Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho has questioned Gareth Bale’s midweek Instagram post and described it as a contradiction ahead of Saturday’s trip to Premier League leaders Manchester City.
The Real Madrid loanee missed Wednesday’s FA Cup defeat at Everton after he was absent from training on Monday and asked for a scan following some discomfort.
Bale had been an unused substitute in Sunday’s 2-0 win over West Brom and, despite not being available for the trip to Goodison Park, a social media update from the Welshman a day earlier stated: “Good session today.”
Quizzed on the 31-year-old’s availability, Mourinho said: “I hope the press conference is about the game and not about individuals. I have to admit his post created a need to be addressed.
“It was a contradiction between the post and the reality. Since the beginning of the season in relationship to everything, I try to be very private and try to keep everything indoors, but I felt I needed to address the situation.
“Probably the post was not even his responsibility, I don’t know? But the post was showing ‘training session great and I am ready’ and was totally wrong.
“When I was questioned I had to say the reality of the things which I repeat for the last time and I hope there are no more questions about it. The situation was exactly how I told.
“He was not feeling good, he asked for a scan. He had a scan, the scan didn’t show an injury but his feelings were still there and coaches, sports science and medical people we can never go against feelings because the player’s feelings are much more important than all of us.
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“So he was not ready for the game. It is as simple as that. If he is ready for tomorrow, he is selected for tomorrow.”
Mourinho confirmed a final decision on Bale will be made after their afternoon training session on Friday.
Even if he is available, the Wales international will most likely have to settle for a spot on the bench against City with the fit-again Erik Lamela above him in the pecking order.
The Argentinian is another who has struggled with injuries, but impressed in starts against West Brom and Everton and received high praise from Spurs’ manager.
“A good Lamela, I love,” Mourinho said. “He is the kind of player that I like very much.
“The first thing I like about him is he wants to play. He wants to assume responsibility. He never hides. He wants the ball.
“He’s a little bit sometimes chaotic, but it’s a positive reason to be chaotic because it’s ‘I want to play, I want the ball, if the ball is not arriving to me I have to arrive to the ball’.
“I love Coco. Of course when I arrived, his history of injuries was incredibly negative; was very, very, very hard. That’s the truth.
“In this moment he’s fit, but of course a player with his history, he played 90 minutes against West Brom I think.
“Even more now (at Everton), so let’s see, but honestly I’m going to ask him ‘can you play again from the start’ because if he feels he can of course I’m going to play him.”
Lamela scored the last time Spurs played at the Etihad at the start of the 2019-20 season where they escaped with a fortunate 2-2 draw.
Two home wins over Pep Guardiola’s team in 2020 means Tottenham have not lost to City in almost two years, but they will face a side who have won their last 15 games in a row.
Mourinho added: “It’s a team that wins every match. They score a lot of goals and I don’t think they concede. I think they conceded three in so many matches and one of the three it was a penalty.
“I don’t see any weakness and that’s why I was saying to win the game we need to be absolutely perfect in every aspect and in every minute because they’re really a very, very strong team.”
Harry Kane is expected to return to the starting XI after his substitute appearance in midweek while Serge Aurier (calf) will need to be assessed. Sergio Reguilon (muscle) and Giovani Lo Celso (hamstring) remain absent.