Amid all the excitement of Gareth Bale’s return to Tottenham Hotspur, many will have expected the Real Madrid star to stroll into the starting lineup and start banging in the goals. It was a second Spurs debut to forget for the Wales international as he came on with his side cruising at 3-0 before being pinned back to a 3-3 draw against David Moyes’ West Ham.
Jose Mourinho spoke often of the work the club had to do behind the scenes to get Bale back up to speed and ready for the rigors of the Premier League with Tottenham, who are 7/1 in the football betting to win the title this season. The pace of La Liga pales in comparison to the speed and physicality of England’s top flight and Mourinho, who is more than familiar with both leagues, has shown patience in allowing Bale time to get used to the transition back.
There would have been few people more pleased to see Bale bag the winner in the 2-1 victory over Brighton at the start of November, to keep Spurs challenging up at the top end of the Premier League table. After the match, Mourinho spoke of Bale’s love of the club and his desire to be a success on his season-long loan spell back in north London. The Portuguese tactician also explained the importance of that work going on behind the scenes and admitted Bale’s “body was suffering a little bit” in training after warming the bench at Real Madrid for a number of weeks.
Bale himself, after bagging the winner against the Seagulls, had his say on what it has been like back at the club where he made his name before moving to the Santiago Bernabeu in 2013. The 31-year-old said it has been “amazing” since his return to London and says he’s “very happy to be here and playing football again for a great club."
The patience Mourinho has shown with getting Bale back to speed shows the respect the manager has for the former Southampton star. Mourinho had been linked with signing Bale on a number of occasions, including during his time at Old Trafford with Manchester United. Now he has finally got his man, it seems that the manager has even more cause to see the attacker do well, and justify all those transfer windows of keeping tabs on the player’s situation with Los Blancos.
It looks like it could be a relationship that can flourish this season, and that can only be a good thing for a Tottenham side that will look to challenge for the title, in what has been an unpredictable first few months of the Premier League campaign.