The Anonymous Widower

Gareth Bale, Cliff Jones and Taffy O’Callaghan

Tottenham Hotspur have a tradition of Welsh players, who were fast and skilful.

The one, I’ve seen most was Cliff Jones, who was an integral part of the Spurs double side and a few years afterwards. On form he could be brilliant and he could tear defences apart with his speed, in a manner not unlike that of Gareth Bale. What is often forgotten about Cliff Jones, is that on the death of John White and the retirement of Danny Blanchflower, he played much more as a midfield playmaker, rather than an outright winger.  In some ways, isn’t this how another Welsh footballer;Ryan Giggs’s career has progressed at Manchester United?

I’ve put Taffy O’Callaghan in this post, as my father felt he was an amazing footballer from before the Second World War. He was supposed to be fast and my father told me that the team of those days was nicknamed the ‘greyhounds’, which is confirmed in Wikipedia. My father always said, he’d never seen anybody hit a football so hard. And they weren’t the lightweight balls of today!

We all know that Gareth Bale is good, but I won’t compare him directly, with his two predecessors.  Although, it is informative to read Cliff Jones thoughts on Gareth Bale in this report on the BBC. In the article Cliff Jones doesn’t say that Real Madrid and others courted him continuously in the 1960s, but he stayed at Tottenham.

Perhaps being Welsh, he preferred the green grass at home?

There is also this article on Gareth Bale in the Guardian, which has this priceless quote from Blanchflower about yet another Welsh football legend; John Charles.

Everything he does is automatic. When he moves into position for a goal chance it is instinctive. Watch me and you’ll see I am seconds late, but all my thinking has to be done in my head. My feet do not do my thinking for me as they do for him.

The article says this could be applied to Gareth Bale. But then Blanchflower knew his football, both on and off the field. He was a unique talent himself!

March 2, 2013 - Posted by | Sport | , ,

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