Image source: Getty Images
Roy Keane has questioned Jose Mourinho’s decision to substitute winger Gareth Bale with 20 minutes of Tottenham’s 4-1 win over Crystal Palace. Bale scored two goals, taking his tally of league goals to four in his last three appearances.
“You’re taking about Bale and Tottenham looking after him, but at some stage you want Bale to play 90 minutes,” Keane told Sky Sports following the full-time whistle. “Tonight could have been the prime opportunity.
“So when Bale gives eye contact to the bench, he sees really good players on the bench and we all know, particularly the attacking players who are selfish… we have seen Liverpool players getting upset all the time, so when the manager is looking at him and he is going ‘don’t be taking me off, that is the other side of me, I want to get 90 minutes.’
“You’re on about that he is fragile, but if he gets 90 minutes under belt that will give him confidence. Tonight, he has come off after 60 or 70 minutes and will be going ‘why couldn’t I play the full game and maybe get another goal for myself?'”
Spurs are currently facing an enormous fixture schedule.
Keane continued: “I get all that from the manager’s point of view and the medical staff who are taking over the world these days, dictating a lot of the decisions, but if you look at Bale, he is only 31. If you look at Bale and say ‘they have got games coming up,’ their next game is Thursday. He is 31 years of age. He will want to play 90 minutes and at some stage footballers do have to play 90 minutes.
“So if they do it again on Thursday he will be in that cycle of him thinking he will only get an hour. What about 90 minutes? Tonight was a prime opportunity, with the game won, for him to stay on the pitch and get 90 minutes under his belt. That would have been a big plus.”