Alan Hutton believes that Gareth Bale still has to prove to Jose Mourinho that he is capable of tracking back and helping the defense out if he is start big matches.
Bale was the star of the show in Tottenham’s 4-0 demolition of Burnley on Sunday.
The Welshman scored twice, set up another goal for Harry Kane and looked dangerous whenever he got on the ball in the 70 minutes he got under his belt.
Spurs fans would be hoping that the 31-year-old’s performance in the last couple of matches is a sign of things to come and that the on-loan Real Madrid star would be able to maintain the same form until the end of the season.
When asked if Bale has turned a corner, Jose Mourinho said after the match that it is about managing the winger’s fitness game by game and insisted that he cannot be expected to play every match.
Hutton believes what Mourinho meant his comments was that he does not quite trust the returning superstar to put in the defensive shift required when the North Londoners come up against one of the big sides.
When asked about The Tottenham boss’ post-match comments, the pundit told Football Insider: “I think what Mourinho’s referring to is when they play the bigger teams.
“Has he got it in his legs to give that going forward but also work going back. We know, really, Mourinho wants to be defensively sound. We just have to look at all the big games that they play.
“Can he give him the defensive side as well as the attacking side as well? I think that is probably the next stage for Bale and whether he can do that, whether his legs have gone. It’ll be interesting to see.
“He’s going to have to probably prove to Mourinho he can handle that in the big games. I don’t mean his attacking talent, because we know he’s got.
“I mean the full 90 minutes, the defensive side of it. If he can do that, then I’m sure he’ll be in Mourinho’s plans.”
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Over the past few weeks, Bale has demonstrated that he still has plenty of legs and can turn on the after-burners to make lung-busting runs if required. I believe that we will see Bale starting big matches like the North London Derby and the Carabao Cup final should he maintain the same form.
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