Mourinho takes swipe at Bale with ex-Spurs boss scathing of his former loanee

Jose Mourinho has taken a swipe at Gareth Bale, claiming he has produced 'not many or none' great performances against the top teams in recent years.

The Portuguese manager was sacked by Tottenham last season after a poor run of results left them in mid-table and with little chance of qualifying for the Champions League.

Mourinho brought Bale back to Tottenham last season on a loan from Real Madrid, but


the Wales winger started just six Premier League games under the former Spurs coach, scoring four times in those matches.

But the now-AS Roma coach has claimed Bale's lack of top-quality performances over the past couple of seasons could be a concern for Wales at this summer's European Championships.

Whilst previewing Wales ahead of Euro 2020 next week, Mourinho said: 'Over the years Wales have relied a lot on Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey, the two most talented players in the country.

'But when I look to the club season and how many matches Ramsey played at Juventus, there were lots of injuries.

'When we look to Gareth and how many great performances he had, how many goals he scored against the best teams, there were not many or none. It's not an easy situation for a country without many options.

'But they are always well organised and know how to create a situation to try to get the best out of the more talented players.'

Bale ended the 2020-21 campaign at Spurs with 16 goals and three assists to his name all season, but is now expected to return to parent club Real Madrid, who have just hired Carlo Ancelotti as their head coach.

During his year back at Spurs, where Bale played over 200 times between 2007 and 2013 before moving to Spain for a £100million deal, the 31-year-old scored in both leg of the Europa League last-32 victory over Wolfsberger and in the Carabao Cup quarter-final win over Stoke.

In the league, the Welshman mostly scored against sides in the bottom half - Brighton, Burnley, Crystal Palace, Southampton and Sheffield United - but the winger did net twice on the final day against Leicester City to seal a seventh-placed spot for Spurs.

The 31-year-old hinted at a swipe at Mourinho during interim boss Ryan Mason's first game in charge after the Portuguese's sacking in April, claiming Spurs were much more attacking with the young boss in the dugout.

When asked how Spurs should improve after the Mourinho era, Bale told Sky Sports: 'Maybe just to be on the front foot a bit more. We want to attack, we're a big club, we want to attack and we did that today.'

Bale's agent, Jonathan Barnett, claimed last month that Bale's future could lie anywhere - but the choice to head back to the Spanish capital and sit on the bench for the final year of his contract would be 'fine'.

Barnett said: 'It's a three-party discussion; it's us, Real Madrid and Tottenham. We have our views and we will let them know at the right time.'

Asked if there was any chance of a Bernabeu return, Barnett added: 'I very much doubt that, but if they want to put him on the bench then that's fine.

'They want to put me on the bench with that salary? That's fine for me as well.'

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