In an exclusive interview with Football FanCast, Rob Lee, who made over 250 Premier League appearances for Newcastle United and Derby County, doesn’t understand why Jose Mourinho hasn’t played Gareth Bale more often this season.
Bale has four goals and two assists in his last four games for Spurs having started against Burnley, Fulham and Crystal Palace, with Tottenham winning all three.
The on-loan Real Madrid winger has struggled for game time and fitness this season having started just five games in the Premier League.
Lee has found it strange as to why Mourinho has neglected the winger for so long but does not doubt his ability and judgement on his players considering his track record of success during his managerial career.
Lee spoke of his confusion of Bale’s expulsion from the starting line up this season, telling FFC:
“If a fully fit Gareth Bale is fully fit, and his head’s right and he’s raring to go you have to play him.
“Mourinho’s not stupid so there must be something going on with his fitness or his attitude. It’s surprised me how long it’s taken him to get fit.
“Mourinho’s a very, very good coach. Whether he didn’t want to play Bale because he plays more defensive, but he’s not stupid.
“He scored two goals the other night and dragged him off after 70 minutes and you think ‘well is there a reason he’s doing that?’. I certainly hope he starts playing some more because he’s exciting to watch.”
Bale has always had undoubted talent, however, since his return to Spurs in the summer his fitness has appeared to be lacking.
If Mourinho has a fully fit Bale at his disposal for the business end of the season it could see Spurs make a late push for the top four.