THERE has been loads of talk about a bailout this week — but it’s the thought of seeing a Bale in which really excites me.
The first appearance in the second coming of a man I rated as the third-best player in the world when we last saw him in a Tottenham shirt.
And that’s not bad given he was trailing only Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo!
All being well, Gareth Bale will today play his first game in a season-long loan back in N17.
And we should all be rubbing our hands at the prospect . . . I know I certainly am.
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What a forward line Jose Mourinho has got now — Harry Kane, Son Heung-min and Bale.
In my book that stands comparison alongside Liverpool’s (above) . . . and any around in fact.
Imagine if you’re a defender and you see those three names on the teamsheet. It’s mouth- watering for most but knee- trembling for anyone trying to stop them.
I’ve heard people saying that the Bale we see now won’t be a patch on the one who left Spurs for Real Madrid seven years ago — but I’m not having that.
Gareth is a naturally fit lad and looks after himself. And even if he has lost half a yard of pace, possibly even a yard, so what?
He was that quick he’ll still be faster than 90 per cent of those he comes up against.
There is so much of Gareth’s game that reminds me of Ronaldo. It’s scary how good he is.
Bale can pick the ball up on the edge of his own box and before you know it, he’s beaten half-a-dozen players and is in the opposition one.
But it’s not all about pace, so forget any idea that he won’t be half the player if he’s not as fast as before.
His left foot is like a sledgehammer and he’ll smash a few in from 30 yards, for sure.
And, like Ronaldo, the rest of his game is so good that you forget how dangerous he is in the air, too.
It just amazes me that Zinedine Zidane fell out with him, because Gareth is such a nice kid that I’d think that was almost impossible.
Maybe Zidane just didn’t fancy him and Tottenham fans should be thanking their lucky stars for that, because it means they’ve got a great player on a great deal.
Oh, and one more thing for anyone who thinks that at 31 Bale is over the hill . . . he’s four years younger than Ronaldo, so he’s hardly drawing his pension.
Spurs have played a blinder because they aren’t even paying a fee. There are bang-average players on loan and clubs are forking out £2m or £3m for the privilege.
Tottenham won’t be paying anything like some of the silly figures I’ve seen guessed at towards his wages either. It’s a great move for Gareth and a great one by Daniel Levy.
How ironic that he’s likely to make his return for one of my old clubs today against another, in West Ham.
They’re in good form themselves, so I know they’ll fancy it. But with the squad Spurs have they should be title challengers this year — even if some think I’m mad to say so.
Pretty much two internationals in every position, strength in depth . . . Jose knows they have got to be in the mix.
Let’s face it, Spurs should be up there. They’ve got the best stadium, the best training ground and now one of the best squads as well.
I remember the old training ground wasn’t too shabby either, by the way. It was certainly a world away from the one I left at Portsmouth when I went there in 2008.
Actually, we didn’t even have one — our sessions were on a university pitch and we had to be off there at 11am so they could use it.
We were training on a public park with no hot water for about four months, with players like Teddy Sheringham, Patrik Berger and Eyal Berkovic.
I walked into Spurs and thought, ‘This is unbelievable’ — and that was before they moved into the current one.
When the work started on that, I always wondered why Daniel never asked me where I wanted my office to be.
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