Somebody is telling fibs at Tottenham as the division between manager and players looks to be widening. On Friday evening, manager Jose Mourinho criticised Gareth Bale after the forward’s Instagram post earlier this week in which he indicated he was fit to play against Everton. Bale posted a comment saying he had enjoyed a “good session” in training but he was not even on the bench at Goodison Park. Mourinho said Bale’s comment was misleading and “a contradiction” as the player had asked not to be included. Given recent spats at the club, poor results and public criticisms of the players by Mourinho, the outlook looks grim. I guess the only question is: who will go first, the coach or the disruptive players?
First of all, Bale’s return to Spurs on loan from Real Madrid has been an anticlimax with the Welshman barely featuring in the Premier League because of injuries and lack of match fitness. However, ahead of Spurs’ FA Cup fifth-round clash at Everton on Wednesday, Bale hinted he was ready to go.
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Secondly, rumours abound that Mourinho has had a falling out with the Welshman and is refusing to play him. Both player and manager have got previous for being problematic, with many of Mourinho’s former players hitting out at the coach and his behaviour, while Bale famously got frozen out at Real Madrid by Zinedine Zidane after a falling out.
The 31-year-old Bale has started only two Premier League games since returning to the club on loan in October, having fallen out of favour at Real. He has featured more in the Europa League but his return has been a disappointment.
“I have to admit that his post created something that needed to be addressed because there was a contradiction between the post and the reality,” Mourinho said ahead of Saturday’s trip to Premier League leaders Manchester City. “Since the beginning of the season, in relation to everything, I tried to be very private, tried to keep everything indoors but I’ve felt that I needed to address the situation.
“Probably the post was not even his responsibility, I don’t know ... but the post was: ‘Training session great,’ so I’m ready and it was totally wrong.”
Adding more detail on Bale’s situation in the build-up to the Everton game, Mourinho said: “He was not feeling good, he asked for a scan, he had the scan, the scan didn’t show an injury but his feelings were still there. But coaches, sports science and medical people can never go against feelings because the players’ feelings are more important than all of us, so he was not ready for the game and it was as simple as that.”
Former Tottenham striker Dimitar Berbatov said the situation did not look like having a happy ending.
“It’s a bad situation for the team, for the player and for the manager, and that isn’t pleasant to see and watch,” the Bulgarian said. “Honestly, I don’t see how this situation can be resolved, from what I have seen so far from Bale there is something lacking there, and I don’t see how there can be a happy ending. It’s a weird situation.”