When I was a kid one of the highlights of the week would be to hear the old rag and bone man shouting out something completely unintelligible as they tried to encourage or coerce the local neighbourhood to bring out the stuff they didn`t want anymore or even stuff they did, but needed money more.
I never did get to understand the words he shouted, it could have been “bring out your dead ” for all I know, but the sound was such, it didn`t matter, you knew you were being called. It was pay day, my gang of mates had accumulated ‘stuff` from everywhere and anywhere, some legally some not so much.
It was one hell of a game to join in with; here would be Ernie (yes that was his name) putting on a pretence of sheer financial desperation as he shouted “bring out your dead” and claiming poverty as desperate Mums and working Dads asked him “How much for this Ernie ? ” ..and then ‘but Ernie, the scales say it`s worth this much!’ they`d protest in vain as he seemngly reluctantly whistled through his teeth and gave a number up as if someone was mugging him.
‘But last week you said this much!’ The poor seller would say beggingly, Ernie would rub his chin, put his head to one side and hiss as he said ” it`s all gone down since then, no one wants to fix it anymore, I`m doing you a favour really just offering you what I have, I`m going broke doing this now, I can’t keep doing you these favours!”
Unfortunately for Ernie, there were a small ITK group that had the inside track; I was one; I went to primary School with his son Alan.
Alan inspired awe and jealousy in equal measure; he had everything I didn`t and when he didn`t, it soon appeared. We knew Alan`s Dad was minted, but we also knew that he was nobodies fool, no matter how much he wanted it, no matter what condition in was in, he knew the pitfalls of every electrical good, tit-tat he`d be offered, for just about every brand.
He died a very very rich man, there’s money in second hand broken down goods..
He never over-paid for anything, let alone what it was worth.
Sometimes some would try and pretend something shiny was a precious metal, Ernie would get out his little tools, scratch, grin, laugh and call it what it was, the seller normally got a good verbal barrage for his trouble as well.
I was minded of this as I read the regurgitating of the Gareth Bale to Spurs stories that are proliferating again. According to the narrative, Gareth will shun everyone else and only come back to Spurs.
Kudus to Gareth, but does anyone seriously believe it?
In recent seasons Gareth has been like one of the old TV`s that Ernie would buy, one day it worked and worked well, next it didn`t, you could never quite get it fixed, as soon as you replaced one part, apparently something else would go. Ernie made a fortune from fixing old gear to make it look like it would last forever – just before it gave up the ghost.
It was a never ending gamble between writing it off and selling it to Ernie or just giving it one last try and that’s how any deal for Gareth would be for me.
After our showing this week in Spain, the Spanish pundits and media seem to be swaying between ‘Poch` is the man to take over from ZZ, Real Madrid and Barcelona want Harry and stories of Bale will go to Spurs in some form of bizarre swap/ Two for one deal.
Spanish ITK, Don Balon is being quoted here and there as Gareth Bale could soon make a surprise return to Tottenham, it seems his current employers, having knocked back advances from Chelsea and Manchester United in the summer are ready to listen to offers above £60 million.
Anybody want to buy an old crock – there is a queue you know.
Supposedly, despite their less than illuminating start to La liga, the duo of Isco and Asensio are proving that they`re more than good enough to replace him permanently according to those ITK close to Real Madrid.
During the summer Mourinho made it clear he had the chequebook at the ready if Real Madrid didn’t play him, or even hinted they’d listen to offers.
As it was, Gareth played against them, and the chequebook went back into hibernation until next summer.
Was it nothing more than Mourinho Mind games? Probably.
You have to rewind a couple of seasons to May 2015, when Gareth was having all sorts of crap heaped upon him by the Madrista`s and Spanish pundits alike for his poor performances after his first round of injuries, at the time when asked about the situation Poch said this: “Spurs are open to receive him back at White Hart Lane if he was not comfortable” at Real Madrid.
The more gullible amongst us leapt on his words as proof positive that it was a real possibility, not just a coach being polite and media savvy.
For his part, Gareth using his PR advisors well had said this not long after his move “Tottenham will always have a place in my heart, I hope the fans still love me even though I`ve moved on. I love Spurs fans; you never know, I could come back one day.”
So what can we make of the latest story from Spain?
Times have moved on, Gareth sadly has struggled with injury after injury, he`s now 28 and in my view the chances of us getting him are nil. We don’t need him and we don’t want him, he wouldn’t fit in.
New stadium, new mentality, new revenues, new approach aren`t going to get Ernie, ooops, Daniel to open the chequebook. Our days of buying fixer uppers is over.
And I think Poch has moved on too, Gareth would struggle with the pressing intensity we now play, watching him for many of his games in recent years, you won`t see too much graft working backwards from Gareth and that combined with his injury record, his wage demands (even more modest ones) makes this a non starter.
I’d rather retain the fantastic memories of him then see him come back and struggle like another broken down Van der Varrt.
Even if that chance was offered to us, I`d flat out reject it, would you?