Gareth Bale came to back to Tottenham as the conclusion to a fairytale, it would take a very brave man to have said – before he kicked a ball for us again – that it was a deal that ought to have been swerved. Even I found the offer irresistible. The reality is, of course, just as Mourinho warned, nobody is the same as they were 7 years ago.
The problem Spurs have is that Bale is a colossal expense. I have no idea how many extra shirts the boy has triggered, but with fans likely to be locked out games for perhaps most of his season long loan, I’m not confident the club will be ahead. Of course, if the 31-year-old comes alive and either propels us into a final that we then win, or wins a final with a piece of magic, then it’s easier to construct a case for the loan having been a success.
The reason for highlighting last night’s game in order to voice my despair isn’t because I ran out of patience after just 7 appearances, it’s just that Ludogorest were so poor, Bale should have done better.
It wasn’t just a faulty pair of shooting boots that were the problem. When we look at that big, overarching stat of total successful actions, Bale only hit 48% – which is not good – and worse yet, against a side you wallop 4-0.
Let’s hope he turns it around, because so far, this has not been a fabulous investment.