THERE always seems to be a surge of traffic on this blog when Gareth Bale plays in a Premier League game for Tottenham. I know this because WordPress gives me a breakdown of how many hits each blog post gets per day, and of the terms people are typing into search engines to get here.
(On that subject, comfortably the strangest search term anyone has ever used to get to this blog was “is ray stubbs gay”. I’ve certainly never written a post on that topic, so I’d like to know how the search engine in question ended up sending that particular piece of web traffic my way. For what it’s worth, I seem to remember Stubbs had his girlfriend in the audience when he appeared on Celebrity Fame Academy a couple of years ago. I hope that helps.)
Sure enough, after Bale played in Tottenham’s 2-0 defeat at Liverpool last night, I got a whole load of hits from people who had typed “gareth bale curse” into Google and ended up here.
Most of them seem to have ended up being directed to a post I wrote in the my-God-is-that-still-going, ahem, I mean ever-popular Last on MOTD strand of this blog last May, in which I attempted to eke out a piece on a goalless draw between Everton and Tottenham by waffling on about the fact that Bale had never appeared on the winning side in a Premier League game, almost two years after arriving at White Hart Lane.
But that stat is now out of date. So to help all those people who have pitched up here wanting to know how many times Bale has picked up a Premier League win bonus, let me tell you: it’s three, and all of them were substitute appearances.
Bale played the last six minutes of Tottenham’s 5-0 win over Burnley in September, he came on in the final minute of their 3-0 victory over Manchester City last month (and I was there to witness it – I should get a T-shirt printed) and the last three minutes of the 2-0 triumph over West Ham on Boxing Day.
But he still hasn’t won a Premier League game in which he has played from the start. If that changes, I will be happy to let you know, if I remember.
(Incidentally, the second most bizarre search engine term to have brought anyone to this blog was “how many gcses has danielle lineker got”, which takes people to my Last on MOTD entry from last weekend. It’s good to know that my blog is performing some kind of service. One day, I may figure out exactly what that service is.)
UPDATE: January 26: Well, any lingering remains of the curse have been well and truly exorcised. Bale started Tottenham’s 2-0 win over Fulham last night. Having finally started a Premier League victory, he has emphatically consigned one of the competition’s more curious stats to history.