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Champions League Or Bust For Tottenham?
Northstream (Tottenham Hotspur) 3 years ago
It's a win-win for us whatever happens. If Bale leaves for 60 mill we can buy three-four class players instead. However, it's a good chance we will keep him for at least another season
Footytubeblog (Blog) 3 years ago
Tottenham Hotspur fans hardly need much in the way of a gentle reminder as to how important attaining Champions League football is to the development of the club. But amongst the backdrop of bloated bank balances and financially supercharged rewards that the competition has to offer the club, it’s perhaps the role it will play in retaining Gareth Bale, that’s now become just as important.

With Bale-mania currently attaining a juggernaut like presence following the Welshman’s irresistible performances of late, all eyes have predictably turned to where the fate of Spurs’ Welsh-wonder may lie during the summer. Yet although Fleet Street may have you think otherwise, believe it or not, Spurs supporters generally seem to possess a calm pragmatism in regards to their prized asset’s future.

After all, at still only 23-years-old, he’s hardly in any immediate rush to move and if he did decide he wanted to depart White Hart Lane this summer, who could realistically afford him?

The pool of clubs that could feasibly stump up the reported £50millon plus it would take to start the bidding is very small indeed. With the Welshman’s contract running until 2016 and one of the hardest chairmen in the business in Daniel Levy running the club, there’s hardly any room for immediate concern.

Yet beneath that calm also lies a begrudging acknowledgement of what the future might eventually hold. Some fans will tell you that there’s no way the club should ever contemplate selling its star asset, although if Bale continues to progress at the rate he has done over the last twelve months, it’s difficult to see how much Spurs can do - Champions League or not - to keep him at the club for many years to come.

However much Tottenham might develop in the near future, and Bale himself has a very prominent part to play in that, they never will be a Real Madrid or a Barcelona. Bale’s spoke on more than just the one occasion about his willingness to ply his trade abroad. You get the feeling that it’s a more a matter of when, rather than if Gareth Bale moves abroad.

But the point is, that doesn’t have to happen at the end of this season and perhaps maybe not the season after, either. He’s still got the best years of his career well ahead of him and he’s playing in a team that’s slowly cultivating itself to cater for his ever developing-skillset. The fate of his old teammate Luka Modric since his move to Real Madrid, will not have gone unnoticed either and Bale will know the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. Staying at least another season at White Hart Lane makes perfect sense for him.

Although you can’t help but feel that staying in N17 makes perfect sense to the player on one, Champions League-shaped condition.

Given the fact Gareth Bale is under contract to Tottenham Hotspur, it seems slightly illogical to consider Spurs ‘keeping their part of a deal’ to their own player. Although in attaining Champions League football, that may very well be the case.

Let’s be under no illusions here – when Bale signed his lucrative new, four-year deal back in June last year, it came as something of a bolt out of the blue to most supporters. Ironically, speculation about his departure during last summer wasn’t nearly as fervent as what it was with the club now in real contention for Champions League qualification.

Although only two months before singing that new contract, Bale told BBC’s Football Focus: "If we don't [qualify for the Champions League], I have to discuss what's best for myself."
He’s since claimed that he “never considered leaving,” and that Levy’s vision for the club is “exciting.” Although you imagine that part of “moving in the right direction,” to quote Bale himself, involves qualifying for the Champions League this term.

Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas has been refreshingly honest with the media since his arrival at the club during the summer and he left supporters under no illusions as to how important a top four finish was in relation to securing Gareth Bale’s future. The Portuguese warned that achieving a top-four finish was “intimately related,” to keeping Bale at the club.

Regardless of where Spurs do finish this season, no one can account for the extrinsic and even if the Lilywhites do attain Champions League football, who knows whether a Real Madrid will put a head-turning offer the way of both club and player?

The difference is that if they go into the summer with the pastures of Champions League football beckoning for the season ahead, they’re an awful lot better placed to deal with what eventually may come. For the club, they’ve fulfilled Gareth Bale’s ambition to play in the competition once more and for the player, perhaps the desire to play for one of the world’s greatest footballing institutions is shelved, at least for another season.

Fail to do so however, and while the writing isn’t quite on the wall for Tottenham Hotspur, the signs look ominous for Bale’s future at the club. No one man is bigger than the club and as we’ve seen with the likes of Modric, Dimitar Berbatov and Michael Carrick before him, life goes on at the football club no matter who stays or goes.

Their fate in the league this season will be judged upon how they perform as a collective and everyone from Bale to Villas-Boas will be playing their part in that. It would be a great shame to loose a player of the calibre of Bale’s due to simply a smidgen of league points. Finish fifth however, and that could well unfortunately be the case.

Written by Sam Antrobus

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