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"Lead guitarists are just flash gits and poseurs who do sod all but get all the limelight."
So said my mate Bobby, who should know because his band got through a lot of them. He imagined his group were a Black Crowes-style southern rock 'n' roll band, with Bob their lead singer cast as Mister Snake Hips. The trouble was, every time he employed a good lead guitarist, he'd find the centre of attention moved to the new player, so he booted them out and replaced him with someone less flash in the hope he wouldn't get so much attention, who in turn then got sacked because he wasn't good enough and still got all the attention anyway. The lead guitarist is always the shaman of the group - everyone else just has to accept it.
Ironically, the best player in Bob's band was always Benny the drummer who made them sound bigger and better than they really were but was largely ignored by everyone, so much so that he once suffered the ignominy of a groupie, who wanted to get to the guitarist, thinking he was a roadie and thus asking him what room the axeman was in; no greater humiliation can any musician have than to be a pimp for his own lead guitarist.
The point here is that the most prominent member of a band is not necessarily the best, even if they get disproportionate amount of attention from the audience and from those who seek to pleasure musicians with their body. If you're loud and have an armadillo in your pants, even if you're not that good, you tend to get noticed because many people can't see beyond the most obvious thing quite literally thrust in their face. This is also very much the case in football as we can see from the ludicrous money offered for Garry Bale.
Some talents are really obvious and easy to appreciate and Bale is one of those. He does two things magnificently - running fast all game long and unleashing a thrash-fecker into the top corner. Even people who know nothing about football can enjoy Bale's art. It's not subtle, it doesn't require insight into the game, and it doesn't require knowledge of tactics or anything else. Everyone at all ages can point and say, 'look, a chimpy lad is going pink in the face and kicking the roundy thing dead hard'.
Last season it was a skill cast into an especially golden light by the fact he scored a lot of match winners when all hope seemed lost. Had Spurs been a better side and not relied on this so much, his value to a side might not have seemed quite so great. In other words, Bale looks brilliant in a side with a lot of weaknesses.
His talent clearly has a lot of value but, the running and the thrick-fizzer aside, he's not that super-stellar. Compared to Juan Mata, or Eden Hazard say, he just doesn't have their variety and depth of skill. But then they can't do the chimpy pink face thrash-jazzer thing. But does that or should that make him the most expensive player in world football? He'd be displacing Cristiano Ronaldo, whose game is much more complete and much more regularly devastating. He can do the thwamm-sodder into the top corner and a whole lot more, despite spending most of every game in a haze of narcissism, gazing at himself on the big screen.
Bale's contributions tend to be all or nothing, a star turn or an anonymous outing but everyone knows his name because of the stunning match-winners. He has become elevated beyond his true worth because of the role he was cast into at a club who regularly needed a 'get out of jail free' card last season. Bale played that role perfectly and with real talent. But Real Madrid seem to be forgetting that they have a lot more match-winners than Spurs, and won't need a thunk-swazzer to win a game in the last minute quite so often and if Bale isn't needed for that, what else is he there for? Is the rest of his game really worth that sort of money?
In other words, Bale's value to Spurs may be very high but shouldn't be anywhere nearly so high for Madrid. Bale makes Spurs much better, he won't make Madrid much better at all and that's why the 80 million seems just far too much money. Just because he's the lead guitarist at Spurs shouldn't make him the most valuable player, not even if he has an armadillo in his pants.
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