Friday, August 2, 2013

A BALE-full of Questions, Some Answers and a Really Nutty Idea

QUESTION #1: Can Real Madrid Afford Gareth Bale?
Marca originally said that the Bale Saga would conclude in a matter of hours. Now, they're telling us that the saga ends after 145m  Euros... when oh, when will it ever end???
The answer to this is simply, yes. 
.
Real Madrid are very Rich and are very good at becoming even Richer.
Apart from being the richest club in the world (largely thanks to a TV deal that's killing the rest of La Liga), Real Madrid (the Florentino Perez - Jose Angel Sanchez tandem, in particular) are also the pioneers and current world leaders in capitalizing on the marketability of their star players. This was true with Figo-Zidane-Ronaldo-Beckham, and it continues to be true today. Despite the fact that only Cristiano Ronaldo panned out to become a galactico in Perez's second presidency (Kaka and Benzema have not lived up to it thus far), his popularity and profitability has been immense. And even though Kaka never played like a galactico for Real Madrid, his immense popularity in Asia remains something the club can bank on even just a bit.
.
Florentino Perez is a man who is acutely aware of the power of 'stars' in the 'business of football' and is also fully aware of the magnetism of the Premier League in Asia. In Gareth Bale, he will have an English-speaking, British player who was undisputedly the best player in the world's most popular (not the best, but most popular) league in the world. There is no doubt that he can capitalize on the earning potential that Bale can bring to Madrid.
.
.
Real Madrid haven't "REALLY spent" for anything in this transfer Market.
To date, 74m has been spent on player purchases:
-6m for Dani Carvajal, from Bayer Leverkusen (buyback option)
-6m for Carlos Casemiro, from Sao Paolo (post-loan option)
-30m for Isco, from Malaga
-32m for Illaramendi, from Real Sociedad
.
BUT, Real Madrid has also 'earned' 63.4m from Player Departures.
-37m Higuain to Napoli
-12m Albiol to Napoli
-10m Callejon to Napoli
-4.4m Negredo from the deal between Man City with Sevilla (sell-on clause)
(Benfica's Ezequel Garay, a supposed Manchester United target, also reportedly has a sell-on clause)
.
That's a net spend of 10.6m Euros - less than what Swansea paid for Wilfred Bony (12m GBP).
.
This is the first summer of Florentino's second term in this presidency. In the first summer of Florentino's first term in this presidency, his significant purchases were (265.7m):
-Cristiano Ronaldo 96m from Manchester United
-Kaka 67m from AC Milan
-Karim Benzema 35m from Lyon
-Xabi Alonso 35m from Liverpool
-Raul Albiol 15m from Valencia
-Alvaro Arbeloa 5.7m from Liverpool
-Alvaro Negredo 5m from Almeria (Buyback)
-Esteban Granero 4m from Getafe (Buyback)
.
While the key departures were (88.5m) :
-Klass Jan Huntelaar 15m to AC Milan
-Wesley Sneijder 15m  to Intern Milan
-Arjen Robben 25m to Bayern Munich
-Javier Saviola 5m to Benfica
-Javi Garcai 7m to Benfica
-Miguel Torres 2m to Getafe
-Dani Parejo 3m to Valencia
-Gabriel Heinze 1.5m to Marseille
-Alvaro Negredo 15m to Sevilla
.
That's at net spend of 177.2m.
.
.
So having spend a 'merely' 10.6m Euros thus far in the offseason on transfers - it's not ridiculous to believe that Real Madrid have 100,000,000 lying around somewhere for them to spend.
.
.
QUESTION #2: Can You give me 3 Good Reasons Why Real Madrid wants Gareth Bale?
.
No, But I can give you 3 Stupid Reasons why:
.
Reason #1: Florentino continues to have a fetish for 'Galactico Players'
Nuff Said.
.
Reason #2: Florentino is Engaged in this Childish Playground Pissing Contest with Barca's Sandro Rosell in the pursuit to sign 'Galacticos'.
So what if Neymar went to Barca? Does this necessarily mean that we should participate in a Galactico-signing pissing contest with the Cules
Prior to Barca's successful pursuit of Neymar, Florentino Perez was supposedly on the cusp of signing the Brazilian starlet (yet another player who plays in EXACTLY the same position as Cristiano Ronaldo but is also a potential 'Galactico'). The operation was reportedly hijacked by Barcelona, particularly their current president Sandro Rosell whom reports suggest, used his Nike ties to turn the head of Neymar and successfully sign a pre-contract with Barcelona with the Catalan club supposedly making a deposit for his transfer as early as last season.
.
Rosell, it seems, like Florentino Perez, has a 'Galactico Fetish'... it is one that appears so bad that it actually reminds me of Florentino's first presidency where his unquenchable thirst for star attacking players and disregard for the team's blue-collar workers ultimately destroyed the team. Think about it: Barca are in desperate need of a center half to support the 35-year old Puyol, the hips-don't-lie Pique and the converted-to-CB Mascherano, yet instead 57m is spent on Neymar.
.
Going back to Madrid, this attempt at Gareth Bale smells like an attempt not only to lick the would inflicted by Neymar's turning down of Florentino's offer, but also an answer-back to Barca for Neymar's signing. If Barca have signed a supposed star unproven in Europe, Real Madrid were then going to sign a PROVEN star in a proven league in Europe. If Barca has N11, Real Madrid wanted to have GB11.
.
.
Reason #3: Florentino is either A.) Trying to Prepare for a Doomsday Scenario of Cristiano Ronaldo leaving the Club or B.) Trying to teach him a lesson in humility during their Contract Negotiation for an extension

It's still not clear as to what Ronaldo was 'Sad' about early last season - was it his contract?
.
There are reports that Cristiano Ronaldo and Florentino Perez are supposedly going to meet in LA to discuss a contract extension. Whether they occur in LA or not, the renewal of the contract of Real Madrid's best player ought to be the number one priority of the club. Why then would Real Madrid choose to break the transfer record paid for Cristiano Ronaldo (something he probably considers to be a sort of badge of honor) at the same period of time when they are trying to woo the recently-sad Portuguese winger to sign a contract extension?
.
There is thus merit conspiracy theorists' belief that the timing of the re-ignited Bale Soap Opera might actually be tied to the status of Cristiano Ronaldo's contract re-negotiation.
.
-Are Real Madrid starting to get spooked that their marquee player is dithering on the extension of his current contract and thus trying to ensure that 'they have a galactico in the bag' just in case the contract extension talks turn to shit?
.
-Are Real Madrid showing Ronaldo that they as a club are well and truly capable of dropping 100m *just-like-that* for another galactico just to waive their finger at him as if to say: "We can always get another galactico if you don't want to sign, you know..." ?
.
After all, if Ronaldo does not sign an extension and makes a push to leave Madrid next summer, Madrid can still probably sell him for 40-50m and recoup half of the Bale money (where's he going to go anyway? to a lesser league at Monaco/PSG? to a Ferguson-less Man U? to Mancunian rivals City? to Mou's Chelsea?). Best case scenario is that Florentino will have 2 'Galacticos' to carry Madrid for the next 5-6 years. 
.
.
.
QUESTION #3: If he comes, Where Does Gareth Bale Play?
.
Possibility #1 - On the Right (in a 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3)
If Bale comes, my best guess as to where he will play will be on the right wing. The left-footed Gareth Bale can play as an inverted winger, cutting in from the flanks to shoot with this stronger foot - just like his idol, Cristiano Ronaldo. There are many skeptics re: this, especially among those who remember hearing Spurs fans serenade Harry Redknapp with the song "Gareth Bale, he plays on the left..." but this still feels like the best fit in my opinion. Every great winger in today's game has been shifted to the opposite flank for for this purpose: Cristiano Ronaldo (right to left), Arjen Robben and Angel Di Maria (Left to Right), etc. I don't see why he can't succeed in this role.
.
The downside to this is that the '10' position will need to be shared by Ozil and Isco and will likely create a situation similar to the Benzema-Higuain one that took place over the last 3 seasons - and we all know how that turned out (Pipita left). Let's not forget that Kaka also still has aspirations to revive his career with Ancelotti. Competition within a squad is good: but managing and balancing the expectations of of 2 world-class #10s (Ozil and Isco) with a 'fallen' Balon D' Or winner (Kaka) for one slot, is a dangerous and difficult task.
.
.
Possibility #2 - On the Left (in a 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3)
This will mean that Ronaldo will need to either A.) To be shifted to the right wing or B.) Play as an out-and-out striker... and I hate it because it alters the way our best player (who scores 1 goal / game!) plays.
.
Playing on the right as a true winger will likely mean less goals for Ronaldo as it deprives him of the opportunity to cut to the middle to shoot or make a run into the box to create trouble for the opposing defense.
.
Playing Ronaldo at Center Forward does seem to have its merits. Benzema doesn't deserve to be trusted as Real Madrid's undisputed first choice striker just yet. Ronaldo scores goals with both feet, has a goal-scoring predator's instinct, his awesome in the air and has the physique for such a role. Despite that however, we've never seen Cristiano Ronaldo truly comfortable playing as a '9', be in Machester United Red, Real Madrid white or even in his country's colors.
.
A day will come when father time takes Ronaldo's pace away from him. When that time comes, he will need to evolve into a full-fledged striker (something that can result in him fully capable of playing at the highest level till he's 38 or even 40). I believe however that that day is a long time from now. Bottom line: in my humble opinion, if Bale comes, don't fix what's not broken with Real Madrid... and Ronaldo on the left wing isn't just 'not broken', it's actually one of the best (if not the best) things about the team at the moment.
.
.
Possibility #3 - In the middle in the Line of 3 Behind the Striker (in 4-2-3-1)
Bale's best season at Spurs (last season) saw AVB hand him a 'free role' roaming behind the central striker. Not as a 'media punta' or '10' (i.e. playmaker), but as a sort of second striker, free to roam deep, along the flanks or the channels as he pleased. Simply put, Andre Villas-Boas designed his entire team's system around Bale. 
.
At Real Madrid, this 'free role' behind the striker would essentially mean that we do away with the use of the '10' to accommodate him.
.
Newsflash to Bale fanboys: Firstly, if Bale joins even for 200m Euros, he will not be the best player in our team. Ronaldo is and will remain the kingpin of the team and thus ought to have the team 'built' around him, not the Welshman. Secondly, not only does Real Madrid have one of the world's best #10s, we have 2 of them (Ozil + Isco). To play Bale in this 'free role' means that Isco / Ozil will play in the flanks in roles that will not bring the best out of them.
.
.
The ideal solution would be to start Bale on the right wing of the 3 behind the striker and allow him, Ronaldo and Ozil/Isco to be in a state of constant flux, interchanging positions and confusing defenders simultaneously. It is much harder to put in practice of course rather than discussed with words.
.
.
QUESTION #4: IN MY OPINION, Does Real Madrid need Gareth Bale? 
We used to. Not Anymore.
.
At the beginning of the offseasion, I felt that Real Madrid's needed to address a few things:
1.) A Right Back
2.) Xabi Alonso's heir
3.) An Upgrade from the inconsistent Di Maria
4.) A replacement for Higuain if he left
.
We found the solutions to 2 of these 4 'needs' from the Cantera: Carvajal at RB and Morata as our backup striker. The arrival of our other 2 young Spanish acquisitions (Isco and Illaramendi) however does a few things: A.) It establishes Modric as a player for a 'pivot' role rather than an alternative to Ozil as a '10' and B.) potentially pushes Ozil to a role that can see him compete with Di Maria for a starting spot in the right wing if Isco plays as a '10'.
.
Bale would have been the straightforward upgrade from Angel Di Maria. Isco's arrival however undoes the need for him in many ways despite the fact that they are 2 very different players. And if backup players are needed for wing positions: let us also remember the fact that both Jese Rodriguez and Denis Cheryshev were both inked to 4 year deals.
.
.
QUESTION #5: IN MY OPINION, Should Real Madrid fork out 100+m for Gareth Bale? 
.
Absolutely not. Just because you have the money - it doesn't mean that you ought to spend like an idiot.
.
Gareth Bale last season joined that "class of player" directly beneath Messi and Ronaldo in the game's current pantheon of greats to headline your team. You could argue that this class includes the likes of Suarez, Cavani, Van Persie, Ibrahimovic, etc. He's a player love watching and as a Real Madrid fan, God knows I'll go crazy excited to watch the team play if he joins (who wouldn't?).
.
In my opinion, even in the age of over-inflated player prices fuelled by the likes of PSG, Monaco, Man City and yes, Real Madrid, Gareth Bale at 100+m is not silly money. It's just stupidity. If he was priced at 64m Euros like Cavani or 55m like Liverpool are holding out for Suarez, then for me, it's a silly money move worth considering.  FOR ME, I wouldn't buy Gareth Bale for more than 65m even in a video game! IF viewed as an upgrade to Di Maria, (whom you can cash out for 35m) it will makethe net spend on Bale a more edible 30m. 
.
If it's true that Gareth Bale wants to join Real Madrid, then in my opinion, RM should use it to their advantage and bid no higher than 60-65m. It is in my opinion, an offer already much higher than Bale's actually worth. It is big enough to be considered silly money and be deemed a serious enough of a bid to show Bale of Madrid's eagerness to sign him... and high enough for him to formally ask the club to seriously consider.
.
That's as high as I'd be willing to go to sign a player who's a great on the pitch addition to the club but is truthfully more a vanity signing to boost the club's image and perceived prestige in the world game.
.
.
I'D LIKE TO END WITH A CRAZY THOUGHT:
It's clear for all to see now that my beloved Real Madrid is a club run by a bunch of crazies. If the club are as rich as they say they are, then here's a really nutty idea that I think will land them Gareth Bale AND boost their global image in a positive way:
-Offer 65m for Gareth Bale and not a cent more
-If by end August, Tottenham refuse to accept the 65m on deadline day... give EVERY CENT of that 65m to charity.
-Then, assuming he has another season like last year (or a better one), on the next summer transfer window, make one last, ABSOLUTE FINAL offer for Gareth Bale: 65m and not a cent more.
.
Deal or No Deal?

No comments:

Post a Comment