Jose Mourinho unhappy at sending three of his Tottenham stars to work with Arsenal coach Albert Stuivenberg on Wales duty as he bemoans conflict of interest – with assistant stepping up to take charge of team in absence of recently-arrested boss Ryan Giggs
- Ryan Giggs will not take charge of Wales due to his arrest and assault allegations
- Arsenal coach Albert Stuivenberg also works with Wales and will step up to lead
- He and Rob Page are in charge of team, which includes three Tottenham stars
- Jose Mourinho is unhappy at sending players to work with an Arsenal coach
Stuivenberg, an assistant to Mikel Arteta at Arsenal, has been on the coaching staff of Ryan Giggs at Wales since 2018.
He will have greater responsibility for three games this month, starting with a friendly against the USA in Swansea on Thursday because Giggs is absent after his arrest and allegations of assault.
Arsenal coach Albert Stuivenberg will hold more responsibility of the Wales squad next week
Jose Mourinho is unhappy to be sending three of his Spurs stars to work with an Arsenal coach
Rob Page and Stuivenberg will be in charge of a squad that includes Spurs trio Bale, Ben Davies and Joe Rodon, and Mourinho believe this represents a conflict of interests.
‘It’s not Giggs responsible for these matches and I’m sorry about that,’ said the Spurs boss. ‘For the previous fixtures he called me, we spoke about Ben Davies – not Gareth because Gareth was not there – and we shared opinions on the situation, which is probably not going to happen this time.
‘And the fact that one of the coaches is an Arsenal coach does not make me very comfortable. Honestly, it doesn’t make me very comfortable. National teams should have coaches that work exclusively for them, not coaches who work for other clubs.’
Captain Gareth Bale is back in the Wales squad after missing the October games due to injury
Wales boss Ryan Giggs was arrested on suspicion of actual bodily harm and assault on Sunday
Mourinho has been outspoken about Tottenham’s heavy schedule at the start of this season, and criticised national teams for squeezing friendlies in alongside fixtures in the Nations League during the international breaks.
Wales will take on the Republic of Ireland and Finland in the Nations League after the friendly against the USA. England, with Harry Kane, Eric Dier and Harry Winks in the squad, have a friendly against Ireland before games against Belgium and Iceland in the Nations League.
‘From the national teams I’m never expecting good things, only negative things,’ grumbled Mourinho, earlier this week.
Bale, who barely played for Real Madrid last season, suffered an injury with Wales in September ahead of his loan move to Spurs, and it has delayed his return to full power and top form.
Giggs has denied all the allegations against him, and has been released on bail
Ben Davies is another of the Tottenham stars who will join up with the Wales squad next week
He scored the winner against Brighton on Sunday but has not yet started in the Premier League this season, although he looked sharp and dangerous as he played the first 65 minutes of the Europa League win at Ludogorets on Thursday.
‘He’s getting better and better,’ said Mourinho. ‘I felt he could play 90 minutes, but it’s not about can or cannot, it’s about managing the situation and keeping him safe.
‘He’s a player that needs to be safe. He’s a player that had enough problems in the past. He’s working so much and we’re all working so carefully with him that we don’t want to destroy the work everybody is doing for the last couple of months.
Bale is only just returning to fitness and his minutes are being carefully managed by Spurs
New Spurs defender Joe Rodon is also heading on Wales duty, under coach Stuivenberg
‘Wales has two matches where they play for the Nations League and I expect him to play, but if they care as much about him as we do, they have to manage the recovery period.
‘They have to manage the minutes that he plays and they should not let him get to fatigue levels.’
Mourinho expects to have Sergio Reguilon available after illness for the game at West Brom on Sunday.