Poor Gareth Bale. My heart went out to him this week. He really is having an awful time of it.
I really can’t imagine how exploited little Bale is ever going to get over his emotionally draining multi-million pound transfer from Tottenham Hotspur to Real Madrid. I can’t even begin to imagine how traumatic a time it’s been for him. So much money, attention and private jets is bound to make you feel hard done by, eh?
Bale is without question one of the most talented young players recently to emerge from the ranks of English football but his actions over the last few weeks propagate the stereotypical view that footballers are self-centred, money obsessed and petulant who are altogether lacking in honour, loyalty and integrity.
I’m not for one moment suggesting Bale should not want to join Real Madrid; it’s perfectly natural. If I was Bale and I was given the choice between London and Madrid I would chose the Spanish capital every time. But there are ways and means of going about things and behaving like a spoilt child and refusing to turn up for training is not one of them.
Until he signs on the dotted line for Real Madrid, Gareth Bale is employed by Spurs. The fans who have supported him since he joined from Southampton in 2007 are the people who have paid his wages. It’s not a simplistic point to suggest that Bale’s actions in recent weeks show utter disrespect for the fans - his behaviour was unacceptable and just because you have one of the world’s most famous teams wanting to sign you does not give you the right to treat others like dirt.
Many have their own opinions on whether Bale is worth the £86m that Real Madrid are willing to pay for him but that doesn’t concern me. What does, is Bale is prepared to carry on like a spoilt brat until he gets his own way. Like I said, there are ways and means of going about things and throwing a tantrum like an overgrown child is not one of them.
If you or I refused to turn up to work, like Gareth Bale did on Tuesday, we would be disciplined so why should it be any different for footballers?
The reason it’s different for footballers is because there is so much money being ploughed into the game that players like Bale think to themselves they can afford to treat their current club with a lack of respect because they know they are headed for pastures greener.
Again, just because a transfer to Real Madrid is almost in the bag should not mean you show total disdain for the people who have supported you and helped you for the last six years.
To a certain extent, I could turn a blind eye to Bale’s behaviour if Spurs had refused to sell him to Madrid but that hasn’t happened. Manager Andreas Villas-Boas even admitted earlier this week that Bale would more than likely join Real Madrid but still, poor little Bale refused to turn up to training.
The dogs in the street know that Gareth Bale will be playing in La Liga next year so instead of treating fans and team-mates like idiots, why not behave in a way that would challenge the way I and so many other people view modern footballers - with dignity, respect and a sense of perspective. Bale might be talented but since showing his true colours this week I am sure I won’t be the only one saying good riddance.