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Gareth Bale to Swansea ? Really ?
Friday, 17th Jun 2022 11:23 by Keith Haynes

It’s only when you look outside of Wales that you hear and see dramatic differences in the mindset of football fans and journalists when it comes to Swansea City and Cardiff City. Within the confines of Ffin Cymru a Lloegr we understand perfectly the differences in culture, understanding and mindset. Outside of Cymru it seems not, there still seems to be a lack of understanding.

The Daily Mail as an example are still reporting in depth on Gareth Bale. The moment he announced he was leaving his Spanish home in Madrid the clamour for ‘where to next began’ Excuse the grammar you analysts of every heart beat. The obvious was of course mentioned, and then the Welsh press in its desire to be dominant in proceedings projected their own ideas. Well, as is their want they mentioned Cardiff, but fair play on reflection went on to state it could be Cardiff, and when Newcastle were mentioned they responded with Cardiff.

If any Cardiff fan is against Gareth Bale joining them for next season I am yet to hear or read it.

In the Mail we read ‘ It would be a sensational coup for the Swans if they were able to turn Bale's head, although it is their Bluebird rivals who hold the advantage in this particular tussle. Bale is set to ponder carefully over his next destination but, while Swansea cannot be ruled out just yet, their supporters shouldn't get excited over this blockbuster’

Why even mention Swansea City in any discussions regards Bale ? Just because the swans are a Welsh club it doesn’t mean Bale would sign for them. But these comments are interesting if you are a bookmaker. Everyone loves an outside bet and across the board but fluctuating Swansea City are 16/1 to sign Bale. No pragmatic football fan from within the principality would touch that, but many are elsewhere. Cardiff City remain at evens and Gareth Bale hasn’t played a stormer on this occasion. He has given too many indications it could be them without stating it.

He really must sign for Cardiff City, if he doesn’t then he will have to explain why he has for a second time turned his back on his ‘hometown’ club. It could be disastrous for him in terms of his personal value to Cardiff City fans in the future. Looking at his comments to date you can understand why the odds are at evens. However, I cannot understand why people continue to think Swansea City are a decent bet. The hate Bale would receive from social media alone, would make life very difficult for him, especially when he put on the white shirt of the most successful Welsh club in most peoples lifetimes.

Can you imagine that in the derby games the swans have dominated for years ? Or even when he plays for Wales as a Swansea City player ?

The real driver is the national press of course, searching for headlines where there are none, but it makes entertaining reading for sure. And thanks to them for that. The issue is Gareth Bale, regardless of his profile in Wales has never experienced a life that we have. He has never had to step over the remnants of flesh on the Kingsway nor queued alone in chippy alley. Of course you would expect that, he needs security and his personal welfare protected. And maybe that’s where his lack of understanding of how much people want him to return to football in Wales is measured.

A telling comment on how a ‘drop down’ to the championship would affect his international chances was interesting. "It's something I guess I need to sit down and go through, not just with my family, but with the manager here [Rob Page], with the physios here that we use, to see what would give me the best chance of being fit come November and December”

Personally why would he need to do that, he is surrounded by championship players who have been a complete success for Wales. This is where his media profile needs to be handled with foresight by those around him. And of course his prime goal now is the World Cup, nothing more. Any club move would come second. He has proven that at Real Madrid, akin to Aaron Ramsey the national side is their first concern, nothing else. That’s where Bale’s issue will start, whatever club he signs for he will be the one who dictates his involvement, not the coach or manager. If asked of his availability three weeks before the World Cup irrespective of his fitness I would wager he would refuse to play. And that alone should be a warning to any club, including Cardiff City should he sign.

Gareth Bale surely wouldn’t want to be in the USA as the World Cup gets closer ? The Middle East regards Novembers tournament is obvious but the distance between there and the vale of Glamorgan would be logistical madness. At that point we can begin to narrow it down, Cardiff are obvious, the swans are not, and any move to Newcastle as is being projected today would require some serious apologetic PR by Bales team. In fact anywhere but Cardiff would require the same pathway of apology.

Sometimes it’s best to say nothing, unless of course your mind is made up and your playing for time, that’s different, and that’s why surely Gareth Bale will sign for Cardiff. It’s a statement of fact he isn’t joining the best side in Wales, nor a side with a manager with a clear ethos within his training environment that transfers its way to game day. But the boost Bale would bring to any club is huge, more so at Cardiff, at a club like Newcastle he could quickly become lost in the glare of publicity they are manufacturing this summer.

Gareth Bale won’t sign for Swansea, that’s reality, the wider public will believe that he could, but his life would be miserable with the reaction he would get from certain parts of east Wales. Any move away from Cardiff would be met with derision, so surely now that’s where he is destined ?

He would be foolish not to sign for Cardiff City, when it’s analysed properly he has nowhere left to go.

Photographs licensed from Reuters



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