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The baleful curse of Giggs

21 Oct 10 | Re: Footy hoodoo

Now is a good time to be a Spurs fan. Not only are we the second highest team in the Premiership, that isn’t powered by fantasy money, but we’ve also got Gareth Bale, easily the most exciting player in the league at the moment.

The strangest thing about Bale is that this exceptional young, Welsh left winger is emerging just as Ryan Giggs’s career is drawing towards its close. Throughout my fifteen years plus as an England fan, successive managers have tried to find someone to play down the left when the fact is that no one has ever been satisfactory in the position - not Joe Cole, not Trevor Sinclair, not Steve Stone, no one. Some have even tried to concoct formations that ignore the left side of the pitch all together, not realising that football isn’t played in enough dimensions to allow for some kind of one-sided Moebius rectangle. And all the while the situation has been made that much more painful by the obvious truth that had Giggs just been English, he would have been the perfect solution. He would have played in five World Cups by now, and we might even have got to the semis in one or two of them.

So now, albeit that the England left-mid situation is as direly perplexing as ever, some of the faithful might at least have been looking forward to a day when the spectre of Giggs wouldn’t be there to taunt them about it. But just as that dream edges into view, here comes another player who is arguably just as tantalisingly talented and if anything even more tantalisingly Welsh than Giggs. It seems that the English are doomed always to lack a solid left-wing option, and always to look on mournfully as a Welsh superstar sits wasted among his middling team-mates. It really is a funny old game.

Posted by MR HOPE at 13:07

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