Tottenham legend Glenn Hoddle has claimed that the reason behind Gareth Bale’s struggles since his return to North London cannot be put down to fitness anymore since the Welshman has had ample time to get his sharpness back.
Bale has only made one Premier League start since returning to North London in the summer.
Although he has shown some glimpses of his quality in the Europa League, he has not made the impact that Spurs fans would have hoped for until now.
When the 31-year-old came on as a half-time substitute against Leicester on Sunday, the game seemed poised for him to produce some magic and dig his side out of a hole.
However, it was a rather uninspiring performance from the Wales international, who struggled to find space and failed to influence the game.
Hoddle believes that Bale’s mentality is behind his poor displays and urged the winger to take games by the scruff of the neck.
The former Spurs midfielder wrote in The Evening Standard: “I always said when he came back that I do not think we should expect anywhere near the same Gareth Bale that left Tottenham or achieved what he did at Real Madrid.
“Do not forget that he has not actually been playing in the main Spurs team. Jose Mourinho has not seen enough from him and I have not seen enough from him. Gareth has had time to get fit and has got fitter, so I do not think it is his fitness now. It is a mentality with him now.
“He has to push himself more, physically and mentally, and he could be like a brand new player waiting to join this Tottenham squad. He has just been on the periphery and he has to be a little bit more, ‘I am the man, you have got to give me the ball’.”
Although Hoddle admitted that Bale is not likely to beat players with his pace like he used to, he insisted that the Real Madrid loanee can help solve Tottenham’s creative issues if he gets on the ball in attacking areas.
He added: “Gareth is not going to be running past four or five players like he used to but I think he can create. He has a good pass on him and with more time on the pitch he will get a good link with Harry Kane and Heung min-Son.
“One of the things Tottenham are lacking is creativity. There is not that creative spark. Gareth Bale coming back would be sensational. But he has more to show.”
Spurs Web Opinion
Any new signing needs a run of games in the side in order to build some momentum and feel the manager’s trust. Bale needs that more than most as he has not played much football for the last two years. I would like to see Mourinho persist with the Welshman for the next 3 or 4 games in a row to see what he can produce.
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