Football most certainly isn’t an exact science. If it were, teams would always get the perfect players for their teams and you wouldn’t have such things as ‘expensive flops’ in teams around the world.
But that’s the beauty of football isn’t it? The unpredictability. The fact that any team can beat any other on their day. And the fact that you never quite know how well your new star signing will do at the club.
Current players under scrutiny on this topic are Juan Mata and Mesut Ozil. Mata, a £37m signing from Chelsea, hasn’t exactly exploded into life at his new club. Being marooned wide right at Manchester United might have something to do with it. As for Ozil, he started so brightly, but he reached a new nadir on Wednesday with a penalty miss and an on pitch argument with a team mate.
Further afield, there is some concern over Gareth Bale’s current form at Real Madrid. In an interview with The Spanish press, ex-Real Madrid player and coach Jose Valdano has expressed misgivings about how well bale has settled. The Metro reports:
Speaking to El Larguero, Valdano said: ‘Bale has a strange anxiety because you do not notice it in the intensity of play.
‘When someone is anxious, they play at a speed above what suits them, but it is like he is somewhere else. That is the strange sensation you get from him.
‘The team are saving him. There are so many points to consider, among them Jese who is drawing so much attention.’
Valdano added: ‘I suppose it comes from his lack of regular games and the injuries and also from being so closely observed because of what was paid for him.
‘We have not yet seen the true Bale. You see he looks a bit unhappy at the moment. He looks a bit downcast.’
You would expect that Bale will be given time at the club due, in no small part, to that 90m Euro transfer last summer. Season stats of 11 goals in 25 games would be highly satisfactory for a wide man in The Premier League. But the figures look more ordinary in Spain where Barca and Real regularly batter the opposition with goals galore.
Real Madrid is a notoriously ruthless club where it comes to players. If you aren’t performing you aren’t picked – regardless of your price tag. Kaka was a great example.
So the second half of the season could be crucial for Bale. Poor performances could see him out in the cold with new idol Jese in the team ahead of the Welshman. If this does happen, what price another bid from Manchester United? They surprised us all with reports that they had bid more than Real Madrid for his signature last summer. They clearly have the money to spend and Ryan Giggs still needs to be replaced if Manchester United are to persist with a 4-4-2.
If Bale has a poor spring, we wouldn’t be surprised to hear about another mega bid from Manchester United come July.
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