Gareth Bale is back to his best for Tottenham after recovering from the ‘psychological scars’ he had left after his fall from grace at Real Madrid.
That’s according to Jose Mourinho, who praised the Welsh star and his ‘negative’ Spurs side after their 4-1 win over Crystal Palace on Sunday.
Bale continued his resurgence with two goals, with Harry Kane scoring the other two in a third straight Premier League victory for the north London club and fifth in all competitions.
The on-loan ace has come under heavy criticism with big doubts about his professionalism and desire after a slow start to life in England, having been reduced to a small role in his final season under Zinedine Zidane in Spain.
But Bale has been directly involved in nine goals in his last six games and appears to have recovered his mojo, after another brilliant display on his last departure for the club.
And Mourinho praised the Welsh international on Sunday, saying he had crossed the ‘psychological barrier’ to return to his best.
“I think it’s time for you [the press] talk with the boy, ”said the Tottenham boss after the big win.
“I think it’s time for him to have a positive discussion with all those who doubted his first part of the season. He plays very well and more than that, he works very hard for the team.
“I’m very happy, he’s a fantastic player and I’m so happy to work with a player like him.
“No one challenged him. We just supported him, ”Mourinho said of doubts over Bale’s desire to make a successful Spurs comeback, saying he came to the club with more than just physical injuries.
“I found psychological scars. When you have a few seasons with a lot of injuries, I think it’s not about muscle scars but psychological scars – it brings fear and instability.
“There is a time when you work really well and everyone around you is giving everything we can give, there is a time when that psychological barrier has to be broken. And he broke it. It was him, not us. We just supported him.
“This Gareth hasn’t started the season, this Gareth has been playing this way for a few months and of course the quality is amazing. He’s a fantastic player.
While there is no doubt that Tottenham fans will want their hero to stay beyond this season, it is currently unclear what Bale’s future will bring at the end of his season loan from Real Madrid. .
But the winger said he enjoyed being back at his old club.
“I feel great,” Bale said. “A lot of games come quickly and quickly, so it’s about recovering and getting ready for the next one.
“I wouldn’t have come if I didn’t think I could contribute. It took a while but that’s the reality of football and my body. I feel good now, I hope I can continue this form.
Mourinho also praised his team and their attacking talent after their victory over Crystal Palace saw them reach 100 goals for the season.
Spurs have achieved a century of goals in all competitions, becoming the second team in Europe’s top five leagues to achieve the feat after Bayern Munich, who are now at 106.
And the boss used his team’s big win to hit back at criticism of his ‘negative’ style throughout the season.
“If the statistics given to me are correct – 100 goals scored in the season, which for a very defensive team, a very negative team, it is not bad,” added the boss.
“It was a good week for us. Three games, nine points, and for next week, when we play a crucial game in Europe and against Arsenal, nothing better for us than to gain nine points this week.