Gareth Bale withdrew from Team GB’s Olympic squad as he did not believe Stuart Pearce’s men were strong enough to challenge for medals.
The Welshman – who was ruled out of London 2012 with a back injury – also did not want to miss three weeks of the north London club’s pre-season training.
The Tottenham star caused controversy by claiming he would not be fit for the Games, only to turn out for the White Hart Lane side on their US tour – and score in a friendly against the LA Galaxy – before the Olympics had even kicked off.
Yet sources close to Bale have revealed that the winger, who had previously ignored the preference of the Welsh FA for their players not to join the GB team, decided that the Olympics would not be the best way to prepare for the new Premier League campaign.
His father Frank urged him to play for Great Britain, but the player held firm.
And Bale’s decision to commit to Spurs this summer was nothing to do with a recently-announced contract extension.
That supposed new commitment was merely a clause in his previous deal, triggered by Spurs finishing in the Premier League’s top four – even though they did not qualify for the Champions League.
Bale, 23, informed chairman Daniel Levy he wanted to quit this summer, but was told his earlier deal – which ran until 2014 – had been extended by a further year.
The extension did earn Bale a big pay rise, making him the club’s best-paid star.
And it is believed Levy would not entertain offers of less than £70million for him.
Personally, I agree with Bale in this instance. Before team GB was announced by Stuart Pearce, I was fairly optimistic about our chances in the competition. However the friendly performance against Brazil was poor, the team looked weak and unorganised at the back.
With a new manager to impress at club level and team GB’s chances of winning the Olympics very slim, I probably would’ve chosen to focus on Tottenham’s preseason tour.
Obviously, it’s a huge privilege to play for your country in any sporting event, but in this case I feel Bale’s decision was the right move to make.
I would love to hear your opinions on this situation, please leave any comments in the section below!
Moroyin Omolabi released by Tottenham Hotspur one year after praise
The Nigerian defender briefly spent time on trial at Reading this year.
Nearly one year ago Tottenham Hotspur prospect Moroyin Omolabi was winning praise for his performances in the club’s youth teams.
After a win against Norwich City for the under-18s the Nigerian midfielder was given high praise by his manager John McDermott.
It came after he seamlessly dropped into a centre-back role for the game. Speaking to the official Tottenham Hotspur website after the game McDermott stated:
“Moroyin Omolabi, playing at centre-half, stood out against their front players who were very good.
“There were a lot of positives today and I was very proud of the way we played.”
It seemed that the 18-year-old might, therefore, be a player to keep tabs on for the Spurs first-team one day.
But despite impressing back in April of last year, it seems Omolabi has not progressed quite like Tottenham would have hoped.
In the most recent list of player registrations released by the FA the versatile teenager has been confirmed as released by Tottenham.
The 18-year-old left Spurs by mutual consent on the 27th February.
The teenager was a part of the UEFA Youth League squad for Spurs, but did not feature in a single game.
He played seven times in the Under-18 Premier League this campaign, scoring against West Ham back in October.
But after dropping out of contention at Spurs, the Nigerian spent time on trial at Reading – featuring in three games for the Berkshire club.
His final game for Tottenham appears to have been the 2-1 defeat against Fulham in October.
His failure to launch at Spurs just highlights the strength in depth Tottenham have in their youth ranks.
The teenager will now face a hunt for a new team in the summer, with his Tottenham days behind him.
It will be interesting to see if Reading follows up their interest in the player but Omolabi will now be on the hunt for a new team.
Hopefully, his education at Tottenham Hotspur will see him in good stead in his hunt for a professional career elsewhere.
Heung-min Son might be the only man who doesn’t want Gareth Bale return
The Welshman has been linked with a sensational return to Tottenham Hotspur.
This week has seen Tottenham Hotspur linked with a potentially sensational move to bring Gareth Bale back to North London. Spanish source Diario Gol has reported that Bale is ready to leave Real Madrid this summer. Despite interest from Manchester United, the Welshman has decided a return to Tottenham Hotspur is his wish.
Bale spent six years at White Hart Lane before becoming the world’s most expensive player in 2013. Real Madrid paid Spurs a fee reported by the Telegraph to be in the region of £86 million.
Despite some excellent memories at the Bernabeu, including two Champions League wins, Bale could be moved on in the summer. His injury troubles have frustrated Madrid and Bale turns 29 this summer, meaning this may be their last chance to cash in on the player.
Tottenham would need to break the bank to sign the player. One Tottenham player currently hoping that Daniel Levy does not loosen his famously tightened pursestrings will be Heung-min Son.
The South Korean nearly got the boot after a mixed first season at Spurs but has now become an integral member of the Tottenham first-team.
On his day Son has proved himself to be one of the most devastating left-wingers in the Premier League. Finally he looks settled into a first-team role so the arrival of Bale as a direct rival would be devastating for the 25-year-old talent.
Bale would be a direct rival for Son in the left-wing position. Whilst the Welshman has had his struggles this season he undoubtedly has the ability to usurp Son in the race to be a Tottenham starter.
Tottenham fans of course will be excited by such a return. An attacking department containing Bale, Son, Christian Eriksen, Dele Alli, Lucas Moura and Erik Lamela, all supplying the deadliest striker in world football Harry Kane? Tottenham could easily become unstoppable.
But Son is a player who thrives on confidence. His best displays come after continued runs in the first-team. If Bale arrives the struggle would be at Son’s detriment and he would soon find himself spending more and more time on the bench.
Whilst partly Son will relish the chance to play and train with a player of Bale’s calibre, a part of him will also hope the dream return stays off the table.
Tottenham Hotspur fans react to Danny Welbeck dive
Tottenham Hotspur fans were not pleased with Danny Welbeck’s dive v AC Milan.
Arsenal successfully knocked AC Milan out of the Europa League last night with a 3-1 win at the Emirates Stadium. The hero of the night was England forward Danny Welbeck. The striker scored two goals as Arsenal completed a deserved 5-1 aggregate victory over the Rossoneri.
But Milan had taken an early lead through Hakan Calhanoglu’s bamboozling long-range strike. Arsenal, at that stage, were looking on the ropes. Welbeck though won and then dispatched a penalty to level the scoring. The word ‘won’ being the optimum word.
Welbeck dived for the penalty, there is no doubt about that. Ricardo Rodriguez barely breathed on the Arsenal man, who tumbled to the ground hopefully. When the penalty was given, he looked in disbelief.
For Tottenham Hotspur fans it was a moment they did not appreciate.
Spurs have seen Dele Alli victimised throughout the season, and some would say rightly so, for his diving. There is no doubt that the England midfielder has dived this season and not many Tottenham fans would suggest not.
But the anger here lies with what Tottenham fans believe is hypocrisy. There is also a certain level or irony given a thinly veiled dig by Arsene Wenger against Spurs’ players this season.
After the highly controversial 2-2 draw at Anfield, where Harry Kane was accused of diving v Liverpool, Wenger had this to say, as reported by the BBC:
“I remember there were tremendous cases here when foreign players did it.
“But English players have learned very quickly and might be the masters now.”
“Sometimes players play a little bit with the rules. How far can you go? That is down to the referees.”
With Arsenal their next Premier League opponents, Arsene Wenger’s barb was not hard to see.
When that statement came out Tottenham fans quickly pointed out occasions when Arsenal’s English stars had been caught diving. Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott were prominent examples. Now, in Welbeck, Tottenham have seen another.
Arsenal fans will be happy that their team have booked a place in the next round of the Europa League. On balance it was more than a fair result as over two legs Arsenal outplayed the Italian giants.
But the Welbeck moment certainly put an asterix on the game for Spurs fans.
Here is some of the best reaction from Twitter…
Özil against Watford was falling down when a gust of wind went past him. It was appalling. Welbeck yesterday was one of the worst dives
— Joe B ??????? (@JblincoTHFC) March 16, 2018
Only just seen the Welbeck dive, he must be embarrassed even appealing for that.
— Joshhh (@JJonesTHFC) March 16, 2018
— Harry Hotspur (@HarryHotspurWHL) March 15, 2018
If you had any doubt about how this country treats Dele Alli (one of its brightest prospects in years) look at the difference in how the media and in particular fans, are talking about the #Welbeck dive. ? #COYS #THFC
— Gary Ford (@Spursfordie) March 15, 2018
Imagine if this was @dele_official who did this and the media onslaught! Danny Welbeck you diving cheat! Hope the likes of @talkSPORT @GaryLineker @alanshearer to name a few subject Danny to the same treatment they have subjected Dele too this season! https://t.co/MXFMAkOGcN
— H (@LittleMissTHFC) March 15, 2018
— Lucas (@MoughtTHFC) March 15, 2018
Welbeck is a cheat end of. Ruined a good game.
— THFC (@RaoullyT69) March 15, 2018
Look how everyone destroys Dele over diving. No one will comment on Welbeck’s dive. Shocking! #THFC
— Harry Hotspur (@HarryHotspurWHL) March 15, 2018
— Steve Williams (@spurssteve69) March 15, 2018
Welbeck dives. Dele will be in trouble in the morning. #THFC
— Stephen Vincent (@StevieV14) March 15, 2018
If Dele Alli did what Welbeck just did?
— Billy Adams (@ThfcAdams) March 15, 2018
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