Tim Sherwood has claimed that the reason Gareth Bale is not getting games for Tottenham in the Premier League is that Steven Bergwijn does a better defensive job than the Welshman.
Mourinho has opted to start with a front three of Bergwijn, Son Heung-min and Harry Kane for Tottenham’s last three Premier League games against Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal.
Bale did not see a single minute of action in those three matches despite being named on the bench for all three games (transfermarkt.com).
The 31-year-old has started only one Premier League match since returning to Tottenham, with most of his minutes coming in the Europa League.
While Bergwijn has not exactly set the world alight on the ball over the past three weeks, he has been doing a terrific job off it, always willing to track his opposing full-back and put in a defensive shift.
Sherwood believes that this is why Mourinho prefers to play the Dutchman in big matches rather than the experience Gareth Bale.
The former Spurs boss said to Premier League Productions: “They have two wide players in Son and Bergwijn who are willing to do the yards backwards because they have the pace to support Kane in attack when they win the ball.
“If we ever wondered why Bale is not playing, for the benefit of the team Bergwijn does a better job.
“When you look at the teammates when they came in, you believe he is playing one of three [in attack]. He’s not, he’s just worried about Tierney.”
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We have seen already that Mourinho approaches each game differently based on what he feels will be the best way to get three points. So, I believe we are unlikely to see Bale get minutes against the big sides unless we are chasing the game. However, I would not surprised to see the 31-year-old being handed a start against Crystal Palace this weekend given that Roy Hodgson’s men are likely to defend deep and the Welshman’s quality in the final third could help make a difference.
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