I write this with a heavy heart, having to finally accept that Gareth Bale has left Tottenham and signed for Real Madrid. This piece is a few days late as I’ve been on holiday but I wanted to acknowledge the contribution Bale has made over the past seasons at White Hart Lane.Gareth Bale’s leaving of Tottenham hasn’t been just as bad as when Jimmy Greaves left all those years ago having broken Tottenham scoring records in his nine years at White Hart Lane. Over the years I’ve grown accustomed to star players leaving the club to better themselves – Michael Carrick, Dimitar Berbatov and Luka Modric have made it a regular occurrence in recent seasons.
This time it’s different, Tottenham have been pro-active throughout the summer to prepare for this eventuality even if we didn’t want to accept it would happen. Daniel Levy has worked tirelessly to sign quality players to strengthen Andre Villas-Boas’ team. Paulinho, Nacer Chadli, Roberto Soldado and Etienne Capoue have certainly made the team stronger and prevent Tottenham having to rely on one player. The arrival of Vlad Chiriches, Erik Lamela and Christian Eriksen provide AVB with further options especially in creativity.
As Bale departs, he leaves many brilliant memories of which we can never be deprived. He mightn’t have brought us any silverware but there’s a host of memorable games to remember – breath-taking goals and runs of dazzling, amazing brilliance since signing from Southampton in the summer of 2007.
‘Taxi for Maicon‘
I only get to White Hart Lane for five or six games each season but I am fortunate to be able to say I was there on the night Bale terrorised Inter Milan and Maicon in the Champions League. What a night, what a performance from Gareth Bale – truly memorable and no-one who was at that game will ever forget the chants of “Taxi for Maicon” as they rang around the stadium.
Last season had so many unforgettable moments – the late winner at Upton Park, the winner against Sunderland in what would become his last game for Spurs and many, many more.
Twenty Minutes against Liverpool
Again, I have another ‘I was there’ moments to savour from last season. The opening twenty minutes of the home game against Liverpool. Bale ran them ragged as he scored the first, confusing Reina with a free-kick and then set up the second goal for Aaron Lennon. He caused their defence untold difficulties with his direct running and pace in a typical Bale performance – Gareth Bale at his very best.
In the home Europa League match against Lyon, Spurs were far from their best but Bale stepped up, took responsibility and produced two outstanding strikes from almost identical free-kicks. Spurs were a goal down as half-time approached but in added time they were awarded a free-kick which Bale stepped up to take. The goalkeeper knew that Bale was going to shoot but when he did, such was the dip and swerve Bale got on the ball that the goalkeeper was helpless and the ball nestled safely in the back of the net – unbelievable.
Come added time at the end of the second half with the match still level at 1 – 1, Spurs were awarded another free-kick from a similar position. Lyon set up their wall as Bale lined up his shot. The goalkeeper jumped around nervously on his goal-line, knowing what to expect. I watched from the stand thinking, “He can’t do it again, can he?” Bale stepped up, struck the ball perfectly and he had answered my doubts with another goal of pure quality.
Thanks for those “I was there” moments and the many memories from the past seasons. In years ahead as Spurs fans discuss memorable moments from past Tottenham I’ll be pleased to say, “I was there when Gareth Bale…….”
We ALL Move On!
Gareth Bale is no longer a Tottenham player – he has moved and we wish him well at Real Madrid. We will move on without him and the money from his transfer has been put to good use as AVB has strengthen his squad and we look forward positively to life without Gareth Bale at Tottenham.
If he decides at any time to return to the Premier League, I trust he will recall his leaving remark, “Tottenham will always be in my heart”, and have the desire come back to White Hart Lane to help us in the Champions League.