Monday, February 09, 2015

Oh dear, oh dearie me!

If your club had spent £85m on a player, you would expect great things of him. That is the price Real Madrid paid Tottenham Hotspurs for Gareth Bale in 2013.

Yesterday’s 4-0 defeat to Atletico in the Madrid derby left the newspapers saying he was a disaster, irrelevant and listless. To suggest his performance was ineffective would be an understatement. Bale had 44 touches of the ball, completed only 22 passes and had no shots on target. He made just one successful cross, conceded three free-kicks and - crucially against a combative team like Atletico - did not make any successful tackles.
This was Real’s worst derby defeat since they lost 5-0 in 1947 and will be remembered, along with their 5-0 loss against Barcelona in 2010 for a long, long time.
This is not the first criticism that Bale has received this year. He has been accused of being selfish on a number of occasions because of his reluctance to pass the ball. He is now regarded by many as being too individual.
I have said it before and will say it again, to my mind the economics of football are just crazy. No footballer, no matter how talented he may be, is worth the price that some clubs are prepared to pay and certainly not worth the salaries they demand. Particularly in a country like Spain where so many are living below the poverty line, it seems to me obscene that so much money is lavished on what is only a game. 

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