Real Madrid: Has Tottenham taught Gareth Bale the harsh truth?

Real Madrid, Gareth Bale (Photo credit should read PAU BARRENA CAPILLA/AFP via Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Gareth Bale (Photo credit should read PAU BARRENA CAPILLA/AFP via Getty Images) /

Sometimes, the truth hurts. Real Madrid legend Gareth Bale has spend the 2020-2021 season on loan with his old club, Tottenham Hotspur, where’s logged approximately 249 Premier League minutes. Bale is being used even less frequently than he was in Madrid, and his performance have been, accordingly, arguably less inspiring.

Bale’s downfall has not been a pretty sight, and, contrary to what the English media may have wanted some of you to believe, Madridistas do not relish this. Not in the slightest.

And why would they? Why would a proud fanbase want to see a Galactico like Bale, who has scored some of the most magnificent goals in the history of two prestigious title matches, struggle like this? Why would Madridistas want their highest-earning player to be a shell of himself on the pitch?

Yet the fanbase was vilified for criticizing Bale. Were there some fans who took things too far? Absolutely. There always are, in any fanbase in the world. But for the most part, the criticisms and disappointments were entirely valid.

Gareth Bale will have to return to Real Madrid at the end of the season

Now, in 2020-2021, the fans and so-called pundits who only observer one league in the world can now see Bale’s problems before their very eyes. And unlike Zinedine Zidane, Jose Mourinho does not protect nor mince words. He has no time for players who do not produce – and even less so for players who have disappointed him.

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Bale has not found his best form with Tottenham. The dream reunion has been nothing more than a monumental waste of time for Mourinho. And worse for the club, paying a portion of Bale’s wages has been a waste of money during a tough economic time.

The losses are merely temporary for Spurs, however. Bale will return to Real Madrid at the end of the season, with, if anything, a much worse reputation than when he embarked on this hopeful loan to England.

There is no future option for Bale besides this return to the Santiago Bernabeu. Who else will want to take him on? Especially now.

Zidane was equally vilified for apparently mistreating Bale, but the reality is that he frequently shielded Bale from the worst of the media. Mourinho is no longer doing the same.

Gareth Bale’s relationship with Zinedine Zidane is the big key

A return to Madrid means Bale must see eye-to-eye with Zidane and understand that the manager is not out to get him. He must show more fight for both the club and the manager, because there will merely be another explosion if he shows disrespect or is perceived as not trying. Whether that’s true or not, it does not matter. If the performances are not there and the slightest of disrespect is hinted, we will be back to square one.

The players themselves seem to respect Bale greatly, even as they tired of the drama his situation created in 2019-2020. Like the fans, they want to see Bale succeed and may hold out hope for one last swan song.

For that to happen, Bale must learn a harsh lesson. He was not wronged by Zidane. He was not wronged by Real Madrid. The 31-year-old has taken a toll on his body over the years. He must change his approach, change his game, and change his methods to recapture some form and be an effective player.

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The quality is there. I have always believed this. Technique, vision, skill, those do not depart even as explosiveness does. And so to compensate, Bale must use effort and ingenuity. Only he can put in the work to make this work, though. Let’s see if this loan at Tottenham has taught him what he needed to realize two years ago.