Manager claims Mourinho has helped player fall ‘back in love’ with football

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Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

Wales interim boss Robert Page has claimed that Gareth Bale has fallen back in love with football since his return to Tottenham.

Bale’s strained relationship with Zinedine Zidane was well documented and the Welshman did not have a consistent run in the Los Blancos side over the last couple of years.

That is perhaps why it has taken the 31-year-old a bit of time to regain his sharpness since his return to North London.

Reports have indicated that the winger has been completely revitalised by his move back to Spurs and that he did not quite realise the positive impact the transfer would have on his psyche (The Guardian).

This has also been confirmed by Sergio Reguilon, who has insisted that Bale is a completely different person to the one he knew in the Spanish capital (El Larguero via Goal.com).

Page, who is temporarily in charge of Wales in Ryan Giggs’ absence, has now reiterated the same.

AS quotes him as saying: “He (Bale) looks to me like he’s enjoying his football. He loves coming away with Wales.

“As long as I’ve been involved he’s never missed a camp, other than the recent one [in October] through injury,” Page said on Saturday.

“Now being at a place like Tottenham, he has a manager [Jose Mourinho] who wants him there, wants him to play week in, week out – or they are building him up to that where he plays 90 minutes consistently.

“We’ve now got a player on our hands that has fallen back in love with the game and enjoying his football. Hopefully, we’ll reap the rewards of that as well.”

Page also insisted that there is no evidence that Bale had lost any pace or sharpness with age.

He added: “The older you get, you lose a bit of sharpness. I experienced that myself as a player. I’ve not seen any evidence of that in the last two days of training,’ Page added.

“Some of the things I saw yesterday (Friday) was the other way. He’s looking just as sharp, bright and powerful.'”

Spurs Web Opinion

There has been a lot said already about how Bale is a completely different player to the one that left Spurs and that we should not be expecting him to make 40-50 yard sprints down the touchline like he used to. While some of that is obviously true as he has adapted his game, we have not seen enough evidence to suggest that he has lost his pace or acceleration.

He is not yet past his prime at 31 and one has to remember that he has hardly played any football over the last couple of years. It also looks like he has lost some muscle as he looks much leaner than he was a couple of years ago, which will hopefully help him with injury prevention.

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