Mourinho Worried about Gareth Bale Working Under Arsenal Coach


Heading into international break, Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho, never one to ever mince words, expressed some concerns he has about one of the coaches who will be guiding one of his players.

With Wales national team manager Ryan Giggs suspended/taking leave after his arrest for alleged assault, Robert Page will take charge for the next three matches against the USA, Republic of Ireland and Finland, supported by Albert Stuivenberg. The presence of Stuivenberg, who time shares his duties between Wales and Arsenal FC, arouses suspicion in Mourinho.


“The fact that one of the coaches is an Arsenal coach does not make me very comfortable,” Mourinho said at his press conference ahead of today’s 1-0 win at West Bromwich Albion.

(The win put Tottenham top of the table for the time being, and a Liverpool draw or loss later today would keep them there)

“Honestly, it doesn’t make me very comfortable. National team matches should have coaches that work exclusively for them, not coaches who work for other clubs.”

“He’s [Bale] getting better and better and I felt he could play 90 minutes. But it’s not about can or cannot, it’s about managing the situation and keeping him safe.”

“He’s a player that needs to be safe, he’s a player that had enough problems in the past. He’s working so much and we’re all working so carefully with him that we don’t want to destroy the work everybody is doing for the last couple of months.”

Arsenal have yet to publicly respond to these comments, as they have a match with Aston Villa later today. Go here for the team news in that one, here for the starting XI prediction.

Every international break brings drama between clubs and nations, as the respective coaching staffs can often bicker about how certain players are used.

The number one issue about the internationals is always the potential for injuries to occur, and Gareth Bale has been very injury prone recently.

Whether or not there is much, or anything at all, to be made about the Welshman being guided by someone who works for the other side of the North London rivalry, Mourinho does have a point. Coaches should work for just one entity, not two.

“Wales have two matches where they play for the Nations League and I expect him to play,” Mourinho continued, but if they care as much about him as we do, they have to manage the recovery period, they have to manage the minutes that he plays and they should not let him get to fatigue levels.”

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank, partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” has regularly appeared in WGNSports IllustratedChicago Tribune and SB NationFollow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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