Jose Mourinho has addressed Gareth Bale’s slow start to life back at Spurs, suggesting that the Welshman is lacking ‘confidence’ in his own body’s ability to play three games-a-week.
Bale returned to the Premier League to much fanfare in the summer, signing on a season-long loan from Real Madrid having fallen well down the pecking order under Zinedine Zidane at the Bernabeu.
The Wales international may well have been an integral part in four Champions League successes in five seasons, though he has since developed a reputation of being an injury-prone forward who spends more time on a golf course than a football pitch.
His return to Spurs was seen as a new dawn for his career, under a manager who has long-coveted his talents, though having returned to North London, the 31-year-old has only made one start in the Premier League, though has started all four of the side’s Europa League fixtures to date.
Speaking ahead of Thursday night’s tie with LASK, and looking ahead to this weekend’s north London derby with Arsenal, Jose Mourinho has suggested he is looking to re-build the forward’s confidence in his own body to be able to once again cope with the rigours and demands of the English and European game.
“The only problem with Gareth is to get into the dynamic and the confidence of playing consecutive matches without any bad feeling or negative feeling, without any remembrance of the recent past when the condition was not the best and the fears were there,” said Mourinho at his pre-match press conference. “But now he has the chance of a physical evolution.
“He doesn’t need a tactical or a technical evolution. He just needs to get his confidence back about playing three matches in a week. It’s more about that [than anything else].”