As if Jose Mourinho didn’t already have enough to contend with having to play against his old foe, Pep Guardiola, this weekend.
The Special One is likely to still be smarting from an epic 5-4 FA Cup defeat at Everton, and his immediate task will be to raise his troops to try and halt Man City’s record-breaking winning run.
Many have tried and failed to do so already, and without the likes of Harry Kane et al, Tottenham aren’t in the best shape to be able to take advantage of any apparent weaknesses either.
The lead up to this match will have been intense for the reasons already stated, without Mourinho basically coming out and accusing Gareth Bale of lying during his pre-match press conference.
The manager was asked again about Bale’s general fitness and a reaction to a social media post the Welshman had made, and, as is his won’t when his feathers have been ruffled, a terse response was forthcoming.
“I have to admit that his [Instagram] post created a need of being addressed,” Mourinho is quoted as saying by the Daily Mail.
“There was a contradiction between the post and the reality. Since the beginning of the season, in relationship to everything, I’ve tried to be very private and 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.
“So when questioned I had to give the reality of things. 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.
“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.”
The tension behind the scenes must be unbearable, and given that Bale has yet to complete a full 90 minutes for the north Londoners, the sooner he’s sent packing back to Madrid, the better.