 season will forever be remembered by Spurs fans as ‘that season’ the season Gareth Bale lit up the Premier League and solidified himself as one of the best young footballers on the planet. It was a good season; Spurs recorded their highest ever points total in a Premier League season (Poch doing what he can to beat that record every season) but sadly missed out on Champions League football, again.
What that season did do was elevate Gareth Bale to the world stage, and sadly for Spurs sparked Real Madrid’s interest and we all know what happened from there. Another side effect of Bale having the season he did was that Gareth Bale not only raised the bar of quality for Spurs in the Premier League, he became the bar. Any Spurs player of genuine quality will be compared to that 2012-13 season Gareth Bale had, Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen have both been talked about and compared to Bale by Spurs fans, despite them both playing different roles but this is because Bale was the first genuinely world class player at Spurs in the Premier League era.
Players being compared to other players is nothing new, each club has their player that sums up a certain time or era for that club, in the 80’s Spurs had Glenn Hoddle, the 90’s had Jurgen Klinsmann and the 00’s had Robbie Keane, the early part of this decade was dominated by Gareth Bale. The problem with Gareth Bale is that he represents a different time in Spurs’ history; he represents a time when we had one world class player, not a team full of world class talent, when finishing just short in the race for the top four was as regular as a scuffed shot by Moussa Sissoko. The first few seasons at the start of this decade showed promise for Spurs and no doubt laid some of the foundations for our current sides upturn in league finishes; the signings of Moussa Dembele and Jan Vertonghen by Villas-Boas to name but a few.
Unlike Gareth Bale, Super-Jan and Moussa Dembele both love Spurs, Gareth Bale does not. This is something Spurs fans need to realise for the sake of themselves and everyone else on Spurs’ Twitter having their feeds clogged up every summer of rumours how Gareth Bale is ‘coming home’ except for Bale, White Hart Lane isn’t home and Spurs fans would do well to remember that. Whether it be tweeting his support for Woolwich players in an upcoming cup final or not attending our Farewell White Hart Lane celebration due to ‘commitments’ at Real Madrid Gareth Bale has shown that he doesn’t feel the same way about Tottenham that Tottenham fans feel about him.
When Hugo Loris first signed for Spurs he said in an interview that all Spurs fans do is talk about the Spurs teams of the past, and this current squad could become a team that is spoken about in the future. Gareth Bale needs to become a player of the past; he may have been a mercurial player in that 2012-13 season but his relationship with Spurs since then has been apathetic at best, and we, as Spurs fans deserve better from our heroes.
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