In an exclusive interview with Football FanCast, former Tottenham defender Gary Mabbutt has admitted that Gareth Bale should now be starting every week, but praised Jose Mourinho’s management of the Welshman.
Bale has generally endured a difficult time back in North London since making his return from Real Madrid last summer.
However, the flying winger has enjoyed a revival in recent weeks, using Spurs’ Europa League tie against Wolfsberger to get up to speed for Premier League matches.
Bale scored in both legs against the Austrian outfit, and having made a significant impact off the bench against West Ham last Sunday was rewarded with just his third Premier League start of the season against Burnley last time out.
And Bale repaid Mourinho’s faith by producing a scintillating man of the match display against the Clarets, scoring twice and assisting once in Tottenham’s 4-0 victory.
Mabbutt told FFC:
“I think he’s been very well managed. There has been a lot of talk about should he be playing from the start week in week out, but I think the manager has to make decisions based upon what he’s seeing in training.
“And as long as that’s all clear cut, as long as there’s a lot of communications between the player and the manager, as to as to what they’re trying to achieve getting back to his full fitness, full match fitness. And for health fitness. He had an illness at one stage that kept him out.”
Bale has featured in each of Tottenham’s previous four games in all competitions, scoring four times, whilst providing three assists for his teammates.
“I think the last couple of games, certainly the European game last week, and the game against Burnley. I thought he was fantastic. He’s finishing, his composure, just his whole presence, his whole presence just on the field there, I think puts fear into the opponents, as they know what he can do.
“Should Gareth be in the first team every single week? Well, of course, on top of the performances that he’s got, but the manager’s got a massive squad to play with.”
For long periods of the season, it seemed strange as to why Bale wasn’t playing so regularly.
But Mourinho appears to have got this spot on. He’s allowed the Welshman to use the Europa League and domestic cups to get up to scratch before unleashing him for the most important part of the campaign.