How would ‘Bale going to Real Madrid’ affect Arsenal?


This week it has all been about Gareth Bale’s possible transfer to Real Madrid. Real have made a £85 million bid for Bale but have seen it rejected by Levy with various sources reporting Bale has told AVB he wants out of Tottenham. Maybe, Levy wants a player involved in the deal. Reports are saying Luca Modric could be involved in the deal but I cannot see any player(s) from Real going to Tottenham for two reasons.

Firstly, why would any top player from Real Madrid want to go to a team that is not even in the Champions League? I know it is a World Cup year but surely if you want to come to the EPL, you would try and sign for an EPL team that is in the Champions League such as Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United; if failing that, you would likely go to another team in Europe that have at least qualified for the Champions League. Also, what player other than Bale would want to be involved in such a deal. It would be pretty demeaning for the player involved, as if he was just a mere accessory in the world’s biggest ever transfer.

I think Levy does not want any player involved in the deal and would just rather Real offer a bid closer to £100 million which I am pretty certain he’ll accept.

The deal looks very likely to go through and next season we will probably see Gareth Bale in a Real Madrid shirt, as Madrid normally get their man. So, if we assume that Bale will be sold for at least £85, what effect will this have on Tottenham and Arsenal.

The first scenario, and perhaps the simplest way to look at the transfer of Bale to Real Madrid:

Tottenham have already signed: Chadli from FC Twente for around £7 million, Paulinho from Corinthians for around £17 million, are close to signing Soldado from Valencia for £26 million (with personal terms being discussed between the Soldado’s agents and Tottenham representatives), have sold Caulker to Cardiff City for around £8 million and I think are also looking to sign a defender (CB or LB) of some sort.

There could be a scenario where the Spuds lose Bale a (super quality player) but reinvest the money from the sale of Bale by purchasing two top quality attacking players (whether that be two wingers or a winger and an AM) and maybe buy another defender (CB or LB). Spurs would replace the quality of Bale and would have strength in depth.

If this scenario was to become reality, how would Arsenal be affected?

Arsenal would be affected in a number of ways:

1) Our chances of winning the EPL title or at least challenging for the EPL title will decrease.

If Spurs can reinvest the money from the sale of Bale in some quality players, in addition to the likes of Chadli, Paulinho and maybe Soldado, they will no doubt be a stronger team. They would have the quality and the strength in depth required to put in a serious title challenge, and if Wenger does not make the signings needed to take us to the next level we might not be celebrating St Totteringham’s Day at the end of next season.

2) Our chances of finishing in one of the coveted CL spots next season would be significantly reduced.

A follow on from the first point really. Although the Spuds will have the resources to challenge for the EPL title, the likes of United, City and Chelsea also do. So it could come down to the wire once again next season and if Wenger does not make the right signings we could be the team finishing 5th behind Tottenham. So in addition to Spurs finishing above us (which they have not done for 18 years), we could also end up in the Europa League. From that point we could go on a downwards spiral like Liverpool.

3) Winning the other domestic competitions i.e. FA Cup & League Cup would be even harder.

Spurs have always been a good cup team winning the FA Cup 8 times and the League Cup 4 times. Spurs have always been more of a cup team than a league team as they struggle with consistency and with the right squad they will have a very good chance of getting to the latter stages of the cups (semi-finals and finals) and may well knock us out in the process. They would also be able to field strong teams in the cups as well as the league due to the addition of more quality players.

Spurs may well become title contenders, be able challenge for the FA and League cups and definitely be in the running for one of the Champions League spots, as they would now have the quality and strength in depth to sustain any success/form.

However, there is another way to look at it. The loss of Bale and Spurs getting a substantial amount of cash as a result, could actually leave Spurs in a worse off position than had Bale stayed. This is the second scenario.

With Bale gone, Tottenham would have to look to bring in one or two quality attacking players to replace the firepower of Bale, as well as maybe purchasing players in other positions. But this could prove to be very difficult for Tottenham when they actually try to do this, for a number of reasons:

1) Lack of top quality players left on the market

Most of the top quality players who Spurs would be looking to sign, to replace Bale and/or add depth to other areas of the squad that need strengthening will be unavailable. These players will either have already moved clubs, signed a new contract with their existing club (dedicating themselves to their current club) or just will not be for sale at any price.

2) No Champions League football

This is perhaps the biggest stumbling block Tottenham will hit when trying to sign top quality players. Spurs are not in the CL and therefore cannot offer the (very important) prospect of playing CL football which is vital in attracting the top quality players they would need to replace Bale. AVB would also not be able to offer ‘playing with Bale’ as an incentive either which is how they persuaded Paulinho to join them. Paulinho was given assurances that Bale would not leave Tottenham.

They would find it very hard to be able to get this caliber of player to buy into their project (qualifying for the CL and eventually challenging for and winning trophies every season) as Bale who is the biggest, most important and the key man of the project has left the club. If he did not believe in the project, why would these players.

Players can of course be persuaded to join clubs who are not in the CL, by the club paying the players huge wages. Just look at Monoco. They have signed the likes of Radamel Falcao, João Moutinho, James Rodríguez, Ricardo Carvalho, Éric Abidal and Jérémy Toulalan but the problem is Tottenham just cannot pay those sort of high wages needed to persuade top players (who may be motivated by money as well as success) to join their club.

3) Lack of time to bring in quality replacements

We all know that Spud’s chairman Daniel Levy drives a hard bargain and is one of the best around when it comes to getting the best deal possible for players who want to leave Tottenham. The problem here is that while the deal is being dragged out and Levy is waiting for an offer that is right for him to sell, the very few top quality players who are still available and the even fewer amount of players who are willing to join Tottenham, even though they cannot offer CL football is getting even smaller. This could lead to Levy having to panic buy and bring in average players as last minute replacements close to (or even on) deadline day or may even bring in no replacement(s).

4) Inflation on price of transfer targets

It will be known to the world that Daniel Levy and AVB will have millions to spend after the sale of Bale and more importantly they will be looking to spend it. Clubs who Spurs are looking to buy from will most likely inflate the prices for their players, in order to get the best deal possible, knowing that Spurs have money to spend. This could eventually lead to Levy and AVB having to give up their pursuit of trying to sign top quality players and instead paying over the odds to bring in average players or again bring in no replacement.

Points 1 and 4 (possibly in the case of Higuain) apply to us as well. Even though we can offer CL football to players, we are struggling to acquire the top quality players we need to push for the title (put a genuine title challenge in) because a lot of the top players are either unavailable, happy at the club they are currently at or would rather go to a club that is in a better position than ourselves right now. A club that is regularly challenging for titles as well as winning them. If we are finding it hard to attract top quality players even though we can offer CL football, imagine how hard Spurs will find it.

So in fact there is a very good chance that the Spuds would not be able to replace the quality of Bale for the reasons mentioned above.

If this scenario was to become reality, how would Arsenal be affected?

Well the answer to this question is very simple. Even with the additions of Chadli, Paulinho, maybe Soldado and another defender, Tottenham would find it very difficult to finish in the top four regardless of whether we make any signings or not. While they will be more solid defensively and concede less goals with the signing of Paulinho and Sandro returning from injury, the likes of Soldado and Chadli will not be able to replace the quality of Bale. Bale was Tottenham’s leading goal scorer with 21 league goals. He created a lot of these goals by himself and a fair bunch were wonder goals. So Tottenham would have to improve their overall team play i.e creating chances and breaking down the opposition, if the team (as a whole) are going to score anywhere near the amount of goals Bale scored last season. The problem is Tottenham are not blessed with goal scorers so they will struggle achieve this.

So we would almost be guaranteed 4th place again if were to make the right signings and could be genuine title contenders. With Arsene fielding more experienced teams in the domestic cups we would also stand a very good chance of winning a cup.

In conclusion I feel the sale of Bale to Real will lead to the second scenario becoming reality. The second scenario represents the reality of the modern transfer market, where they are twists and turns at every corner and if Bale goes to Real Madrid we should have nothing to worry about.

Although, Spurs have already acquired Chadli, Paulinho and are close to signing Soldado, by selling Bale to Real Madrid they will be taking one step forward and two steps back, in my opinion.

This transfer window we will be looking to add quality players to our current squad, which will compliment our current quality players i.e. Santi Cazorla, Wilshere, Walcott, Koscielny etc, meanwhile Tottenham will be looking to replace their best player and rebuild their team before the start new season which is only a few weeks away.

Good luck!

Would Bale going to Real Madrid improve our chances of winning/competing for trophies?

Which scenario (out of the two) will become reality for Tottenham if/when Bale goes to Real Madrid?

Written by: AFC

A special thanks to Aman who suggested such a post be written on Bergkampesque.

Statistically on par, if not better than Bale: Theo deserves more respect!


Learning from the mistakes of the past, has Wenger finally gotten it right?  Do we have a star on our hands?

This article will be the first of a three part series that examines how our trio of Walcott, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Gnabry compare to Gareth Bale.

Many fellow Gooners are begging and wishfully hoping that Arsene will use his rumoured large transfer kitty to acquire a world-class talent this summer, to help us compete with the upper echelon of clubs again.  I must admit that I am guilty to this same methodology myself, and am yearning for a top quality player to inject that something special into our squad we are sorely lacking.

After all, Manchester United have game changers in van Persie and Rooney, Manchester City have Silva, Yaya Toure and Aguero, and Chelsea has Mata and burgeoning talents in Hazard and Oscar.  Several Gooners will further point to the fact that even our less significant and lower quality rivals in North London, have a star in their ranks in Gareth Bale.

So then, in theory, Arsenal must sign a star themselves, in order to combat the threats that the opposing clubs above, and competing, with us currently have.

But, what if we already have that star within our team and just need to exercise patience?

There is no denying that Gareth Bale has become one of the dominant and most clinical finishers in the Premier League.  With 21 goals and 4 assists in 34 starts this past season, Bale was third in scoring – only behind Robin “there’s a little boy inside of me” van Persie and Luis “I’ll bite you if you get in my way” Suarez.  What’s more impressive: 9 of those 21 league goals were game winners.  However, this isn’t to say that the rest of Bale’s goals were not important either; they ultimately led the Spuds to their coveted 5th place finish and secured them Europa league in the process!

No matter how much we all hate him because he plays for our most loathed rivals or for the fact that one must really contemplate why Rise of the Planet of the Apes invested so much money on performance capture technology to get Andy Serkis’ face into that of the ape, Cesar, when they could have just used Bale’s; one cannot deny his outstanding ability and presence on a game.  His 2.3 key passes, 1.8 successful dribbles, 1.9 accurate crosses made and 1.3 interceptions per game, prove that he is a very well-rounded player contributing in more facets of the game than just goal scoring.

However, we all know how statistics can paint an inaccurate picture of a player’s true impact on the game.  In this particular scenario, the statistics truly reinforce the notion that Bale is a top, top quality player.  His pace, anticipation, ball control, strength, curve and dip on his shot, distance shooting, FK ability, composure and passing, are all top notch and all of these attributes make him an imposing threat game in and out.

So now that I’ve written enough praise about that Spuds player, let’s move on to the focus of this article.  Do we have a star waiting in the wings within our very own team?

Theo Walcott and Gareth Bale will forever be linked due to the fact that they are the same age, both developed at the Southampton academy and purchased from Southampton in the same year.

Theo’s return of 14 goals and 10 assists this season has largely been overlooked by the majority of football fans, because of the remarkable increase in goal output achieved by Bale.  Theo’s steady improvement suggests that his progression is more sustainable over time, and that he too will eventually be a top goal scorer in the league.  However, one will point to Bale’s success this season and proclaim that his accomplishments will only lead to far better ones in the years to come.

2012-13 Side-By-Side Stat Comparison:





Minutes   Played






Mins   per Goal



Goal   Conversion %






Mins   per Assist



Total   Contribution



Mins   per Total Contribution



Clear   Cut Chances Created



Shots   Taken



Shots   on Target



Shot   Accuracy



Successful   Dribbles



Successful   Crosses



Key   Passes



2011-12 Side-By-Side Stat Comparison:





Minutes   Played






Mins   per Goal



Goal   Conversion %






Mins   per Assist



Total   Contribution



Mins   per Total Contribution



Shots   Taken



Shots   on Target



Shot   Accuracy



Successful   Dribbles



Successful   Crosses



Key   Passes



A closer look at the statistics reveals that Theo is much more clinical than Bale and simply needs to shoot more before reaching or surpassing him.  With more minutes played next year, it’s very plausible to suggest that Theo is capable of this too; I’m further intrigued to see what Theo can accomplish next season without a contract cloud hanging over him.

What else do the statistics reveal?  They tell us that Bale is likely the superior player based on being better in peripheral statistics such as successful dribbles, successful crosses and key passes in the past two seasons.  His strength, ball control, ability to score from distance, in addition to his pace makes him a more dangerous and well-rounded footballer.

However, one may wonder why being better in all of these categories, notably key passes, does not lead to significantly more assists for Bale (and much less than Theo’s output in 2012/13).  Well, this confirms that Bale likely plays with inferior teammates who are not as capable of converting their chances and that despite creating more chances, Theo is actually better at creating clear cut chances.

An advantage that Theo has over Bale is tutelage from a superior manager in Arsene – he has plenty of experience in working with and developing world-class strikers.  If Theo can improve his weaknesses and dedicate his training to understanding and evolving his approach to the ST position, the sky is the limit for him.

As noted earlier, statistics are certainly not the be-all end-all in capturing the talents of a footballer.  However, the analysis does give promise that Theo could be a top scorer in the EPL if he would shoot the ball more frequently; and that his total contribution (both goals and assists) can also exceed that of Bale, based on the fact that he creates more clear-cut chances over the course of a season and per minute. 

Despite the constant criticism surrounding Theo’s lack of imagination and close ball control, he largely deserves more respect; the statistics reveal that he is a more dangerous contributor than Bale and that he also has the potential to be a world-beater.

What do you fellow Gooners think of the analysis?  Will Theo match or better Bale’s output next season if he plays equal minutes to him and takes more shots?

Written by: Highbury Harmony

Silly Harry should look closer to home: two Gunners outperform his ‘world-class’ Bale


Harry Redknapp is clearly feeling a bit lonely at the moment. Nobody, as yet, is waving a big bag at him with loads of money to come and ruin their club, so he decided to come out with a few ludicrous statements to replenish his attention-deficit.

Even the BBC picked up on it with the headline: “Gareth Bale is in Ronaldo and Messi’s class, says Redknapp”. To be fair on Redknapp he did not actually say that Bale is in the same class as Ronaldo and Messi already, but that he is getting there quickly: “He’s an amazing talent and he’s after the Ronaldos and Messis of this world and he’s getting better and better”.

Where he does make a real fool of himself is in subsequent statements: “He’s almost unplayable when he’s on his game. He is a genuine world-class player.”

 And:“There’s nobody he couldn’t play for. He’d improve any team.”

 And finally, and this beats it all: “He is already at the top but any team in the world would love to have Gareth Bale playing for them.”

What a silly sausage!

In all honesty, I think Gareth Bale is a decent footballer and has potential to become a very good footballer; maybe even a great one. But that’s it: it’s just potential – nothing more and nothing less. Bale has to do an awful lot in order to become the best winger in the PL, let alone in Europe or the world, and to mention him in the same breath as Messi and Ronaldo is plain stupid.

Just a quick look at the key statistics (from wiki) and you’ll see how silly it was of Redknapp to compare Bale with Messi and Ronaldo (if you did not know this already):

Bale: Age 23, games 214, goals 36, goals per game 0.17.

Messi: Age 25, games 340, goals 265, goals per game 0.78.

Ronaldo: Age 27, games 478, goals 283, goals per game 0.59.

It is a typical British thing to overhype somebody or a team early in their development, and usually nobody is served by it. Unless, of course, Redknapp supports the motto that bad attention/publicity is better than no attention, even if it means he makes a fool of himself.

Rather than compare Bale with the current football giants who operate from the wing – although not in the traditional sort of way – he should have had a closer look at home. There are a number of wingers in the PL who are simply outperforming Bale at the moment, and two of them are Gunners. Here are some examples:

Gervinho: Age 25, games 265, goals 73, goals per game 0.28.

Walcott: Age 23, games 252, goals 51, goals per game 0.2.

Nani (MU): Age 25, games 277, goals 49, goals per game 0.18.

Valencia (MU): Age 27, games 301, goals 34, goals per game 0.11.

Victor Moses: Age 21, games 152, goals 21, goals per game 0.14.

Bale’s stats again: Age 23, games 214, goals 36, goals per game 0.17. He is just an average PL winger with potential to improve.

I did not gather details on assists, but I am pretty sure it would not alter the picture dramatically.

Gareth Bale is an overhyped player, who has a hell of a lot to do to eventually live up to the outside world’s expectations. Redknapp should be ashamed to put such unnecessary pressure on the Welshman’s shoulders, and for using him to get back in the limelight.

And for what it is worth, I predict that Theo will outperform Bale throughout their football careers.

Total Arsenal.