Gareth Bale is not a Jose Mourinho player. He’s a Galactico – he gets the ball and he attacks. You don’t ask him to be concerned about his defensive position, just get him in possession and let him run.
But Spurs don’t attack like they did under Mauricio Pochettino. We know about Mourinho. We’ve seen at Manchester United. We’ve seen at Chelsea. When his team has the ball, every player has to think about their position should they lose it. And that’s not how to get the best out of Bale.
Son Heung-min’s game has been affected since Mourinho’s arrival. Lucas Moura’s too. Harry Kane hasn’t made a sprint this season and hasn’t looked right since lockdown. Will Bale be any different?
- Wales. Tottenham. Golf... Gareth Bale is coming home
- Gareth Bale to Tottenham: how the impossible transfer could work
Bale doesn’t fit with what Mourinho wants, which makes me wonder whether it’s Daniel Levy signing him for shirt sales or Mourinho to improve his team. He isn’t going to want to track back. Sure, he’ll work for the team to a point, but his teammates know they need him in the final third as an escape route. But Mourinho doesn’t want his team defending like that.
And then there’s the dressing room. If they pay just 50% of Bale’s £600,000-a-week wages, it would make him their highest paid player by a country mile. I wonder what Harry Kane’s reaction will be when the club is paying a loan signing more than him? Even though it’s not intentional on Bale’s part, his status could affect his new teammates.
It’s a gamble – but at least it would wake a lot of Spurs fans up again. He probably has more trophies than the entire dressing room combined and he’s a more mature player than the one that left for Real in 2013.
Gareth Bale, Jose Mourinho (L) in 2011
Image credit: Getty Images
'Alli to Madrid doesn't make sense'
It’s often overlooked, but Dele Alli has done well to jump to the Premier League from League One.
But he’s overcomplicated his game. His strength was that he was an athlete, he knew how to get into the box and make runs beyond Harry Kane to stretch teams. Now he’s trying to do too much with the ball, rather than relying on his main strength.
So when I hear stories that Dele could be going to Real Madrid? Zinedine Zidane taking him on? It just doesn’t make sense.
It’s a good story but I’m sure there are a lot of Spurs fans scratching their heads going, ‘We would love Gareth Bale, but if it hinges on Dele Alli going the other way, then Bale’s not coming to Spurs’.
Dele Alli - Tottenham Hotspur
Image credit: Getty Images
'Spurs have taken step back from worst game I've ever seen'
The goalless draw between Tottenham and Everton in lockdown was the worst game I’ve ever seen live, including non-league games. That was in July. Spurs won 1-0 but were awful; Everton were embarrassing.
But I look at what’s happened since that game – Everton's 1-0 win in the 'rematch' last weekend – and Everton have taken a massive step forwards, while Spurs have somehow taken a step back.
Mourinho blamed lazy pressing and bemoaned his side’s fitness. But players can run a marathon if they want to. It might hurt, but they can do it. A lot of Spurs players don’t want to put a lot of effort in because they look at what they’re getting in return, from their manager, and they’re not getting much.
If Spurs are going to turn it around, it will happen with ugly football. Mourinho's football is calculated and it’s not really what Tottenham have been about, so it's not going to be enjoyable being a fan. Forget about 4-0 wins and 3-3 draws, it’s all about grinding out wins.
Jose Mourinho refuses to discuss Gareth Bale's potential return to Spurs