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Bale Dilemma

Tottenham Hotspur are allegedly winning the race to sign the talented left-back although Daniel Levy, the Tottenham chairman, has assured Bale there is no rush in deciding whether his future lies at White Hart Lane:

"When you are trying to sign a 17-year-old it is a very big decision for him and his family and we are giving all the time in the world for them to make a decision," Levy told Sky Sports News.

Bale is said to have his eyes set on a move to Manchester United, although their interest has cooled in the last few days after Sir Alex Ferguson admitted that Tottenham have the upper hand. The fact that Bale is an Arsenal supporter also suggests that a move to Spurs would not be in his best interests.

If Bale is seriously considering playing for Arsenal one day, then what would be the point in moving to Tottenham now when his development would be better if he was playing week in, week out for Saints? Bale should also look at what happened to the last Southampton player who moved to Tottenham: Dean Richards.

Richards was also an extremely promising defender who found out the hard way that leaving for bigger and better things can often leave you flat on your face. Other former Southampton players who have discovered this include Theo Walcott, James Beattie, Wayne Bridge and Hassan Kachloul.

Everyone expects Gareth Bale to move on one day, but I do not see why a move now is necessary if Bale is presently enjoying success at his current club. The choice is yours Gareth.

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The Journalist

Writer:  Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday January 30 2007

Time: 1:50PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Here Here, well said. The list of players that have left Southampton to for bigger and better things is amazing. Look at Beattie for example, banging goals in at southampton and in the England squad, he moves to everton and his career has efectivly finished, hes struggling to get a game and has no chance of an England call up. The same thing goes for Wayne Bridge, such a waste of talent just sitting in the reserves. Theo Walcott looks like a fish out of water at Arsenal and thats ashame. Like it is said it this report, Gareth Bale is an Arsenal Supporter so i think that could be a massive spanner in the works. And again as mentioned in the report, Dean Richards was such a promising player at Southampton, he moved on to 'Bigger, better things' and more money and his carerr dried up. Such a shame really because these players were massive talents.
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30/01/2007 13:58:00

The thing is lads, Bales development would be better served playing first team football with a better class of player. And lets have no mistakes, Lennon, Huddlestone, Defoe et al are slightly better than Southamptons..ahem'Stars'. And he would be plying first team at spurs, he's a damn sight better than ping pong po or asso ekotto. The only spanner in the works is that he wants to play for Man U and the arsenal thing wouldn't make a difference, look at Judas! Lets have it right, he would do better eventually at Spurs.
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30/01/2007 14:08:00

if he's a gooner, i don't want him!
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30/01/2007 14:09:00

Bale - Soon to be a yid.
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30/01/2007 14:11:00

Bridge is just a money grabber who seems to have no interest in football. He could have moved to Fulham or Spurs but chose to sit on the bench and play second fiddle to Ashley Cole. Bale would probably fast become 1st choice at Spurs and I and many others would love to see him at the lane!
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30/01/2007 14:12:00

I agree with this to an extent but Tottenham offered Bale promised 1st team action which will mean he will play for us and develop. He'd be better off at Tottenham compared to Arsenal, Liverpool or Man Ure because they all have proven left backs. We dont. Plus Dean Richards played well for us but Tottenham under Hoddle were not a good team and then he picked up that injury which ended up being the reason he retired! Tottenham arent in the top 4. We dont just buy players for the hell of it. We play them and sell them for double :P
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30/01/2007 14:12:00

The thing is, he wouldnt just walk into Spurs first team, not straight away. At saints hes always in the starting 11, week in week out. Theres no substitute for first team football when it comes to a players develpment. And i do think hes got his heart set on Man U rather then spurs, for 3 reasons.... 1 There a bigger club... 2 Much More money.... 3 Because hes an Arsenal Fan
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30/01/2007 14:14:00

For the record richards got cancer and this forced him into retirement. But in all honesty he was never going to be good enough for spurs or any bigger prem team. Hence no england caps or anything. He cost us 8 mill then, my goodness. Bale would improve playing alongside dawson and king, and having to play against better quality opposition.
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30/01/2007 14:14:00

Richards is no longer in the game due to a long term injury that caused him to retire early in his career and nothing to do with Saints or Spurs - it was his own health!
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30/01/2007 14:16:00

If he moves to united he's as much of a money hungry **** as bridge is. He'll be behind heinze and evra there, whats the attraction of that?
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30/01/2007 14:18:00

It dosent say in the report the reason why Richards retired does it?? No i dont think it does, but the fact remains that at Saints richards was very promising and after a few years at spurs he declined. He was already pretty much forgotten about in the football world before he was forced into retirment
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30/01/2007 14:21:00

Just to respond to guy7yug. Alot of Man U fans havent got the time of day for Evra, and as for Heinze he has been continuasly linked with a move away to italy.
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30/01/2007 14:22:00

It seems to be quite simple in that, as reported, Bale just doesn't fancy Spurs and who can blame him given our performances this season (unless there is a miracle on Wednesday). But if this is the case, and the club(s) that he really wants to play for cannot afford to sign him at the moment, then he should stay with Southampton rather than agree to join a club in which he does not really have his heart. He looks a great prospect and I would love to see him at the Lane but who knows, he could be playing Premiership with his own club next season, and good luck to him and the Saints. Aquestion we should be asking ourselves, as well as the "big" clubs is why Southampton can produce so many talented youngsters and we do not produce any. All of our young first team players are bought-in soa why is the club looking to spend millions on an Academy when it produces nothing.
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30/01/2007 14:30:00

You guys seem to forget Richards was already a promising player before he went anywhere near Southampton, but the reason Saints picked him up cheap was because he'd already suffered a career threatening injury to his knee and was looking for a way back into the big time. So he wasn't a product of the Southampton academy and we're hardly talking like for like here in terms of ages & career development...
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30/01/2007 14:32:00

Thankyou Jollyboysouting, a very fair balanced view. Its not always best to move on at the very opertunity, Bale will go in the future im sure, but hes not ready to yet. He certainly should look at former saints like Beatie, Richards, Walcott, Kachlol to avoid going down the same road as they did.
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30/01/2007 14:33:00

Schotty, we are not just talking about products of saints academy, were talking about players that have moved on for bigger better things and fell flat on there face
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30/01/2007 14:34:00

Arguably, Richards played every game for Spurs that he could, he was first-choice. Unfortunately his injury track-record was on a par with Darren Anderton's, and after 4 seasons with the club he anounced his retirement. Not a lot you can do when it comes to your health really. Better players have gambled and won, and gambled and lost. I think that short-term, Southampton or Tottenham are undoubtedly the better options for Bale - regular football, although a better standard in the Premiership with Spurs. I can't see him being first-choice at Man U for a long time to come, so he would face being in the reserves or playing in cup games and the odd league game here and there. From what I've seen, he has the possibility to be as good as Ashley Cole, if not better. Shame he's not English really. As for his being an Arsenal fan, it's not that big a deal really. If he were that big a fan, he wouldn't really be considering Man U either. In the end he has to consider his career first and foremost, and at the moment he needs to consider whether he wants to stay with Saints and improve his experience and knowledge of the game, or move to Tottenham and be thrown in at the deep end. Could go either way, I'm thinking.
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30/01/2007 14:41:00

We have a LB problem so Bale would get straight in and play regularly but I don't think that should even matter to him right away. The likes of Lennon developed unbelieveably with Spurs and no doubt he would of improved but would he really of been the same player if he stayed at Leeds? And Huddlestone another youngster who battled into central midfield despite the ridiculous amount of center mids we have. Regardless of who we're talking about, young, gifted championship players will have a higher level of coaching, and learn more from playing with top international players, and Jol always gives them a chance when they're ready.
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30/01/2007 14:50:00

Dean Richards had a terrible infliction caused not by playing for a big club but maybe be heading the ball too good. Wake up.
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30/01/2007 14:54:00

The Spurs Dean Richards played for is a very different set-up to what we have now. Look at Aaron LEnnon, Huddlestone, Dawson - all these players we're 1st teamers at their championship clubs and all play now. We dont have Left back we are happy with and it would be easier for him to fit in with so many english players. Also we are offering him back to you until the end of the season
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30/01/2007 14:54:00

He had a brain tumour
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30/01/2007 14:55:00

dean richards was *****e!!!
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30/01/2007 15:05:00

Gicola, Boony please read the previous posts, Dean Richards reason for retiring has been covered already
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30/01/2007 15:08:00

Wot a load of non sense....99% of players dnt play 4 the club they support....poor arguement !!!! and as for going to Arsenal, look wots happened to Walcott, theyve turned him into mediocreness !!! nuff said
The truth
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30/01/2007 16:28:00

I think thats the point truth! If he leaves Saints now it will scupper his development!
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30/01/2007 16:46:00

if he leaves soton and goes to uts or l'arse, yes it will scupper his devlopmet, but if he comes to spurs he will develop much better/quicker. COYS!!!
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30/01/2007 16:55:00

oh my god, noone has said anything in this thread about bale going to Arsenal, but being that he is an Arsenal fan that could really be a spanner in the works for his chances of going to spurs
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30/01/2007 17:01:00

Like Bergkamp ? Or King and Defoe who play for spurs and support arsenal
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30/01/2007 17:10:00

Its a shame that the author of this article did not get some back ground info on Dean Richards before writing this drivel, he was seriously ill when told that he would never play again and I am sure that Tottenham were also sad to see him leave, he was a good defender, Tottenham paid good money to that gobby Rupert Lowe for Dean Richards and most Saints fans were happy to get £8m for him, most footballers that leave Southampton do so because they want to go on to better things and lets face it most do go on to better things.
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30/01/2007 18:15:00

Ledders doesnt support Ars*nal, hes been a yid all his life
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30/01/2007 18:40:00

Same old spurs, always thinking they're better than they are. Always trying to catch up to Arsenal...come on now guys, Bale is staying so lets just let it go...
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30/01/2007 19:11:00

Same old Saints .... always trying to catch up to Pompy
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30/01/2007 19:13:00

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30/01/2007 20:01:00

Just to set the record straight, Dean Richards retired because of an inner ear infection which caused dizzy spells. He did undergo tests for a brain tumour but this wasn't what forced him to retire. I was merely using him as an example of a former Saints player whose career has not progressed as anticipated by moving to a bigger club.
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30/01/2007 20:06:00

I was merely using him as an example of a former Saints player whose career has not progressed as anticipated by moving to a bigger club. - True enough, but that doesn't really mean much, does it - I could name a dozen players that have left smaller clubs for bigger things and not made it, it doesn't mean that it'll never work out. On the opposite end of the scale, look at Shearer, left Saints for Blackburn, then for Newcastle. Arguably he could have gone on to even bigger things. And also look at Matt Le Tissier, spent his career at Southampton and never really took off, although he had the ability and the promise to be the next big thing. My point is that evidence can be made to point to any conclusion you like - we won't know how Bale does in the Premiership, and in a bigger club, til (if) it happens.
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31/01/2007 09:22:00

Shearer spent 4 years at Southampton before moving to Blackburn which enabled him to develop as a player and he even went to Euro '92 with England. I just don't want to see Bale to become the next Wayne Bridge or Theo Walcott and, in my opinion, playing regular football at this age will provide invaluable experience and make him a better player. I can admit that he will almost definitely leave one day, I just don't see the sense in moving now.
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31/01/2007 10:34:00

But if he's as good as they say, he'll almost certainly be playing as first-choice for Spurs. Assou-Ekotto isn't as good as we'd hoped, Lee is not bad in spurts, so Bale would have a good chance to be in the squad. It's all moot anyway, sounds as though he'll be staying put!
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31/01/2007 12:53:00

He's Staying.... End of (For now!!!!!!!)
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31/01/2007 13:30:00


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