Bale’s former Spurs teammate Jenas has sent a simple bit of advice to Mourinho on how to extract the best out of the Welshman.
Jermaine Jenas has told Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho that Gareth Bale is still young at heart and ‘needs that love to perform’.
Despite an underwhelming return to Spurs, on loan from Real Madrid, Bale has looked promising recently. The 31-year-old’s injury problems seem to be behind him, and he has looked much sharper on the pitch compared to earlier in the season.
The Welsh winger is even gradually forcing his way into Mourinho’s plans, having started in the club’s last two Premier League games.
Now Jenas, who played alongside Bale in north London between 2007 and 2013, has revealed his former teammate performs best with the support of his manager.
“Gareth on the pitch is a killer. But to get that out of him, during my time at the club, he had to be loved. He wasn’t one to challenge. He wasn’t one to lay the gauntlet down to sort that out,” the former midfielder told BBC Radio Five Live.
“Then all of a sudden, to be fair to Harry [Redknapp], he stuck him in there and forced him to play. And I used to hear it week in week out, ‘give it to Gareth’.
“He used to get it and he would be like ‘run him’, and the more he did it, the more confidence he got and the more he realised he was the go-to man in the team.
“He developed into a monster on the pitch and he was floating onto the pitch like a god, like no one could touch him, because he had that level of confidence and love that was given to him from the manager.”
On Mourinho’s relationship with Bale, Jenas said: “The Mourinho side of things, maybe it didn’t go that way, but maybe Jose has worked that out. If I play him, and give him a bit of love, that’s how I get the best out of him.
“They didn’t know each other, essentially. He was in awe of what Gaz was doing [earlier in his career], so the love for the player is there and he knows that version of the player.
“He just needed to find a way to get the confidence in Gaz. I don’t care how old he is, Gaz is still a kid at heart and he needs that love to perform, and that is all it is.”