Whilst Spurs were able to grind out a 1-0 win against Fulham at Craven Cottage on Thursday evening, their attacking play for much of the game left a lot to be desired, and wasn’t anywhere near the level they produced against Burnley last weekend.
A solitary own goal was the difference between the two sides, with Spurs struggling to create chances against a Fulham side who have shown a lot of fight in recent weeks.
One man who struggled to get involved in the game against Scott Parker’s team was Gareth Bale. The £18m-rated Welsh international looked back to his best with a superb display in the 4-0 win against Burnley, as he provided two goals and an assist, but he was largely anonymous at Craven Cottage.
As per SofaScore, the 31-year-old earned a 6.7 match rating for his display, with only Harry Kane, Toby Alderweireld and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg rated lower among the starting XI as they were all rated 6.6/10 for their performances.
During his time on the pitch, the Real Madrid loanee completed just eight of his 16 passes, resulting in a less than impressive pass success rate of 50%, whilst it was also the fewest passes played by any player who started the game from either side, with Spurs ‘keeper Hugo Lloris playing 21 passes during the game, per SofaScore.
Bale has averaged a 67.6% pass success rate in the Premier League so far this season, which suggests that he was nowhere near his best against Fulham, and perhaps hints that he can struggle to keep up with the intensity of the top-flight. Against Burnley he was afforded all sorts of space, whereas the game at Craven Cottage was more frantic and cluttered in midfield.
Although the winger did play the through ball to Dele Alli which led to Spurs’ goal, it was one of few involvements in a disappointing display from the Welshman, as he failed to register a single shot on target or an accurate cross in west London.
Therefore, whilst Jose Mourinho suggested that he was “happy” with Bale following the game, he might be concerned that the 31-year-old failed to stamp his authority on the game as he did against Sean Dyche’s side last time out, particularly in the second half when Spurs could barely get out of their own half against the relegation candidates.