Jose Mourinho has insisted that starting Gareth Bale and Dele Alli against Wolfsberger was not intended as a test to see if they can show that they deserve to play more minutes in the Premier League.
Reports over the past week have indicated that Bale’s relationship with Mourinho might have soured on the back of the recent Instagram post controversy (Evening Standard).
However, on the back of Bale’s decent cameo against Manchester City on Saturday, the Tottenham boss decided to hand him a start in Budapest yesterday evening.
Alli, who also got a few minutes off the bench at the Etihad after recovering from his injury, made his first start since Tottenham’s 5-0 FA Cup win against Marine in January.
Both players put in impressive displays and showed that they can offer a lot to the Tottenham side.
While Bale got an assist and well-taken goal, Alli looked sharper than he has for a long time and was involved in many of the good moves that the away side put together.
Some Tottenham fans on social media were delighter with the pair’s display and urged Mourinho to start both players against West Ham on Sunday.
However, Mourinho insisted that the game was not intended as an audition for the London derby and hinted that he was well aware of the qualities both players possessed.
When asked what he made of Bale’s and Alli’s performance in the 4-1 win, the Portuguese coach told Football.London: “The televisions, they made me the same question before the game, and after the game, and before the game and after my answer was the same: the objective here is to win, and i am looking to the team performance and not to individuals.
“This is not an exam for anyone. The Tottenham players are good enough to not be in exams.
“So we had the result, we had the team performance, and for the team to win and to perform is only possible when the team and the players they do their jobs.
“So, I believe so, I believe they were positive like the team was positive. I took Gareth off because I know that in this process it’s not so easy for him to play the 90 minutes, because the team at that time needs a little bit more freshness, which Lamela gave us.
“And in Dele’s case, he worked hard, he got a yellow card, when you have a yellow card, and with the referee showing so easily yellow cards to us, it was always a risk, but he managed to stay on the pitch, and was also a little bit of Tanguy because I thought that Tanguy would come fresh and unbalance things to our side again. So overall I’m happy with everyone, including the two players that you asked me.”
Spurs Web Opinion
I do not expect either Bale or Alli to start against West Ham as I believe Bergwijn, Lamela and Kane will come back into the starting eleven on Sunday. However, I expect Mourinho to bring one or both of them on, particularly if we are chasing the game in the second half.
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