Gareth Bale: embarrassment

Discussion in 'Columns' started by spud, Mar 10, 2012.

  • by spud, Mar 10, 2012 at 9:58 PM
  • spud

    spud Well-Known Member

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    What I'm going to say won't be a popular view, and I will probably be flamed for it. But it needs to be said.

    A fellow poster wrote a few days ago that there is more to football than kicking a ball. He is so right. I am proud to be a supporter of Tottenham Hotspur. I am proud that our history - and our mantra - is about glory. I am proud of the 'Tottenham way'. I am proud of our integrity. Let me share a couple of examples.

    In the 1959-60 season we were challenging for the league and needed to win a game (possibly against Man City) to maintain our challenge. On the stroke of half time we were awarded a penalty. Cliff Jones took it and the 'keeper saved it, only for Jones to put in the rebound. The goal didn't stand. The half had expired, but the ref rightly allowed it to continue for the penalty to be taken; but with the 'keeper's save, the half was over. The players argued, but when the ref explained his decision to (Sir) Bill Nicholson he accepted it and told his team to do the same. We didn't win the game and - as you all know - we didn't win the league. As a club, we accepted what was right, even though it hurt us.

    Early in Alan Sugar's reign as Chairman, he discovered that players had been paid in a way that broke league rules. He reported it to the authorities. We were punished and - although the draconian level of the punishment was successfully appealed - we accepted our wrongdoing. We acted with honour. We did the right thing.

    This season, we inadvertently played an ineligible player in the NextGen tournament. He made a brief second-half appearance in a game that we won comfortably, and he didn't affect the outcome. When this was drawn to the club's attention, the team was immediately withdrawn from the competition. We had broken the rules, so we did the right thing. Contrast this to the behaviour of our opponents in the next round. Liverpool knew of our breach before we played them, but waited until we had knocked them out of the tournament before reporting it in order for them to be reinstated.

    The moral of these stories is that it is important to do the right thing. Winning by cheating is a phyrric victory, and a trophy won by breaking the rules is a trophy not worth having.

    This is why I am ashamed - yes, ashamed - of the behaviour of Gareth Bale. His diving has frequently been debated on this forum, and I have been saddened to see that he has many apologists. Many have proposed the argument that he doesn't dive, he merely takes evasive action in order to avoid destructive challenges by ruthless defenders, and thereby prolong his career. Bale himself has recently used this lame excuse to justify his behaviour. (Perhaps he got the idea from reading it on SC.) I don't accept this, and many proponents of this argument would dismiss it if it were made by, for example, an Arsenal or Chelsea player. They would call what they see: he is a diver and a cheat.

    Today against Everton we had the most obvious example of this to date. In midfield, in the face of an extremely mild 'challenge' from an opponent, Bale launched himself into the air. He wasn't propelled by the challenge: he hadn't been touched. He wasn't avoiding a potentially career-threatening tackle, as the Everton player hadn't tried to tackle him. He simply decided to perform a theatrical dive. He cheated. Again.

    This has to stop.

    Behaving in this way causes Bale to embarrass himself, his teammates, and everybody at the club - including its supporters. I happen to believe that it will mean that he (and the rest of the team) will be awarded fewer free kicks by officials who will think they are being conned, but that is not relevant. What is relevant is that he is harming the reputation of our great club. A reputation for fair play, for doing things the right way. An honourable reputation that has been built over 130 years.

    I have admired Bale's play since he became a regular member of the team. I have cheered his great skill, the way he races past defenders and puts in perfect crosses. I have rejoiced in his great goals. But, in spite of all of this, if he won't stop cheating, I want him to be sold. Yes, sold. No player is bigger than the club, and if he continues to behave in a way that erodes the noble tradition of Tottenham Hotspur, then I want him to be playing as far away from the Lane as we can get him. (If the club then said that his refusal to stop diving was the reason for his transfer, then that would be perfect.) If we were to win a trophy because of his antics, then that trophy would be tainted. We wouldn't really have won it.

    I would miss his great skill, his wonderful goals. But his departure would be a price worth paying.

    Flame away.
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Discussion in 'Columns' started by spud, Mar 10, 2012.

  1. kcmei
    i have no problem with bale diving to protect himself from nasty injuries. What i want bale to do is to be more disciplined, he seems a tad selfish of late and making the wrong decisions in the final third
  2. Ionman34
    During my youth I played a variety of sports which included Football, Cricket, Athletics and Basketball. Whilst there is a deal of diversity within these sports, one thing they all had in common, sprinting was involved (yes, even Cricket!).

    Now this may sound condescending but it's not meant to be, so please bear with me on this.

    Sprinting involves the rapid movement of legs in extremely close proximity, your legs never really being any more than 2-3 inches away from each other when crossing so the slightest contact causing foot, leg etc to deviate from its original course will result in the legs, or feet, coming into contact. The result? A fall. This occurred in every sport I played, even athletics where I used to hurdle. Even a light clip on the hurdle was sufficient for a fall.

    This is from slight contact, what then from a tackle?

    My Footballing 'career' came to a spectacular end at age 26 from a 'tackle' when I was sprinting down a wing. The defender put in a lunging tackle which missed the ball but caught me just as I was past him. The tackle wasn't a 'clean him up' tackle as such but was sufficient to cause me to lose my balance. In an effort to compensate I landed awkwardly on my right foot, whilst trying to maintain my balance and continue the run, and snapped both my anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments because my bodyweight was so out of alignment with my right leg.

    I am now 43 and haven't played a truly competitive game of Football since.

    I wasn't anywhere near as fast as Bale, I wasn't regarded as much of a threat as him either and know that the defender made a genuine challenge to win the ball (he happened to be an old school friend) rather than look to take me out of the game or 'spoil' the attack.

    Bale doesn't have that luxury. With so much money being dependant on wins or losses, there are now so called 'professionals' out there who have no qualms about injuring another player, particularly if they are as influential as Bale and his ilk. Anyone who holds to this 'professionals just don't go out to injure other professionals' is seriously deluding themselves. I have been told first hand by other pro's that such is the case, Roy Keane even admitted to it in his biography and the evidence is out there as plain as day, even for the most unobservant amongst us.

    Bale 'hitting the deck' to avoid a tackle is, for me, thoroughly acceptable based on the above. I have first hand experience of what even a minor contact can do when you try to keep your feet, God forbid Bale ever tried to do the same after being clattered in the way he does. Not only would we, as Spurs fans, be deprived of his Football, the game as a whole would too. I wonder, at times, if the more 'vocal' complainers on here have ever kicked a ball in their lives, they certainly don't seem to understand the mechanics involved.

    Having said that, Bale rolling around like he's been picked of by a Barrett is, quite frankly, embarrassing. Win the freekick then get up and get on with it, the histrionics are totally unnecessary. But, on the whole, I don't feel that Bale deserves this label that many seem to want to tag him with. I can't help but feel that this has come from fans of the more 'traditional cheats' who have latched onto this due to our deserved reputation as an extremely clean and fair side and their wish to knock it. The unfortunate thing is that the true apologists are those who agree with them in an effort to maintain this perception, rather than point out the obvious. I even read on here one poster stating that, if he had been a goon or Chav, we would shout down his explanation in much the same way they have.

    Quite frankly, so what? The denial by biased fans doesn't invalidate his explanation. In all honesty I think it serves to reinforce it, as the majority of the gobby goons etc would argue Black is White if a Yid stated the opposite.

    By all means, yell 'Get up Bale you Tart' if he's rolling around on the floor unreasonably, but to demand to sell him smacks of someone desperate to appease the opposition because they've been teased just a little too much for their liking.

    FFS man, grow a pair and start living up to your label as a SUPPORTER of Tottenham Hotspur rather than be an apologist to the scum.
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  3. Welshiespursboyo
    What a disgusting load of utter shit. Jesus fucking Christ
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  4. nailsy
    Bale may be a bit of a tart but after watching Drogba rolling around the floor against Barca I can safely say he's got a long way to go before he reaches Chelsea's level.
  5. spud
    I appreciate that your explanation of the mechanics of running was well-meaning and served to make your point. I happen not to completely agree with it; and I too have played sport (football and rugby) at quite a high level.

    As for your last point, I couldn't give a flying fuck what opposition fans, players or management think or say. My point was made because I deplore cheating, and find it particularly odious when it is done by a Spurs player. Your advice to 'grow a pair' was ill-advised and unwelcome, and I could pit my credentials as a supporter of this club against anybody on this board.

    I often enjoy reading your comments, but on this occasion you let yourself down.

    As regards Mr. Bale's diving, I haven't noticed a single one since the Everton game. He is to be applauded for that; long may it continue.
  6. Ionman34
    Yep, the last comment was in the heat of the moment and was probably unnecessary, I apologise for that.

    Please explain your not 'completely' agreeing with the mechanics. having had first hand experience of the worst case outcome in the scenario, I'd be interested to know where you believe I'm incorrect in my assessment.

    As to Bale not 'diving' since the Everton game, I have seen him hit the deck against Sunderland, Swansea and Norwich (I haven't seen the semi) but noted the lack of histrionics in all of these games. I did note that the contact was fairly minimal though so I don't feel his approach to 'tackle avoidance' has changed, just the attempts for an Oscar nomination.

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