June 23, 2021

‘Bale can’t play 90 minutes every game’ – Mourinho says he has to ‘manage’ Tottenham winger’s time on the pitch

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The Spurs boss is wary of disrupting the Wales international’s “momentum” amid his impressive run of form

Gareth Bale can’t play 90 minutes every game, according to Jose Mourinho, who says he has to “manage” the Tottenham winger’s time on the pitch.

Bale, who returned to Spurs on loan from Real Madrid in September, is currently enjoying a hot streak in front of goal which has helped Mourinho’s side re-emerge as top-four contenders.

However, the Welshman flattered to deceive in the first half of the season amid struggles to maintain full fitness, and his manager is wary of overplaying him heading into a crucial period of fixtures.

What’s been said?

Speaking ahead of Tottenham’s last-16 first-leg tie against Dinamo Zagreb in the Europa League on Thursday, Mourinho told reporters: “I want to keep the momentum going but I need to manage him.

“The communication is very good and I think he trusts me. In this moment we are deciding together what to do.

“The other day during the [Crystal Palace] match I found Andre Marriner the fourth official was finding it annoying because we were talking so much.

“I was asking ’10 minutes more? 20 minutes?’. He’s playing very well.

“The relationship with him is very good I think and of course I would like him to play 90 minutes in every game but he can’t.”

How many times has Bale played 90 minutes this season?

Bale has made 22 appearances for Spurs under Mourinho to date, but has only completed a full match once.

The Madrid loanee took in 90 minutes of action during a 4-1 FA Cup fourth-round win over Wycombe in January, getting his name on the scoresheet for good measure.

Mourinho has only allowed Bale to stay on the pitch until 70 minutes or beyond on five occasions, and has taken him off before the hour-mark three times.

Bale’s return to form

Despite the fact Mourinho continues to restrict Bale’s overall minutes, the Wales international has started four of Tottenham’s last six games in all competitions, including three in the Premier League.

Bale has fired home six goals during that period, recording impressive doubles in wins against Palace and Burnley, while also scoring twice against Wolfsberger in the Europa League.

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