Pundit claims Mourinho should have made decision ‘two or three months ago’

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

BBC Match of the Day pundits Danny Murphy and Alan Shearer were both complimentary over Tottenham’s performance in their 4-0 win over Burnley but Murphy insisted that Bale should have been given a run in the Tottenham side two or three months ago.

Jose Mourinho named a very attacking line up against Sean Dyche’s men, with Harry Kane and Son Heung-min starting alongside Bale and Lucas Moura.

The Clarets defence were torn to shreds by wave after wave of Tottenham attacks, with the home side starting on the front foot and sailing into a 3-0 lead with little over 30 minutes gone on the clock.

Bale later grabbed his second of the match with brilliant curling with his left foot in the second half to put the icing on the cake for Spurs.

Shearer praised the efforts of Tottenham’s front-four and admitted that there was more to come from Bale.

The former Newcastle striker said on BBC’s Match of the Day 2: “They were red-hot going forward. Burnley couldn’t cope with them. That front four of Moura, Kane, Bale and Son ran riot.

“A fantastic ball over the top from Bale, left foot, thank you very much, [for] Kane’s goal.

“It was far too easy, Burnley were jogging, not enough effort closing down and a good player will cost you. They went at them with pace and intent. Plenty more in his tank (for Bale), absolutely.

Murphy felt on the back of Bale’s performance that the Welshman could have got his sharpness and confidence back a lot quicker had Mourinho given him a run of games earlier this season.

He said: “I thought two or three months ago, he should have had a run [in the team]. To see how much confidence he’s got you need that run of games to get that sharpness.

“Half an hour here, 20 minutes here, a Europa League game, you can’t get any momentum. Hopefully, he’ll stay in the team now until the end of the season.”

Shearer then seconded Muphy’s claim, admitting that it is important for players to feel that they have their manager’s trust.

He added: “Sometimes you need to believe your manager wants you there and believes in you.

“You need the opportunity to do it again and he hasn’t done that. On today’s appearance, he has to stay in the team.”

Spurs Web Opinion

It is impossible to make these assessments without knowing what went on within the Spurs camp. Mourinho’s words in his post-match press conference on Sunday indicates that it was Bale himself who wanted to carefully manage his minutes in order to ease into the demands of playing at this intensity. Perhaps the Welshman did not want to risk breaking down and suffering a set-back.

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