Football is going very fast. A month ago, Mourinho and Gareth Bale had them in public. The Portuguese did not summon the Welshman for the English Cup match at Everton field (which Tottenham would end up losing 5-4) claiming that he was injured and the player responded by posting a photo of the training on Instagram with the message Good session today and an emoticon of the biceps, implying that he was strong. The coach responded immediately by stating that it was the player himself who had said that he was not feeling well despite the fact that the medical tests carried out did not detect any injuries. “Sports scientists, doctors, coaches, can never go against feelings because what the players feel is more important than all of us. In other words, I was not prepared for the game, it is as simple as that ”, Mourinho settled.
A month, eight games, six goals and three assists later, the Welshman has been transformed. For the first time in months, if not years, and certainly for the first time since eight months ago he returned to Tottenham on loan from Real Madrid, Gareth Bale is back to playing football and Mourinho takes him between cotton wool. In the eight games played by Spurs since February 18, Bale has started five and has always been substituted around the 65th minute (yesterday against Arsenal at 57th). In the other three he has played between 25 and 45 minutes. “When a player has injuries, I think they always have scars and many times they are not physical, they are emotional scars. For a player to be free and emotionally clean, it takes time and you have to be patient ”, declared Mourinho. A very different understanding and tone than the one he used months ago, when he seemed to have lost patience with the Welshman’s constant injuries.
In England and Wales they don’t understand what happened to Gareth Bale in Spain. The press tends to point out that Bale is probably the British player with the best record in history. In seven years at Real Madrid he won four Champions Leagues, two Leagues, a Copa del Rey, four Club World Cups, three European Super Cups and two Spanish Super Cups. And they tend to believe that Bale has been the victim of a press campaign orchestrated against him by Real Madrid. A campaign that would have consisted of exaggerating his problems with the Spanish language, his passion for golf, his apparent reluctance and the belief that he cares more about charging than playing football.
Of course, they recognize that Bale has made mistakes, from falling asleep on the bench to being photographed after Wales’ qualification for the 2020 European Championship with a Welsh flag with the inscription Welsh. Golf. Madrid. In that order. A banner considered offensive by the Madrid fans and that in the United Kingdom happens to be a simple joke.
Play right or wrong, the player’s future is unclear. “That you have to ask Zidane. Bale is a player for Madrid, not Tottenham ”, avoided Mourinho a few days ago. Madrid did not charge a penny for the transfer and pays half of his token. Tottenham is also a tough negotiator and it is not expected that they will agree to shell out any money for their final transfer.
Although there is a before and after these four weeks, it must also be taken into account that the explosion of Gareth Bale’s game, who has hardly played football in the last two years, has not coincided with the most demanding matches (against Austrian Wolfsberger and Dinamo Zagreb in the European League, and against Palace, Fulham, Burnley and West Ham in the Premier). The first litmus test came this Sunday in the great North London derby between Arsenal and Tottenham that ended with victory gunner (2-1) and a goal from Odegaard.