Former Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp has told Jose Mourinho what he needs to do to get the best out of Gareth Bale… but admits it seems the Spurs boss never wanted him back at the club.
The latest round of questions are being asked about the Welsh star and his failed return to north London after he was snubbed for Tottenham’s FA Cup fifth round clash against Everton.
Bale has started just two Premier League games this seasonAFP
Bale was left out of the matchday squad for Wednesday’s cup classic, which saw the Toffees go through in extra-time after a stunning 5-4 game – one of the best ties seen in years.
It was the Real Madrid loanee’s latest snub by Mourinho, after the head coach handed a senior debut to record-breaking 16-year-old Dane Scarlett in their previous Premier League game against West Brom at the Wales international’s expense.
Former boss Redknapp has told talkSPORT he had high hopes for Bale when his move back to Tottenham was confirmed in the summer, with the winger arriving to the sound of hysteria from fans and expectations the team into one of the world’s most lethal attacking forces alongside Harry Kane and Heung-min Son.
Instead, he has made just TWO Premier League starts, completed the full 90 minutes just ONCE, and the bulk of his 15 appearances have come in the Europa League and brief cameos from the bench.
At his peak, Redknapp says Bale was up there as the third-best player in world football behind superstars Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, but he’s been a shadow of that figure since his return from Spain.
Bale has scored four goals this season, one in each competitionGetty Images – Getty
And his old boss admits he’s been disappointed with his treatment, saying he needs an arm around him to produce his best, not the cold shoulder.
“At the time I thought Gareth Bale would be an amazing signing,” Redknapp said on Friday’s talkSPORT Breakfast.
“I could see that forward line, Son, Bale and Kane, I thought ‘oh my God they are going to be scary together’, but for whatever reason it hasn’t worked for Gareth.
“I don’t know what the problem is with Gareth at the moment. He’s not the most confident of boys.
“I know he’s been one of the top players in the world, let’s be honest, there was a spell where for me he’d probably been the third best player around behind Messi and Ronaldo, he was that good when he was at his best.
“But he’s still not a very confident boy. He’s one of those lads who, no matter how great you are, it doesn’t change his personality, and he’s a very quiet lad. He needs confidence and he needs somebody to believe in him.
Harry Redknapp got the best out of Gareth Bale in his first spell at SpursGetty Images – Getty
“At the moment he’s had ten minutes here, five minutes there, when he starts he gets subbed, and when he gets subbed it’s all, ‘we were better in that last half hour’ after Gareth has come off…
“All the signals he’s been getting [from Mourinho] …
“I’m disappointed with how it’s gone for him. I was really expecting big things from Gareth when he came back.”
Mourinho claimed after Spurs’ FA Cup exit that Bale didn’t feature having asked for a scan on an injury, saying he was ‘surprised’ and that it was not an ‘obvious’ problem.
Tottenham legend Clive Allen told talkSPORT this week the manager is becoming impatient with the player and is getting frustrated by the constant questions over his place in the team.
And Redknapp admits it probably wasn’t his idea to bring Bale back.
“I’ve said all along, I don’t think it was Jose’s move,” he added.
“I would think that was done above him, maybe Daniel [Levy, Tottenham chairman] looked and that and he loves Gareth, obviously he was a great player when he was there.
“People at the club tell me they’ve got him back on a very low-paid deal, they’re really not paying him anywhere near what he earns, I’d be surprised if they’re paying more than a fifth or a sixth of what he actually earns there.
“They probably saw it as a great move, a great move for the club to have him back again and the fans will love it, but it just hasn’t worked out.
“At the end of the day the manager picks the team and he obviously doesn’t seem to fancy him, he doesn’t fit in his team.”