Bale’s former Spurs teammate blames Zidane for Welshman’s struggles in North London

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Gareth Bale
Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

Gareth Bale has not yet had the impact that some Tottenham fans would have hoped for after his high profile return to the club in the summer transfer window.

While the Welshman was always going to take time to regain fitness and get up to speed, it is fair to say that the Tottenham faithful would have expected the winger to play more in the Premier League.

Most of Bale’s minutes so far have come in the Europa League, with the Real Madrid loanee having started just one league game since his return (transfermarkt.com).

However, there were signs during his last two outings against Ludogorets and LASK that the pacy wide man was getting his sharpness back.

Jose Mourinho has continued to remain patient with him, insisting that he has been pleased with the returning superstar’s progress (Football.London).

Bale’s former Spurs teammate, Peter Crouch believes that it was always going to be difficult for the Wales international to hit the ground running having been frozen out of the first-team picture by Zinedine Zidane during the last couple of years.

When asked whether Bale can return to his old self, the former Tottenham striker said in The Daily Mail’s Ask Crouchie column: “It was unrealistic for people to expect Gareth to come back from seven years in Spain and be the turbocharged winger who blew us away.

“In the years I played with him, I have never seen anyone who had such an engine — up, down, up, down at full pace for 90 minutes.

“His last two years in Madrid were ruined by Zinedine Zidane effectively cutting him out and that much disruption has an impact on a player finding rhythm. One thing I have noticed is that he is cleverer in terms of how he times his runs and when he engages top gear.

“You also have to recognise how good Son Heung-min, Harry Kane and Steven Bergwijn have been for Jose Mourinho. Son and Kane were magnificent on the counter against Arsenal and the more I see them, the more I see genuine title challengers. Gareth will play his part to help, for sure.”

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