“Go out there and convince me…”
Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho says he is “totally convinced” by the quality of Gareth Bale amid questions over the Welshman’s fitness and form since re-joining Spurs on loan. And when Jose says he’s totally convinced, you know he means it. Ahem. AHEM.
But Mourinho has backed Bale to do his bit in the season run-in. Speaking ahead of their Europa League clash with Wolfsberger AC, he said: “He doesn’t need to convince me of anything. I am totally convinced about everything. It’s not about convincing me, it’s about being ready to play the minutes we all would love him to play.
“It’s a process. You feel that in matches in the last couple of years. It’s the process. We want him to be ready to play every minute of every game.
“He is a player with special qualities, you could see against West Ham in the second 45 minutes the positive impact in the quality of the game. He had a cross, he had a couple of assists, he hit the crossbar.
“He is doing that better and better, but he is not playing 90 minutes, he is not playing every game. We have to manage his evolution. But he has nothing at all to convince me about.”
Mourinho also said he wants to look after Bale in their upcoming matches: “We play Wolfsberger, then Burnley, Fulham midweek, Crystal Palace at home and then hopefully we play Europa League again. We play nine matches in March.
“That’s six for us at the club plus three for the national team. Our players are going to be on a nine-match run in March which is absolutely crazy.
“Gareth is a special example of a player we need to take care of. I can tell you that at this moment Gareth is playing all the minutes that he can and that we feel are good for his evolution.
“And what he wants and what we want is in this last part of the season to play more minutes and more crucial matches than he did.”
No, I’m not convinced he fancies Bale. Mourinho says a lot of things, so I prefer to judge him by his actions – and he’s shown very little faith in Bale so far.