When you’re 4-0 down, with only ten men and you’re facing the current European champions, then to eventually lose 4-3 constitutes a pretty successful result.
Some said that we had nothing to lose at the San Siro, but to be on the wrong end of a thrashing would have done neither our hopes of making the Champions League knockout stages, or our confidence any good. At 4-0 the game was difficult to watch and no one would have been surprised had Inter scored six or seven.
Luckily they took the foot off the gas in the second half and Gareth Bale took full advantage, scoring a magnificent hat-trick, allowing us to leave Italy with a decent goal difference intact. Were we allowed to enjoy this ‘comeback’ and Bale’s achievement on it’s own merits though? Of course not.
Adrian Chiles and Gareth Southgate were immediately debating as to how many millions Gareth Bale had added to his value, with those three goals. Not only had we lost 4-3, but we’d lost our best young player. To hear them talk, it is only a matter of when Bale will depart White Hart Lane.
It’s another example of how the media don’t take us seriously. I rather clumsily expressed this in an article yesterday, in regards to the media reaction to our interest in Wayne Rooney. I don’t actually think that we’ll sign Rooney, or necessarily feel that we should, but I fail to see how the notion is much sillier than Manchester City buying him.
Today it’s only a matter of time before Bale departs. Do I think that he’ll spend his entire career at Spurs? No, but I’d still be surprised if he left as early as this summer. He only signed a new four year contract last season, which puts us in a position of power that Manchester United can’t claim to be in with regards to Rooney.
Bale is playing so well and is such a force of nature, that one can only imagine how much he’d fetch on the open market. Who could afford him? Probably only Manchester City, Chelsea, Barcelona, Real Madrid and the Milan clubs. I’ve heard some United fans claiming that they should use the proceeds of Rooney’s sale to buy Bale. I think that they are majorly overestimating the fee that they are likely to receive for Rooney. With just 18 months on Rooney’s contract, Bale is the more valuable player.
Unless Bale agitates for a move, there’s no reason to sell. He doesn’t seem the type, but we’ve been surprised before in this regard (hello Robbie). So at worst we receive at least £30m and at best we get to keep watching one of the most exciting young players in the world. Not a bad position to be in is it?
Neither is being second in our Champions League group after three games. Twente and Werder Bremen did us a favour with their draw and we are in a nice position to qualify.
Yes, we defended shockingly, but what do we expect when we are constantly changing centre backs and our full backs aren’t exactly the most defensively reliable? This isn’t breaking news to any of us and it’s something that we need to address. Despite my unadulterated man-love for Ledley King, I’m reaching the stage where I’m an advocate for him playing a role as a high class reserve and putting our faith in players who can be relied upon to stay fit.
Not every team is Inter Milan though and we’re doing pretty well at the moment. It’s certainly never boring to be a Spurs fan and at least the Champions League group stage isn’t the sort of snorefest for us that it seems to be for our Premier League rivals.