Dimitar Berbatov Exclusive: Bale's return to Spurs is becoming a nightmare

Gareth Bale playing for Spurs
Will Bale return to Madrid?

Betfair Ambassador Dimitar Berbatov doesn't hold back in his assessment of Gareth Bale's return to Spurs but our man has warmer words for Scott McTominay's performances for Manchester United...

"If the situation continues like this then obviously Bale isn't going to stay and he will go back to Real Madrid and see his contract out."

A lot has been said about Gareth Bale following Mourinho's comments after Bale ruled himself out of playing in Spurs' 5-4 defeat to Everton in the FA Cup. If Bale had a scan and there was a problem that may lead to an injury then I can understand why he didn't want to play. If there was nothing, and he was free to play, then his desire not to play is a problem.

What does it mean to say you're too uncomfortable to play if you are not injured? It must be translated as something, I don't know what that may be, but the situation is complicated and obviously Mourinho isn't happy.

Bale's return started with a lot of fanfare, but it's slowly but surely turning out to be a nightmare. It's a bad situation for the team, for the player and for the manager, and that isn't pleasant to see and watch. Honestly, I don't see how this situation can be resolved, from what I have seen so far from Bale there is something lacking there, and I don't see how there can be a happy ending. It's a weird situation.


If the situation continues like this then obviously he isn't going to stay and he will go back to Real Madrid and see his contract out. Then, it's about where he will go next. I like Gareth, I like how he played football but at the moment he's far away from his best and we can all see that.

If he doesn't find his rhythm, which he can only find by starting games, then he will be going back to Madrid. These things happen all the time in football and, seeing what he went through over the years at Madrid, playing, not playing, being abused by the media and fans, it's obvious that he won't care and he'll fulfil his contract until the end.

Cup tie showed Spurs are best when they attack

Spurs' defeat to Everton in the FA Cup was a great match even though my old team lost. It's a shame that fans couldn't be there to watch that kind of football. There was a lot of attacking and the ball was up and down the pitch. Great to see.

Unfortunately, Spurs weren't focussed enough to smell where the danger was coming from in extra-time and they couldn't prevent Bernard's winning goal. You can get tired going into extra time but you still need to be intelligent and try to outsmart the opponents. Overall though, it was a good game, Spurs just lacked that smartness.

Spurs fans will be happy with the performance. They were very attacking and I think sometimes people prefer to see a lot of goals, they can take a bad result when there has been a lot of chances and goals instead of a boring 0-0. But it's the result that counts and sometimes to get the result you need that boring tactical side to your game, where you sit back and wait for the opponents mistakes so that you can punish them.

I don't think anyone will be too disappointed with the result because it was great entertainment.

I am sure that Jose Mourinho is thinking about the style of football that Spurs play. He will be looking at how he won many games and trophies throughout his career, and I think with the team he has he can get a lot of goals by playing direct football, or by sitting back defending and striking on the counter attack. It all depends on the opponents and because of that it can be different every time. I'm sure he will take a lot from the match against Everton, they were very attacking and it was a very entertaining match.

Kane proves again he is irreplaceable

Once again, Harry Kane has proven that he is irreplaceable, the real captain and the talisman of the team. It's great that he came back so soon from injury, he came back and has been on the score sheet twice - it's great for the morale of the team to have the leader back. You can see that he makes everyone calmer and more confident of their own abilities. Every time he gets an injury and he isn't playing, it's a big problem for the team.

United got a good draw against Everton

Last weekend, I witnessed the worst start to a second-half I have seen in a long time. Manchester United had the game against Everton under control, at 2-0. Then bam, they come out for the second-half and concede two goals straight away. When that happens you expect something like a last minute goal because if you start the second-half slowly, you suffer.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer helpless 956.jpg

It's fair to say that the draw was a good result for United, it was their fault that they lost control of the game and they started the second-half in a bad way. We should also praise Everton for changing their system and really pressing United.

McTominay doesn't need comparisons

It's great to see Scott McTominay doing so well. His goal against West Ham in the cup reminded me of the kind of goals that Frank Lampard would score, coming late into the box and smashing it into the net with a great finish.

He is becoming a strong force in the middle of the park. I remember at one point he wasn't playing many games and I was wondering what was happening with him, but now he is back and I'm happy for him. Although he's still young, I see him as a future United captain one day.

A lot of people are comparing him to Darren Fletcher and Michael Carrick, but lets not jump to conclusions and compare. McTominay will want to be known for his own game and, while I'm sure he will be flattered by those comparisons, leave him to play his football and enjoy what he does on the pitch. I'm happy that he is producing good football and scoring goals.

He has got a great running capacity and he is getting up and down the pitch, doing the dirty work, defending, tackling, winning the ball back and, even though it's not his job to score goals, he is doing that too. Successful clubs need that type of player who can make a run late into the box, or get on the end of a set piece and put it into the back of the net.

McTominay's success is not good news for Donny Van de Beek. I don't see the situation changing for him any time soon unfortunately. He will get a game or two in different competitions and I'm pretty sure he isn't happy with the situation. I'm expecting that he will have some talks with the club at the end of the season because I don't think he will want to start next season the same way.

It's unfortunate and sometimes football is like that, I would like to see him play, but at the moment I just can't see that happening. Maybe I'm wrong and he'll get more game time and he plays more. But it goes to show that you don't always need to buy players.

For now, he just needs to train hard, stay motivated, stay positive which isn't always going to be easy, he can't get stuck with the negative thought that it's not working for him at United, because then it will be really tough for him. Hopefully, he is integrated into the team and the boys are helping him out. If he gets a chance he has to try to impress, but it's very difficult to do that when you're getting five or 10 minutes here and there.

Paul Pogba is going to be out for a few weeks and if Van de Beek is preferred ahead of the other midfielders then it's a big chance for him.

Red Devils will be too strong for Sociedad

United are back in Europa League action next week and their away leg has been moved to a neutral stadium.

I don't believe that will give either team an advantage. They are coming up against Real Sociedad and I think it's pretty clear that United will be the favourites in that game, but they need to be careful because in the past they have had major difficulties coming up against Spanish sides who are very technical and control the ball.

Looking at his last few games for the team, Pogba will be missed for this one. He was getting into great positions, scoring goals and really helping the team. United have the quality to replace him though and I'm sure Van de Beek will want to step up. The team will miss Pogba but they have enough to compensate for his absence in this match.

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