This afternoon, #AskBale has been trending on Twitter. The hashtag, began by the Welshman at 2:11 p.m., invited followers to write in and pose questions to him during his lunch break, asking him anything they want to know, and attempting to reconcile the man and the miracle worker.
Just finished a late lunch, got 15 minutes... #AskBale GO!— Gareth Bale (@GarethBale11) April 17, 2013
Unfortunately for all involved (apart from amused onlookers), the question session is in the process of descending into a farce, with Arsenal fans intent on ridiculing Bale and his club. While one can’t help but cringe at the thought of the young Welsh wonder reading about references to his uncanny likeness to a chimpanzee, his namesake Christian Bale, or to the perception that he has been carrying Spurs throughout the season, it’s impossible to suppress a smile as you read some of these questions.
#AskBale Does it keep you up at night knowing you'll never achieve your full potential or win any trophies because you signed with spurs?— Sam Brown (@SamBrown2011) April 17, 2013
Opposition fans were particularly keen to make reference to the notion, prevalent this season, that Spurs have been a one-man team, with Bale too often papering over the weaknesses and inconsistencies of his teammates. While Spurs clearly have enough quality within their ranks to compete without their Welsh winger, the fact that the North London giants haven't won this year unless Bale has scored, must be worrying coach Andre Villas-Boas.
It certainly hasn't concerned Arsenal fans, who delighted in picking up on this perception.
#AskBale Is it a back injury that is keeping you out after you've carried 10 other players for several months now?— Alex Batt (@AlexBatt) April 17, 2013
I have been told your nick name at spurs is the " tea tray " as you carry 10 mugs every week . Can you confirm ? #AskBale— Arsenal Loyal(@wellbeloved13) April 17, 2013
Others were keen to remind Bale, and his Spurs cohorts, of the parallels that exist between this season and last, when Spurs threw away a seemingly insurmountable lead to surrender a Champions League place to their fierce rivals.
The notion that Bale is a diver, and that he's adverse to bending the rules of a contest, were also picked upon.
What does Tim Huddlestone eat for a snack, when he gets hungry between 2nd lunch and 1st dinner?#askbale— REDaction Gooners (@REDactionAFC) April 17, 2013
Similarly, some of Bale's Tottenham teammates came in for some stick. The cumbersome, and somewhat bulky midfielder, Tommy Huddlestone was in for some specific criticism.
Last, but not least, the player's uncanny likeness to a primate prompted some particularly cruel jibes.